Over the course of just 95 pitches in 2019, Cordero’s changeup reached the Money Pitch requirements with aplomb: The change sported a stellar 30.5% swinging-strike rate, a 49.5% zone rate, and spectacular 50% chase rate. If the White Sox give Cordero an extended look in the bullpen, he’d do well to keep on trusting his changeup.
After recording a 42.9% punchout rate on his curveball in limited 2018 action, Cordero’s curve sank to a 12.5% strikeout rate last season, as his walk rate crept into double digits (up from 7.1% a season prior) to match it. A drop in swinging-strike rate (17.9% in 2018, 7.7% in 2019) helps explain why Cordero’s curveball missed fewer bats for punchouts.
Cordero comes from a proud tradition of bullpen arms who throw the ball hard: His heater sits a tick above 97 mph on the radar gun, ranking in Statcast’s upper echelon (95th percentile) of fastball velocity. A 20th-percentile spin rate on his four-seamer leaves a little more to be desired.
Cordero doesn’t throw his slider often (only registering 7% usage in his arsenal), but when he does, it gets hit hard, ceding an average 93.4 mph exit velocity. Opposing batters tagged Cordero’s slider for a herculean 1.143 SLG and .554 wOBA in 2019.
Despite being Cordero’s primary pitch, it was certainly not his best one in 2018. Registering a total of -4.5 pVal, it was whacked around for a .400 AVG and a 26.6 HR/FB%. It just doesn’t generate nearly enough whiffs (5.3 SwStr%) to be successful.
Essentially a neutral pitch in 2018 (-0.4 pVal) in a very limited sample, there were some signs that this pitch could be effective with more use. In 2018, it produced an elite 22.6 K% with a 45.2 Zone%. Despite giving up a .273 AVG, it had a .000 ISO and a mere 80 wRC+.
Pretty much a neutral pitch (0.5 pVal) in 2018, Cordero’s sinker did its main job, drawing ground-ball outs (68 GB%, 0.0 HR/FB%). It didn’t strike a lot of batters out (3.7 K%), but was still effective, limiting hitters to a .250 AVG, 000 ISO, and 78 wRC+.
Only thrown 29 times in 2018, Cordero’s changup shows a lot of potential with a 20.7 SwStr% and a 33.3 K%. It needs to find the zone more often, as it only garnered a 31.0 Zone%