Soria only threw his changeup under 7% of the time roughly half of 2018’s 15%. Nevertheless it was very effective showing a 39.5% zone rate, 39.1% chase rate, and an 18.4% swinging K rate. The borderline money pitch held hitters to a .299 xwOBA and .242 batting average.
Soria nearly doubled his curveball usage this past season to 13% (7.6% in 2018). A slower breaking ball at just 73 mph, the curveball showed well above average drop and horizontal movement. It was a very respectable pitch across the board notching a 35.9% whiff rate (15.6% swinging K rate), 31.8% chase rate, and 39.7% zone rate while holding batters to a measly .209 xwOBA.
Soria’s fastball sat at 92.6 mph, just about the same as last year’s 92.3 mph and returned a similar 12.9% swinging K rate (12.6% in 2018). Overall it returned an 8.1 pVAL last year.
Soria threw his slider at almost the same rate in 2019. Used primarily against RHB the slider wasn’t great at coaxing swings and misses out of the zone with just a 23.4% chase rate, but it had an outstanding 51.5% zone rate. Overall the whiff rate on the slider was way down this year at 27.6% as opposed to 2018’s 43.3%.
Soria’s four-seamer was excellent in 2018, putting together a 12.6 pVal season. Giving up a mere .229 AVG, the pitch generated a 12.6 SwStr% with an incredible 45.9 IFFB% and a miniscule 5.4 HR/FB%. A large portion of its success was likely due to nearly doubling its O-swing% and cutting its BB% rate from 13.4% to 5.4%.
Losing almost 1.5 mph in velocity and 2.9 degrees of overall movement, Soria’s changeup registered a negative pVal for the first time since 2014, despite a 40.5 O-swing%, 17.1 SwStr%, and 42.9 K%. Why? This pitch’s main bugaboo in 2018 was a 50% HR/FB rate, which will crush any pitch’s pVal.
Practically a neutral pitch for Soria by pVal (-0.5), his slider had many of the hallmarks of a good pitch. It had a 38.9 O-swing%, a 21.9 SwStr%, and 50.0 K%. Unfortunately, he struggled at throwing the pitch for strikes when he needed to, as was evidenced by a 36.8 Zone% and 11.8 BB%.
Normally a stellar pitch for Soria, his curveball has seemingly abandoned him the last two years, registering a negative pVal in 2017 and 2018. Only thrown 122 times in 2017 and 83 times in 2018, its poor results may have been due to some BABIP wonkiness in a small sample.