Holder’s changeup averaged 86 mph in 2019, comprising 17.1% of his usage, with over four times as many changes being thrown to left-handed batters as were thrown to righties. Holder saw a big decrease in the pitch’s value, going from a 3.9 pVAL in 2018 to a -2.2 pVAL this past year. The pitch gets average movement on both planes and finished with a 21.2% K rate.
Thrown 28.5% of the time in 2019, Holder’s slider averaged 81.4 mph and finished with a -0.3 pVAL, down from the 3.1 pVAL he carried the year prior.
The four-seamer averaged 92.2 mph, down half a tick from 2018, while maintaining roughly the same shape. Comprising 54.5% of his usage, the pitch had a 30.5% K rate and a 1.1 pVAL.
Holder’s fastball made nice improvements last season. Trading in some movement for more accuracy stifled hitters, leading to a 7.8 pVal. He got hitters to make more outside contact, so while this was a fly ball pitch the contact made was weak.
Holder began throwing the slider last season and it was much improved over his cutter. It held hitters to a .172 BAA, with a 14.2% swinging-strike rate. This will be a major pitch for him in 2019 if he can continue keeping balls in the yard with its fly-ball tendencies.
The changeup was a nice third pitch for Holder last season. It has decent drop, though it has lost vertical movement each year over the past three years. Despite the loss in movement it has a nice outside swing and zone rates, along with a 12.4% swinging-strike rate and .216 BAA.
Holder switched from a tighter cutter to his loopier slider after April and for good reason – the pitch held a ridiculous .556 BAA in its short lifespan while inducing a 338 wrc+. Yikes.
Holder all but ditched the curveball after a decent showing in 2017. He only threw it 2% of the time last season, allowing a .333 BAA. It is not a notable pitch with the slider being worked in.