The changeup is currently just a show-me offering and was primarily thrown to left-handers. Neither side of the plate could do anything against the pitch, however, with the pitch allowing no hits and getting a 66.7% K rate. Getting 22% more depth than the major league average, the change had a 29.2% SwStr%, giving batters one more thing to worry about besides the 100 mph heater and a wipeout slider.
Not only do batters have to try and fight off a 100 mph sinker with a 70% ground-ball rate, they also have to defend against one of baseball’s nastiest slide pieces. The slider had 12% more depth than the average offering, but gets an incredible 175% more break than the average slider had in 2019. The pitch finished with a 24.2 SwStr% and a 57.1% K rate.
Relying primarily on that sweet, nasty speed, Hicks sits at 101 mph and gets slightly above average drop and break. Not a swing-and-miss offering–with only a 3.4 SwStr%–the pitch’s main attributes are the 2% barrel rate it allowed and a 70% ground-ball rate, which led to a .154 BAA.
What draws everyone to Hicks’ sinker is its movement and velocity, making it a nasty pitch. It did carry a high walk rate last season, as he struggled with his control at times but was great at limiting hits with a .231 batting average. If he can control this wild stallion, he may find a way to improve on the 10 pVal this posted.
When it was time for a strikeout, Hicks brought out the slider. Hitters had no answer for the pitch, swinging and missing at a 19.8% clip, while hitting only .091 on the pitch. Coupled with his blazing fastball, the slider becomes that much harder to read for hitters.
Hicks threw some traditional fastballs last season, and while the velocity was there, it had worse results than the sinker. This was his only negative pVal pitch, and hitters hit .318 off the offering. Sticking to a slider and sinker combo would be best for him.