Berrios got into so much trouble with the use of his change-up in 2018 that he had to make improvements. A healthy jump to 43.1% O-Swing % and the fact the pitch induced a 40% IFFB% went much of the way to giving Berrios the confidence to increase his usage to 15.7% (up from 9.1%).
The curve continued to be an issue for Berrios in 2019 as he suffered another drop in his swinging strike rate , now down to 12.3% from 16.3% in 2018. He did manage to stop the long ball happening as much though, reducing his HR/FB to 17.2%, down from 24.4% in 2018.
Berrios’ fastball has been sitting around 93 mph since he started in the league. It is a solid fastball limiting hitters to a sub-100 wRC+. The last two seasons he is striking out nearly 30% with the pitch always keeping a swinging strike rate of 10% or more. Lastly, he’s gained more control of the pitch only walking 5.8% and a zone % of almost 60%.
Berrios improved on his four-seam fastball by lowering his walk rate to 8.6% and raising his strikeout rate to 29.2%, making it his most valuable pitch in 2018. He has now produced a 10% swinging-strike rate with his four-seamer each of the past two seasons, and it pairs well with his curveball to give him a solid foundation.
Berrios threw his curveball 30% of the time to make it his second-most used pitch in 2018. He improved his curve’s swinging-strike rate last year, raising it from 13.5% in 2017 to 16.3%. Those benefits were negated by the spike in HR/FB rate to 24.4%, up from 8.1% the year before. Keeping the pitch in the park should lead to further improvements.
Berrios uses his two-seamer to induce contact, as evidenced by an 87.6% contact rate and a 6.6% swinging-strike rate in 2018. While not as effective as his four-seamer, it does give him a third pitch to mix in. Both of his fastballs have similar velocities, making the extra arm-side run on his two-seamer effective.
While Berrios made improvements on his changeup’s swinging-strike rate and ground-ball clip in 2018, the pitch continued to be a liability and was only thrown 9% of the time. His changeup allowed a .304 ISO and produced a home run on a third of its fly balls allowed. His zone rate of 25% likely shows his lack of command and/or lack of trust in his changeup.