Barraclough’s strikeout rate on his changeup dropped precipitously from 2018 (44.4%) to 2019 (27.8%). Although opposing batters made contact gains across the board (contact rate up 9%, Z-Contact up 8.4%, O-Contact up 13.5%), a preposterously low .083 BABIP left them scuffling to the tune of a .059/.111/.059 slash line.
Long branded as a loose cannon for his fastball command, Barraclough reined in his walk rate to a career-best 14.4% in 2019. Progress! But while batters saw fewer free passes, they still clawed out a .318 BAA and .434 wOBA against Barraclough’s heater, taking it deep six times and blistering the pitch for an average 93.1 mph exit velocity.
Barraclough’s slider packs some swing-and-miss punch, boasting a stout 35% strikeout rate backed up by a 22.3% swinging-strike rate in 2019, surging from 2018’s 10% mark. Keeping his chase rate rising (34.3%, up from 22.9% in 2018) and contact rate plummeting (50.7% in 2019, 66.7% a season prior) will help the reliever rekindle his previous breaking-ball success and shore up the slider’s negative pVAL.
Barraclough’s four-seamer averaged 93.6 mph (down from 94.8 mph in 2017). It showed a better whiff rate in 2018 at 23.5% (18.1% in 2017). It did allow 6 home runs but otherwise stymied hitters to just a .214 batting average.
Barraclough cut down his slider usage to 28.8% (41.4% in 2017). It was a much less effective pitch at getting swings and misses with just a 10% swinging-K rate (18% in 2017) and also had a much lower chase rate at 22.9% ( 32.2% in 2017). It was still effective at mitigating batted balls with a .180 batting average and .261 wOBA allowed.
Barraclough threw his changeup noticeably more in 2018 at 11.5% (just 4.3% in 2017). It was a very effective pitch with a 43.1% chase rate, 37.9% zone rate and an exceptional 25% swinging-K rate. It held opposing hitters to a .171 batting average and .240 wOBA.