Walden’s four seamer featured below-average spin rate (38th percentile), averaged just over 94 while topping out at 96.6 mph. Its not much of a bat misser returning an underwhleming 7% swinging K rate (17.5% whiffs).
2019 saw Walden cut back on his cutter usage a bit from over 40% in 2018 to 28%. Similar to his four seamer, its a sub-par bat misser returning just a 7.3% swinging K rate (20% whiffs). Walden was very aggressive in attacking the zone with the cutter at a 52.4% clip. And it did a nice job mitigating hitters to a .289 xwOBA.
We saw Walden lean much more heavily on his slider this past season at 37% compared to just 13.6% in 2018. It was by far his best bat missing pitch returning an excellent 23.6% swinging K rate (44% Whiffs). It also got hitters to chase at an outstanding 49.2% while limiting hitters to just a .229 xwOBA.
Walden didn’t get a ton of time at the ig league level in Boston, but when he was at Fenway he leaned on his heat, going to his sinker just a bit more than his cutter. Sitting at 94 is great, but he needs to keep that thing down more if he hopes to cement himself on a big league roster
Thrown slightly less than his sinker, Walden’s cutter showed promise in 2018. Given he’s a one to two inning reliever, it might be in his best interest to stick with that over the sinker.
The strikeout pitch. Hitters did next to nothing with Walden’s slider in 2018. It has excellent tilt on it. Walden also has great control and feel for when to turn to this pitch.