Harvey’s changeup was his most improved pitch of 2019, spiking up to 0.6 generated pitch value compared to -8.5 generated value in 2018. It lost almost 1.5 mph between seasons from 87.2 mph to 85.8 mph, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, seeing as his fastball also continues to lose velocity.
After decreasing his reliance on this pitch every season between 2013 and 2018, Harvey hit a new career-high usage for his curveball in 2019 after throwing it 15.55% of the time. It wasn’t exactly an effective pitch for him, though, generating a -5.2 pitch value over his 59.2 innings on the mound.
It’s been a rough few seasons for Harvey since his 2015 season, and one of the biggest changes in his approach on the mound is a significant decrease in the use of his fastball. He only threw it 46.66% of the time in 2018, down from 59.4% of the time in 2018 and down from his career-high 65.4% rate during his rookie season. It’s also continued to lose velocity, down to a new low of 93.2 mph last season from his previous high of 95.9 mph in 2015.
Harvey has been relying on his slider more often every season since 2015, when he only threw the pitch 14.1% of the time. He threw this pitch 27.48% of the time in 2019, and while it was one of two pitches to generate a positive pitch value with a 1.8 rating, it was still down a full 7 points from 2018’s 8.8 generated value.
The primary pitch in his repertoire, Harvey’s four-seamer was once lethal. This has not been the case the past few years as Harvey has seen dips in both swinging-strike rate as well as chase rate. The pitch which once sported a .215/.272/.297 triple slash has regressed sharply as seen by Harvey’s .280/.339/.487 triple slash with the pitch last year.
Harvey’s fall from grace has not been pleasant, but it seems like his slider has not regressed as much as other pitches. The pitch hit the strike zone half the time last season, and held hitters to a triple slash of .210/.240/.321.
Harvey never truly dominated with his changeup, but still put up positive pVals in his first two seasons with the pitch. Since then things have gone downhill and hit rock bottom last season with the pitch generating a -3.5 pVal/C.
The least utilized pitch in Harvey’s arsenal was his curveball which was pretty average. The pitch allowed a 105 wRC+ but he only got hitters to chase the pitch 25% of the time. If Harvey can recapture the deception his curveball used to command, he can improve that stat next season.