A huge part of his 2018 success, Strahm’s changeup was just okay in 2019, but offers a safe and unexciting 4th pitch,
Strahm had total command of his curveball in 2019, showing flashes of an elite pitch in the making. He held opposing hitters to just a .176 BAA and has allowed just a .190 BAA over the course of his career.
Historically a plus pitch for Strahm, batters teed off on his heater for 13 dingers in 2019. A .323 ISO on the pitch seems the outlier for his career, but he’ll face big troubles if the pitch doesn’t show up for him in 2020.
Strahm’s slider has been indicative of Strahm himself. There’s been inconsistencies with the offering, but at times it’s been effective. It may well be the key to his success, or failure, as a big league arm.
Strahm gained more control over his primary pitch, keeping hitters to an impressive .202 batting average. He was able to keep the ball in the zone while simultaneously generating more whiffs.
Strahm had decent control over his slider last season, but the most impressive stat is his 23.5% swinging-strike rate on it. In 39 plate appearances, batters hit .114 without any extra-base hits against it.
Strahm’s changeup was elite last season, as hitters struggled to make solid contact. Players only triple-slashed .156/.191/.244 against the pitch in 47 plate appearances in 2018.
It says a lot about Strahm that his weakest offspeed offering, his curveball, gave up a .671 OPS. Perhaps he should rely more on his change and slider, but make no mistake: Strahm is a dangerous pitcher with four dangerous offerings.