Having gradually developed a more effective curveball, Clevinger’s changeup use dropped in 2019. It was hit more often (.296 BAA), but not hit hard (.074 ISO). It’s a valuable, albeit not devastating, fourth pitch for the young star.
This is Mike’s fourth pitch but it is still a plus offering that generated a solid 56.8 GB% whilst not allowing a walk or a homer. It would be nice to see Clevinger make some improvements to increase the SwStr% (an ok 13.8% last year) and take advantage of his above average 59.6 inches of drop.
Clevinger did exactly what he needed to do to improve his four-seamer last season. He added more velocity (a 2 mph bump to 95.4 mph) and reduced his BB%. That resulted in a lovely 36.1 K%. He was more in control but as aggressive as ever with the pitch, which gave up 15 HRs in 2018 but only 7 last year.
Look, to be honest I am here for the slider and this one’s a beauty! Commanding a tasty 20.8 SwStr% alongside a 44.1% groundball rate, Clevinger can toy with hitters before unleashing this beast. It would be nice to see him push the pitch a little more in the zone to increase the 38.6 O-Swing% and turn this into a Money Pitch. Still, he is still young and has shown clear sings of pitch development. Batters only hit .174 against his slider, look for that to come down even further in 2020.
Clevinger’s fastball is a fine primary offering, and it sits at about 94 mph. This pitch gave up 15 home runs, but he did improve its swinging-strike rate a bit over the past year. It is effective enough to set up his other pitches, which are his bread and butter.
His main out pitch, Clevinger’s slider had an 18.7% swinging-strike rate with a nearly 40% chase rate. The more impressive side of his slider is control. He hit the zone almost 50% of the time. Most batted balls ended up in the air, but he kept the ball in the park with a 4.7% HR/FB rate.
Another solid pitch, Clevinger’s changeup was used about the same amount as his curve. It wasn’t his go-to strikeout pitch, but he kept the ball on the ground and kept hitters to a .217 batting average against.
Clevinger’s curveball was a solid fourth pitch that got results. It carried a swinging-strike rate of 18.8% and a chase rate of 38.7%, resulting in a strikeout rate of almost 40%. It is a great pitch among a great repertoire.