Soroka’s best whiff pitch at 39.1%, the changeup was an excellent weapon for him this past season as it hit the zone 39.9% while also earning chases at a 37.8% clip. So it was just barely short of a money pitch. The changeup features excellent fade away from lefties and held opposing hitters to a meager .246 xwOBA.
Soroka actually throws his sinker quite a bit at just under 45%. The four-seam variety of his fastball he used just over 12% this past year and sat just under 93 mph. Unlike his sinker, Soroka is more apt to use the four-seamer up in the zone. It’s not a great swing and miss pitch returning a very modest 7.1% swinging K rate. And like you might’ve guessed, it wasn’t nearly as good of a groundball pitch as the sinker with an average launch angle allowed of 19 (the sinker was a true bowling ball with an ALA of -1). Still, it returned a comparatively modest xwOBA of .311 (The sinker allowed an xwOBA of .346).
Soroka has a filthy 92.3 mph sinker that he threw 44.6% of the time in 2019. Generating a sensational 63.5% ground ball rate, it was the third-ranked sinker in baseball with a 15.2 pVAL.
The slider wasn’t quite as prolific as his changeup at garnering swings and misses with a 15.9% swinging K rate and 38.5% whiff rate (the change was at 22.4% and 39.1% respectively). Still, it was a very effective pitch last year as it managed a 39% zone rate to go along with a 34.7% chase rate. Soroka’s slider features above-average drop and he did a great job commanding the pitch down and away to opposing RHB.
Soroka’s most popular pitch at 39.5% (compared to the straight four-seamer at 28.4%). It had a 20.8% whiff rate while limiting hitters to a .294 wOBA and .256 batting average and 0 average launch angle.
Soroka’s fastball averaged a fairly modest 92.6 mph while topping out at 94.9 mph. It had a 16.7% whiff rate and allowed a loud .397 wOBA and .375 batting average against opposing hitters across a brief 115-pitch sample.
Soroka’s slider showed a fairly pedestrian whiff rate at 22.7% (11.4% swinging-K rate), but he showed very good command of the pitch with a 44.3% zone rate across his brief 2018 stint (25.2 IP). The slider had above-average horizontal movement at 7 inches away from a right-hander (average is six inches) and above-average drop at 41 inches (average was 37 inches of drop).
Soroka’s changeup was a distant fourth pitch for him as he threw it just under 10% of the time. At 82.2 mph it has great velocity differential off his fastball which sits at around 92 mph. Almost all of his changeups (33/38) were thrown to lefties. It showed slightly below-average horizontal movement and drop.