Givens’ changeup comes in ten ticks slower than his fastball, which is great seperation. The pitch had a ground-ball rate north of 70% for the second consecutive season.
Baseball’s funny sometimes. Givens managed to improve his SwStr%, Z-Contact%, and K% (26.4% to 36.5%), but thanks to a juiced ball, gave up more homers off his fastball than he had over the previous 2.5 years.
Despite an 11.9% SwStr%, Givens’ slider finished with a K% below 20% for the second consecutive season.
As his primary pitch, Givens’ fastball can almost hit 100 mph. This is one of the main reasons he relies on it 75% of the time. He kept batters to a .217 batting average against while pounding the zone at over 60% of the time. If he can keep the ball in the park, this pitch should remain a success.
Givens’ slider is decent. He keeps the ball on the ground but does not generate swings and misses as you would expect with a slider. The balls put in play though were usually handled well by fielders resulting in a .215 wOBA against.
Overall, Givens’ changeup took a step back in 2018. He allowed a lot more contact than previous seasons. He hit the zone a bit more but still only at a 25% rate. He only throws it ahead of the count as he rarely draws walks with it. He does get batters to chase almost 40% of the time so it still is a pitch to use in his mix.
A pitch he rarely throws, Givens’ two-seamer has quite a bit more movement than his four-seamer. It may be worth throwing in the mix a bit more to play off the four-seamer.