Despaigne did not throw his changeup often in 2019, but whenever he did, it did not get good results. He gave up three hits in five at-bats, one of which was a home run. In addition, he was not able to get a single whiff or swinging strike from opposing batters.
In his first three seasons, Despaigne’s curveball usage hovered between 16% and 19%, but that number has since dropped to 8%. He got a 40% whiff rate on it in 2019, with one strikeout in five at-bats, but also allowed three hits.
Despaigne’s fastball increased in velocity by two ticks back in 2016, and he’s been able to keep it there every season since. However, he was not able to tally as many strikeouts, as he ended the season with the lowest strikeout rate of his career at 4%; his previous low was 12%.
Despaigne struggled with his cutter last year, as he gave up four hits and two walks in 12 plate appearances with a strike rate of only 50%. The good news, though, is that he was able to keep the ball in the park all season long, something he had trouble with in 2018 when he gave up four home runs in only 28 at-bats.
The sinker crushed Despaigne last year, as he gave up eight hits in 13 at-bats, with half of those going for extra bases. Since batters were squaring up on it better last season, the whiff rate naturally dropped by almost 10% from 2018.
Despaigne did not use his slider much this year, but was able to contain batters to only one hit in eight at-bats and an average exit velocity of 84 mph in six batted-ball events. He wasn’t able to put guys away as much as last year, though, as he had one strikeout in those eight at-bats compared to nine in 21 at-bats in 2018.
Despaigne’s primary pitch is his sinker. He pushed his ground-ball rate up to 56.8% with this pitch, yet was too wild, bumping his walk rate up ten percentage points.
A fine fastball, Despaigne’s second pitch may have been a bit unlucky as almost half of his balls in play ended up being a hit. He was able to limit opponents to only two extra-base hits.
Despaigne’s cutter took a step back in 2018 both in effectiveness and quantity. He allowed way too many fly balls resulting in too many home runs for it to be a successful pitch.
Despaigne’s main breaking pitch is his slider which he only started throwing in 2018. It has a good whiff rate but is a bit too predictably wild to be as effective as it could be.
Another end of the rotation pitch, Despaigne’s changeup leaves more to be desired. He gets whiffs yet when the ball is hit, it is hit well.
A pitch he throws sparingly, Despaigne’s curveball is surprisingly effective. Despite never throwing it in the zone, he gets batters swinging and missing a solid rate.