Hill only threw his slider (which Baseball Savant identifies as a cutter) four times in 2019, averaging 84.5 mph and getting 38% more break than the major-league average.
Hill’s curve has been a mainstay of his arsenal, he threw it 46% of the time in his injury-shortened 2019. He added more vertical and horizontal movement after setting career highs in 2018. Hitters registered a .264 xWOBA against it. We all hope the 39 year old can come back around the All Star break and propell the Twins to the post-season.
Rich Hill only threw his changeup seven times in 2019, with the pitch averaging 82.1 mph, getting average drop and 12% less break than the major-league average. The pitch was actually never thrown to a single batter more than once: The very definition of the occasional change-of-pace changeup.
Still keeping afloat above the 90 mph threshold, Hill threw his four-seamer 52% of the time in 2019, resulting in a .229 BAA and 33% K rate. Not bad for the old man, who gets 56% more horizontal break on his heater versus the major-league average, and gets a 10.8% swinging-strike rate.
Hill’s four-seam fastball had a 7.5 pVal in 2018—a solid mark but a step back from the 16.5 it posted in 2017 and 13.0 in 2016. The pitch’s strikeout rate fell a bit compared to Hill’s last few seasons, but its swinging-strike percentage and zone rate remained about the same. Hill’s bread and butter should continue to be the fastball/curveball combo.
Hill’s repertoire is almost exclusively four-seam fastball/curveball, as he throws them over 90% of the time. His curveball moved more than ever in 2018, with career highs in both vertical and horizontal movement. The pitch generated ground balls at a steady rate, though it regressed in chase and whiff rates. Hill will continue to rely on the curve as his primary breaking pitch.