Ray’s curve resulted in many more hits and less strikeouts in 2019. Hitters were able to lay off this pitch out of the zone more often but still can’t hit it if they do swing. He ended up getting far less ground balls and many more line drives off the curve than usual as well.
Ray’s fastball lost about 1.5 mph in 2019 but managed to be much more effective than 2018. He struck out more and walked less getting less contact on pitches out of the zone. He keeps hitters to limited success with this pitch.
The Diamondbacks ace registered his third straight winning season back up by a solid 235 strikeouts, good enough for 5th in the NL. The excellent break on his slider makes it simply filthy to watch. A tasty 21.9% SwStr% thanks to upping his usage from 25.5% to 30.8% served him well. We could well see the slider more in 2020.
After two seasons of double-digit pitch values, Ray’s four-seamer declined drastically in 2018. Its velocity remained consistent, but contact and line-drive rates increased. Ray needs to miss more bats with the four-seamer.
Ray increased his slider usage to over 25% in 2018, a career high. The pitch had massive whiff and strikeout rates for the third straight season. Ray’s breaking balls are simply filthy.
Ray throws the curveball and slider fairly equally, and both are effective. He added vertical movement to the curveball in 2018, and batters continued to flail away at it. The pitch allowed a .169 batting average with a 42.9% strikeout rate.