Stephenson’s third offering, the changeup, isn’t used in heavy rotation, but he carried a 26.3% K-rate with the pitch in 2019.
Woes with the free pass come almost exclusively from an inability to control the heater. The nearly 20% walk rate with the pitch has shown his consistent inconsistency to throw it.
A major plus pitch with an O-Swing rate above 50% in 2019, Stephenson’s slider is a beauty, but a .126 BAA is likely unsustainable, especially when paired with a .205 BABIP.
Stephenson doubled his slider usage last season, and it did a nice job of being around the zone and getting whiffs. He threw more sliders than four-seamers, which makes sense given their respective performances.
Stephenson cut way back on four-seamer usage in 2018, and he should continue doing so. The pitch had a negative pitch value for the third consecutive season and gave up an insane .526 batting average across four appearances.
Stephenson’s third pitch is his changeup, and it fared well in a limited capacity last season. Batters hit just .111 against the pitch, and increased usage could alleviate Stephenson’s struggles against lefties.
The curveball is Stephenson’s fourth pitch, and he only threw 13 in four appearances last season. It went for strikes at a good rate, albeit in a tiny sample.