Carpenter used his changeup against righties to middling effect, as its SwStr% and zone rate both dove. While it had above-average movement across both axes at 83.3 mph, it not only failed to miss bats, but when it found them, batters registed a 215 WRC+.
While his curveball boasted elite spin and movement in 2019, its results dropped off hard from its 2018 results, where it approached being a Money Pitch in a small sample. In 2019, it registered just a 8.6 SwStr% and 25.0% O-Swing en route to a -2.3 pVAL.
Carpenter’s four-seamer averaged just 90.5 mph, and largely targeted the high inside corner against righties. With just a 3.3 SwStr% and two consecutive seasons with a WRC+ above 248, this pitch has offered Carpenter little, but at least its usage reflects that.
While its SwStr% dropped 3.3% last year, Carpenter’s slider saw better results at least in part because of an increased O-Swing% and zone rate. But regression from a very unlucky 40% HR/FB rate to just a 10.5% mark in 2019 and from a .364 BABIP to .250 in 2019 may have been the reason for its 3.6 pVAL.
There’s a reason Carpenter throws his four–seam less than 30% of the time. It’s 90 mph, relatively straight, and has allowed an insane .538 batting average against. Carpenter has a different fastball he can trust.
The slider is Carpenter’s go-to secondary pitch, as evidenced by a 38.5% strikeout rate against. However, the .911 OPS against his slider paints a different picture: Hitters are teeing off against it because he throws it in the zone too often.
Carpenter’s two-seam fastball has not been an effective pitch for him. It averages just under 90 mph and garners fewer than two swings and misses per 100 thrown.
The changeup has allowed a .538 batting average against it in a limited sample. It does have very good movement and is one of Carpenter’s best swing-and-miss pitches. A lower zone percentage for this pitch could provide better results.
Of Carpenter’s five pitches, he utilizes the curve least often. In limited use, it has held hitters to a .176 average with a solid swinging-strike rate.