Harper’s changeup is basically a footnote at this point, only throwing it a grand total of seven times, good for 0.79% of the pitches he threw.
As the centerpiece of Harper’s arsenal, he threw his slider 59.3% of the time. Harper’s curveball is the fourth slowest pitch in all of baseball at an average velocity of 69.85 mph, which helps him get away with a fastball that doesn’t quite touch 90. That nearly 20 mph difference helped him out to a strong first season in the majors despite the fact that his ground-ball rate dropped from 61.8% in AAA in 2018 to 38.5 in the majors.
Harper is one of the rare pitchers whose fastball isn’t the feature of his arsenal, only throwing it 39.23% of the time. This is likely for the best seeing as he only averaged 89.32 mph with this pitch last season, but that didn’t get in the way of a 3.81 ERA and 3.66 FIP over 54.1 innings during his first season in the majors.
Harper’s heater certianly doesn’t overpower hitters, coming in at a tepid 88 mph. However, Harper compensates with his excellent control of the pitch hitting the zone 70% of the time with his fastball.
Harper’s secondary stuff is as sllider that isn’t great at inducing swings and misses. In the small sample we’ve seen so far the pitch has only generated a 4% SwStr%.
Harper is not known for having high heat and his curveball certainly isn’t the exception to the rule. So far the pitch has yet to hit 70 mph and averages a paltry 68 mph.