Newcomb’s changeup came in seven ticks slower than his fastball, but the pitch got hit pretty hard, allowing a .302 ISO.
Newcomb’s curveball got a 71.4% GB rate, and thanks to a kind .190 BABIP, allowed a .095 BAA.
Newcomb’s fastball hit a career-best 94 mph average velocity, which makes sense considering he made the transition to a reliever. The pitch got an increased GB%, but still struggled with allowing homers, sporting a 14.3% HR/FB rate.
Newcomb’s slider hit the zone 45.5% of the time, the highest clip of his career, but the pitch’s SwStr% and K% suffered because of it. The pitch still performed well, allowing a 30 wRC+, but the K% fell from 52% to 33.3%.
Newcomb took a strong step forward with his fastball in his sophomore campaign. The velocity dropped ever so slightly, though that may have been deliberate on his end with the hope of finding his control. He actually threw less strikes, but found less of the plate, seeing batting average and slugging percentage against the fastball drop significantly from 2017.
Newcomb’s changeup generated less swing-and-misses in 2018 than in 2017, but hitters had a worse average and slugging percentage against the lefty. The driving force could be the fact that he had less movement, particularly horizontally, thus changing planes more quickly.
It’s practically a guarantee that hitters will pound Newcomb’s hook into the ground when they’re able to get on it. Timing is crucial with this pitch because it has a ton of tilt. It’s not flashy, but it’s very effective.
Though it has depth, Newcomb’s slider bears comparison to old school sliders that relied on horizontal action. He only uses it in small doses, though it has been a very effective pitch for him. Based on Newcomb’s 2018, he has a pretty strong feel for when he should turn to the slider.