Used almost exclusively versus righties Braults changeup was effective in 2019, generating a 2.0 pVAL partially thanks to a 60% ground-ball rate. He did allow more walks than strikeouts with it, so its positive value could be a product of a low BABIP.
Barely thrown in 2019, Brault’s curveball is one of the slowest in the majors. The one plate appearance that ended using his curveball was a hit-by-pitch, so maybe he should not use this pitch at all.
In just the 16th percentile for velocity, Braults fastball was fairly bad, being worth -5.7 pVAL and allowing 10 home runs on the pitch alone. The home runs were no fluke either, as he allowed an xSLG of .501 with a launch angle against of 16 degrees. No bueno.
Back-to-back seasons sporting a 30% HR-FB rate is cause for alarm, but Brault’s slider made enough gains elsewhere (chase rate up 12%, contact rate down 15.2%, swinging-strike rate reached a career-best 22%) to earn a positive pVAL for the first time in his major-league tenure.
Brault threw his four-seamer a little less in 2018 at 45.4% as opposed to 58.1% in 2017. The four-seamer also showed an increase in whiff rate to 22% from 17.5% in 2017. Overall it was a slightly below-average pitch with a -0.8 pVal.
Brault’s sinker had decent batted-ball results this year limiting hitters to a .328 wOBA and a .258 batting average. Much better than last year’s .456 wOBA and .428 batting average. It also had a notably higher whiff rate this year at 22.6% as opposed to 12.1% in 2017.
Brault added a cutter to his arsenal this past year and threw it 16% of the time. It had a good whiff rate of 28.1% and was an overall effective pitch limiting hitters to a .194 batting average and .277 wOBA.
The lefty Brault featured his changeup almost exclusively to righties (206/212). The results were good as it limited opposing hitters to just a .286 wOBA and .242 batting average. It also got a fair amount of whiffs at 33.8%.
Brault used his slider noticeably less in 2018 at just 4.1% compared to 13.1% in 2017. The batted-ball results were horrendous including a .536 wOBA and .467 batting average allowed.
Brault barely used his curve last year (1.9%) which oddly enough is identical to his usage in 2017. The results were thoroughly uninspiring with an 8.3% whiff rate and .582 wOBA allowed.