A 27.1% swinging-strike rate? Check. A 44.4% zone rate? Yep. A 41.6% chase rate? You betcha. Kahnle’s primary offering earns its Money Pitch distinction, sporting a 12.9 pVAL to reflect its accolades. Kahnle’s dominant changeup erased opposing batters with a dominant 50.4% strikeout rate.
Kahnle’s fastball usage has been on the decline over the past few seasons which is a direct result of his changeup usage increasing in the same timespan. He had better results this year after struggling with it last season, seeing opponent batting average drop from .383 to .287 and walk rate decrease by half to 10%. He was also able to gain back the velocity he lost last season when it dropped to a career-low 95 mph.
Kahnle rarely used his slider this year (4%) which is not necessarily surprising if we take into account his sudden increase in changeup utilization. Just like last season, he gave up a home run in only five plate appearances with the slider but this time had two fewer strikeouts (one).
Most likely due to shoulder and bicep issues, Kahnle’s fastball decreased over two mph. Additionally, he lost a bit of command. This all led to hitters making better contact with a .383 batting average and .277 ISO against. If he can get healthy and return to 2017 form, expect better things from this pitch.
One of his better pitches, Kahnle kept striking out hitters with his changeup. His swinging-strike rate stayed around 20% but he did allow much more fly balls than previous years.
Kahnle only threw his slider about 5% of the time. This pitch’s velocity dropped about three mph which may have been the result of an ongoing shoulder and bicep injury.