Consistently Watson’s most effective off-speed pitch, the changeup yielded a strong .275 WOBA, and a 19.9% swinging-strike rate. It has stymied hitters throughout Watson’s eight-year career, with a 25.0% K rate from 2011-2019.
Clocking at an average 93.5 mph velocity, Watson’s four-seam is hardly a ripper, and a 45.5% FB rate portends a potential for doom moving forward. A 7.9% swinging-strike rate on the pitch in 2019 was the lowest of his career.
Hitters feasted on the slider in 2019, with a .507 WOBA and just a 12.5% swinging-strike rate. Watson appears to be stepping back from the pitch, having offered it up just 88 times in 2019 — his lowest since 2015.
Watson’s main pitch kept hitters at bay. He hit the zone much more consistently than previous years being able to set up his offspeed pitches in favorable counts.
Watson took huge strides with his changeup in 2018. In the same amount of at bats he threw the pitch about 100 more times. He allowed no home runs and got a slight increase in whiff rate with a huge drop in contact percentage.
Despite a decrease in whiff rate, Watson bumped up his K rate by over ten percent with his slider. He may have been a bit lucky as he allowed about 12% less ground balls and more line drives.