Tyson Ross threw his four-seamer 34% of the time in 2019, which is down from the mid-40s we typically see from him, which was probably for the best. It averaged just a hair under 90mph and was crushed by opposing hitters. Batters swung and missed 8 times in 202 pitches, and stacked up a scorching wOBA of .425.
Ross’ cutter looks remarkably similar to his four-seamer, but yields slightly better results. It’s about a mile per hour slower and breaks a couple of inches more, allowing it to generate whiffs at a 17.1% clip, nearly double the four-seamer. It was much more effective out of the zone (30.8% whiff rate), and Ross could have more success if he’s able to skirt the zone with it a bit more.
The slider is Ross’s best pitch by far, and it looks just like his four-seamer and cutter until the bottom suddenly falls out. He averaged nearly 43 inches of break at 83.6mph and put batters away with a 47.6% K rate. Cleary, this is his out pitch if he’s able to get to 2 strikes.
The four-seam is Velasquez’s primary offering, but he decreased its use in favor of his slider and sinker in 2018. He saw an increase in drop of two inches but also improved his SwStr% by about 2.5%. While an elevated BABIP limited the pitch value of his four-seamer, Velasquez improved the swing and miss and pop-up rates by throwing it up in the zone more often.
The slider is Ross’s signature breaking pitch and he increased its usage in 2018. While the slider isn’t the dominant pitch it once was, it still gets results, with a 30.2% K rate and a .200 batting average against. Unfortunately for Ross, it no longer generates ground balls at a 60% rate, so home runs may become an issue going forward.
Ross featured the cutter a bit more in 2018, which is basically a cross between his four-seam and his great slider. The cutter saw negative results in terms of pitch value and allowed a 158 wRC+. Ross can throw the cutter for strikes and has been successful at generating more swings and misses and swings outside the zone.
The two-seamer is not a pitch that is meant to miss bats, with just a 0.7% SwStr rate. Ross is able to throw it for strikes and induce groundballs with it at an incredible rate, over 70% in 2018. However, with a significant decrease in horizontal and vertical movement, Ross should eliminate this pitch in favor of the cutter going forward.
Ross dabbled a bit with a changeup in 2018, which he hasn’t thrown more than a handful of times since 2014. The changeup is very straight and has a velocity differential of only five mph from the four-seam fastball. Ross was not successful at getting swings and misses with the change and should not feature this pitch in 2019.