Miley’s changeup suppressed contact en route to a 10.9 pVAL in 2019. O-Contact rate against the off-speed pitch fell 11.8% from 2018 to 49.2%, and Z-Contact rate dropped 10.2% to 77.6%.
Miley’s curveball usage dropped by 50% upon joining the Astros this year which is odd seeing as it was one of his better pitches last year. He generates an above average horizontal movement compared to the league which helped make the pitch very effective at generating whiffs (29% or a 6% increase from last year).
Miley had a hard time keeping the ball outside of the center/upper part of the strikezone which resulted in an average launch angle of 15 degrees, an exit velocity of 90 mph and ultimately 6 home runs allowed. The good news is batters hit only .228 against this pitch, so there still is potential to it he just needs to keep it low in the zone.
The cutter is a pitch Miley started utilizing much more last year and saw a 6% increase in usage this year. After having a lot of success with it last year, he struggled with keeping it in the park this season allowing 12 home runs on 299 at bats versus only 2 last year in 138. In that same time span, he saw an increase in batting average against his cutter go from .196 to .278.
Miley did not throw his slider often but when he did he had trouble locating it with a strike% of only 17%. Among the 3 hits allowed by the pitch, one of them left the park. It’s safe to say we won’t be seeing this pitch more often in the future.
Thrown about 41.6% of the time and averaging 87.5 mph in 2018, the cutter was an impressive offering. Opponents hit just .190/.258/.303 against the pitch. Yes, the .112 BABIP against it was very low, but was supported by a strong 52.5% ground-ball rate and just a 7.4% HR/FB rate. All told, it was worth an 11.0 pVal.
The curveball was the second-most used pitch in Miley’s repertoire in 2018 and his second-best pitch according to pVal, with a 1.9 mark. A 78.6% contact rate along with a quality 58.1% ground-ball rate contributed to a .212/.263/.288 slash line against the pitch.
Very quietly, Miley’s changeup was one of his better pitches in 2018, according to pVal, with a 1.3 mark. It featured a 13% swinging-strike rate and he managed contact well thanks to a 41% O-swing rate and 51% ground-ball rate. Opposing hitters managed a .310/.333/.379 slash line against the pitch.
Averaging 91.2 mph in 2018, the fastball took some steps forward. A 16.3% improvement in contact rate for the pitch from 2017 was unfortunately held back by a .412 BABIP, leading to a .259 batting average against the pitch. It was worth a -0.5 pVal.
Thrown about 9.9% of the time in 2018, Miley’s two-seam fastball was not an effective pitch. He struggled to command it, and that, along with a 92.3% Z-contact rate against the pitch, contributed to a .364/.611/.455 slash line.
Only throwing 38 sliders in 2018, Miley struggled to command the pitch, as evidenced by a low zone rate of 29.3% and a 9.1% walk rate. And while it generated a solid 12.1% swinging-strike rate, a .400 BABIP led to a subpar .400 batting average against. All told, it was worth a -1.1 pVal.