Hirano only three sliders in 2019, as his main offering are his four-seam and split-finger fastballs. The three pitches averaged 73 mph and had above-average depth, with -41% less break than the major league avergage.
Thrown 48% of the time as the other side of his split-finger fastball, Hirano’s four-seamer averages 91 mph, which is seven ticks higher than the splitter, with average depth
Hirano throws his splitter 51.7% of the time, with it sitting at 84 mph – around a 7 mph slower than his fastball. The pitch induced a 21.1% SwStr% and ended the year with a 32.8% K-rate and .213 batting average. A great complement to the diving action of the splitter, with average depth but great late break that moved 32% more break than the major league average.
Hirano’s four-seamer had some good movement, though it topped out at just 94 mph and didn’t generate many swinging strikes. A .267 BABIP against mitigated most of the damage though, and opponents hit just .233 with a .303 wOBA against it.
For a two-pitch pitcher that throws both pitches in equal measure, it’s impressive that Hirano was able to rack up an 18.9% whiff rate on his splitter. This was thanks in large part to the above-average drop the pitch had, which generated an elite 44.9% chase rate. Even when opponents made contact, they couldn’t do anything, managing a mere .185 average and .269 slugging percentage against it.