The Venezuelan has been phenomenal since moving to Oakland, and continued to improve in middle-to-late inning relief, sporting an improved 2.71 ERA and extraordinary 0.81 WHIP. Bob Melvin loves to go to Petit to get out of jams, and his changeup is money against lefties. He threw it 99% of the time only to lefties, and they hit a miserly .153 BAA across 218 pitches. One of Petit’s main qualities is his exceptional command, and a 3.2% walk rate was in the top 1% of the league.
Slow and deceptive, the curve has always been a nice weapon in Petit’s arsenal. It was virtually unhittable in 2019, amassing a 34.6% whiff rate and restricted hitters to a majestic .092 xwOBA. Watch and admire.
If Petit had a plus fastball, he would be one of the top high-leverage guys in the game. But that just isn’t the case. He threw the 89.1 mph four-seamer 45.3% of the time, and just about got away with it. It has 1.8 inches of vertical drop, above league average, yet lacked bite. It left the park for seven home runs last year, too.
The cutter showed vast improvement from last year and punished hitters all season. It had a 35.8% whiff rate and allowed just nine hits in 241 pitches, only two of which went for extra bases. The pitch generates 20.5 inches of vertical movement, a whopping 7.8 inches above league average. It is an absolute monster that Petit can lean on when coming in with runners on base.
Petit’s fastball was an effective pitch, accumulating a 5.3 pVal while hitting the strike zone 59% of the time. However, the pitch failed to miss bats or induce batters to chase at a high level.
Petit was able to pepper the strike zone with his changeup at a 52.4% clip. This resulted is a minuscule walk rate on the pitch, but a .237 ISO belied a tendency to make mistakes.
Petit’s cutter was able to find the strike zone at a high rate while also depressing power. Although the pitch was not able to miss bats, it still compiled a valuable 5.8 pVal.
Petit used his curveball to great effect last year, amassing near Money Pitch status with a strong ability to miss bats, hit the strike zone, and to induce out-of-the-zone swings. Couple that with the pitch’s high K rate and low walk rate and we have what might be Petit’s best offering.