Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games. If you see something you think should be included here be sure to tweet @PitcherList to let us know. Or, if you’re a PL+ Member and part of our Discord, shout it out in the Nastiest Pitches channel. If your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free t-shirt. If you’re not already a PL+ member, you’re missing out!
Vince Velasquez’s Knuckle Curve
Sometimes you just have to go off of the swing to get an idea of how nasty a pitch really is. Castro looks silly here so this knuckle curve from Velasquez must’ve been something.
Daniel Norris‘ Changeup
As so often happens Norris has resurfaced as a serviceable reliever. He has a good changeup that has gotten a 39.2% O-Swing%, 18.8% Swinging Strike%, and .227 wOBA.
Jhoan Duran’s Curveball
Duran was pumping 102+MPH fastballs throughout this appearance. This makes batters have to start so early that they frequently look foolish when he throws a curve. Guys who throw this hard tend to breakdown. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen to Duran.
Cody Morris‘ Changeup
Morris threw a couple of nice changeups in this AB. He is still very early in his MLB career, but the pitch gets about 2″ more drop than the average change and it has a 28.6% Swinging Strike%.
Ken Waldichuk’s Slider
Waldichuk has struggled early in his MLB career, but he had very high K rates in the minors. You’d have to think that this slider was a big reason for that. This is an impressive back-foot slider.
Framber Valdez’s Cutter
Valdez doesn’t throw his cutter much (only 9%), but it seems to appear frequently on Nastiest Pitches. It has a 19.7% Swinging Strike%, 59.5% Groundball%, and .117 wOBA. Those are good numbers. I’d say maybe he should throw it more, but he certainly seems like he knows what he is doing.
Reid Detmers‘ Slider
Much of Detmers’ success is attributed to a changed slider during work in the minors. It’s gotten above average results with a 52.3% Groundball%, .208 AVG, and .251 wOBA.
Dinelson Lamet’s Slider
Lamet has rediscovered himself as a reliever – a reliever who throws his slider 55% of the time. A 26.0% Swinging Strike%, .167 wOBA, and .185 xwOBA suggest he should keep throwing it a lot.
Daniel Bard’s Slider
Bard has been a surprisingly good closer this year. He doesn’t seem to do anything especially well, but he just limits hard contact. He has been around awhile and knows who he is and what he can do. It has worked for him in 2022.
Jacob deGrom’s Slider
deGrom’s slider only has a 6.9% Called Strike% and 30.0% Zone%, but a 52.3% Whiff% and 13.3% Hard Contact%. Maybe it is defeatist, but perhaps guys just shouldn’t swing at it, if they can recognize it in time.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)