NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during their game at Yankee Stadium on July 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
As a Yankee fan, you’re normally averse to seeing lots of red. But in Dellin’s case, I’ve never been happier to see such a beautiful, deep red. Elite fastball velocity, elite fastball spin, beyond elite K%, and such great predictive outcome data on xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG. As long as Dellin can get the ball remotely near the strike zone, he’ll be one of the best relievers in the game year in and year out because that stuff is beyond electric.
What I like about Chapman’s graphic is that it can show you why his fastball is so elite. It’s not just that he throws harder than pretty much everyone else, but that his spin rate is crazy high. Combine 100 mph + with that spin, and it’s no wonder batters have such trouble catching up. The only downside here is that with such a high octane fastball, when batters hit it, they can hit it hard. But the predictive metrics are great which shows that Chapman limits the impact of those hard hit balls.
Everything here from shiny new toy Adam Ottavino looks pretty damn impressive. The fastball velocity may not be elite, but everything else is. You’ll notice that data on his slider isn’t here, and my theory on it is that they couldn’t fit it on a number line because it’s too high. Seriously, that slider is insane.
Still not used to typing Zack with a k here. This is by far the simplest one. Britton throws a hard sinker that sinks so much because it has such low spin. For 4-seamers and curveballs you want high spin rate, for sinkers you want low spin rate so that it drops more. You can see why batters can’t seem to hit Britton’s sinker in the air.
Chad Green’s plot is a little weird to me. You all know about the super high-spin fastball and strikeouts, but last year batters were able to make solid contact off him. Developing a passable secondary pitch will be crucial for Chad Green so that batters can’t just sit fastball every pitch. It will be interesting to see if his exit velocity and hard hit % numbers improve this year.
That curveball spin rate explains why the Yankees believe in Jonathan Holder. Despite below average fastball velocity, the combo of good spin rate on it and a super curveball lead to impressive predictive and outcome data here. On most other teams, a guy like Holder would be a late-inning guy yet on this ridiculous bullpen, he’s the 6th option. Insanity.
Take Tommy Kahnle’s plot with a grain of salt because it only shows his awful year last year. It will be interesting to see how he fares this year now that he’s healthy and no longer consuming a small village’s amount of RedBull.