A Series: Emerging Pitches For 2020 Part 5 - Changeups
For the final article of this series, we take a look at some up and coming changeups for 2020. Below are three pitchers that could provide a lot of value in fantasy baseball drafts. I hope you all enjoyed this series and if you happen to miss the other articles you can see them here, here, here , and here.
Daniel Norris is going after pick 500 in drafts so far and I for one think he is being overlooked. One of his pitches really stands out and that happens to be his changeup. Lets glance at some of its stats and its rankings among other changeups.
30.1 K% (9th)
.087 ISO (12th)
69.1 GB% (1st)
20.1 SwStr% (12th)
.282 xwOBAcon (8th)
This pitch gets swings and misses while also giving up weak contact, those ranks are looking pretty good. He places it really well at the bottom corner of the zone and causes a lot of hitters to chase as told by its 45.1 O-Swing%. Not only that but this pitch got very unlucky with a .315 BABIP and with a .225 batting average against that came with an expected batting average of .203.
What is most impressive are the first and second half splits on his changeup. In the first half, he used this pitch 15% of the time but in the second half, he upped that usage to 26%. In doing so its Barrel% dropped from 6.7% to 2.2%. Speaking of weak contact, his GB% also increased while his xwOBAcon decreased. As for causing batters to swing and miss on the pitch his SwStr% went from 18.9% to 21.2%.
If Norris can up the usage of this pitch in 2020 I could see him providing a ton of value in drafts for 2020. With an improving changeup and above-average slider, Norris provides two breaking pitches that can keep hitters off balance. He is certainly on my sleeper list.
Close up Tyler Beede’s changeup doesn’t look like a good pitch. All you have to do is take a glance at its stats and you will see a .289 batting average against, .500 SLG, .211 ISO, and a 133 wRC+. But Beede’s changeup was extremely unlucky and this pitch can become a really good one in 2020. One that he can utilize well with his fastball especially considering the 11 MPH difference between the two.
While his changeup came with a .289 BA it did come with a .209 xBA and .354 BABIP. The worst of it all comes when you look at his changeup’s wOBAcon. Its wOBAcon in 2019 sat at .444 which is terrible, but it came with a .339 xwOBacon. That is the biggest differential of any changeup last year.
Beede’s changeup also provided an above-average 18.3 SwStr% with a decent 39.2 O-Swing%. Equip Beede with an improved changeup and we could be looking at a potential breakout. As you may have seen on twitter he was one of a handful of pitchers to have three pitches with an SwStr% of 15.0 or higher.
Thank you to everyone who has read each of these articles. It was a fun idea of mine and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed writing these. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me!