Skip to main content

Statcast Review: Freddie Freeman, Dylan Cease, Paul Goldschmidt (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Aug 11, 2022
Dylan Cease

Dylan Cease’s slider has been one of the best pitches in all of baseball this season.

Earlier this season, we looked at Pitch Arsenal as a means to see which hitters are thriving against specific pitches — and, of course, which pitchers are dominating hitters with their own weapons. We are now firmly into the second half of the year and, while some names remain the same, we are definitely getting a clearer picture of how each player is succeeding or failing. In addition, we are not looking at xwOBA this time. Instead, we are looking at Run Value.

Statcast directly links to the explanation of Run Value, but the good news is that it is another solid metric that will tell roughly the same story. We will, as always, look at the hitters and pitchers on both ends of the spectrum.

Pitch Arsenal – Run Value: Batters

Below are two tables for Pitch Arsenal for batters, where we can see each hitter’s success against a specific pitch. The first table is sorted by Run Value high-to-low, the second table is sorted by Run Value low-to-high — where the higher number is better for hitters — and a minimum of 50 plate appearances was used as a cutoff.

Sorted High-to-Low
Player Pitch PA RV Per 100 RV xBA xSLG xwOBA HH%
Aaron Judge 4-Seamer 139 3.7 21 0.348 0.929 0.552 70.7
Aaron Judge Slider 115 3.8 20 0.268 0.645 0.437 51.5
Yordan Alvarez 4-Seamer 129 3.3 19 0.378 0.812 0.541 75.6
Juan Soto 4-Seamer 130 3.2 18 0.337 0.765 0.536 60.8
Matt Olson 4-Seamer 166 2.1 14 0.269 0.532 0.400 54.1
Francisco Lindor 4-Seamer 160 2.2 14 0.254 0.523 0.370 50.4
Trey Mancini 4-Seamer 136 2.7 13 0.302 0.563 0.415 51.0
Paul Goldschmidt Slider 108 2.5 13 0.204 0.376 0.310 40.3
Jackie Bradley Jr. 4-Seamer 92 3.1 13 0.284 0.479 0.359 50.0
Jeff McNeil Sinker 83 4.6 13 0.337 0.496 0.407 35.3
Wilmer Flores Sinker 81 4.8 13 0.321 0.485 0.371 42.9
Will Smith Sinker 74 4.6 13 0.355 0.685 0.481 58.5
Luis Arraez 4-Seamer 159 1.9 12 0.330 0.463 0.404 32.8
Kyle Tucker 4-Seamer 153 2.3 12 0.285 0.578 0.417 43.2
Christian Yelich 4-Seamer 137 1.8 12 0.318 0.518 0.416 54.5
Nico Hoerner Slider 93 4.0 12 0.326 0.415 0.340 37.3
Freddie Freeman Changeup 71 4.8 12 0.328 0.573 0.419 42.1
Rhys Hoskins 4-Seamer 160 1.8 11 0.272 0.525 0.384 47.7
Anthony Rizzo 4-Seamer 150 1.9 11 0.243 0.518 0.383 52.9
Jose Ramirez 4-Seamer 149 1.8 11 0.250 0.421 0.348 37.7
Sorted Low-to-High
Player Pitch PA RV Per 100 RV xBA xSLG xwOBA HH%
Javier Baez Slider 141 -2.9 -14.0 0.167 0.249 0.196 23.6
Jonathan Schoop 4-Seamer 132 -2.7 -14.0 0.238 0.337 0.288 46.2
Charlie Blackmon 4-Seamer 152 -2.2 -13.0 0.231 0.366 0.288 38.7
Jake Cronenworth 4-Seamer 175 -1.6 -12.0 0.190 0.281 0.291 28.2
Kole Calhoun 4-Seamer 112 -2.4 -12.0 0.252 0.433 0.315 46.3
Myles Straw 4-Seamer 177 -1.5 -11.0 0.246 0.316 0.299 33.1
Avisail Garcia Slider 112 -3.4 -11.0 0.185 0.263 0.211 36.6
Gio Urshela Slider 106 -3.0 -11.0 0.218 0.342 0.250 33.3
Kyle Isbel 4-Seamer 82 -3.9 -11.0 0.233 0.381 0.280 47.4
Leury Garcia 4-Seamer 108 -2.6 -10.0 0.238 0.387 0.294 43.3
Brett Phillips 4-Seamer 98 -2.3 -10.0 0.150 0.230 0.224 30.8
Marcell Ozuna Sinker 80 -3.4 -10.0 0.248 0.453 0.328 43.1
Austin Hedges Slider 67 -4.0 -10.0 0.143 0.181 0.150 12.5
Geraldo Perdomo 4-Seamer 128 -1.8 -9.0 0.214 0.292 0.282 25.3
Trevor Story 4-Seamer 109 -1.7 -9.0 0.195 0.354 0.298 47.2
Bryson Stott 4-Seamer 105 -2.0 -9.0 0.193 0.294 0.266 32.8
Alex Verdugo Slider 80 -3.4 -9.0 0.259 0.343 0.268 31.8
Chas McCormick Slider 74 -3.4 -9.0 0.149 0.255 0.209 31.8
Ernie Clement 4-Seamer 51 -4.0 -9.0 0.196 0.317 0.296 42.9
Nick Castellanos Slider 138 -1.7 -8.0 0.236 0.352 0.266 23.6

Notes

  • The hitters’ section always starts the same. Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez have been punishing baseballs all season, and they lead yet another table here. Most impressively, Judge has hit two different pitches better than anyone else in the league has hit a single pitch type. To appear this high with both a fastball and slider is another highlight in what has become a career-defining year. Judge is the only player to be listed twice on the top chart.
  • As mentioned in the first blurb of this article, fastballs will largely dominate the chart. That’s easy to see, but it also makes it even more extraordinary when a hitter is feasting on sliders and sinkers. Paul Goldschmidt is also having an outstanding year, and he’s doing it by punishing sliders that aren’t fooling him. Nico Hoerner isn’t in the same class as Goldschmidt, but the young infielder has easily eclipsed his prior high for plate appearances and seems to be growing into a difficult out by taking away opposing sliders.
  • Even though Judge and Alvarez lead the charge in RV, Wilmer Flores and Freddie Freeman deserve recognition for ranking top among the group in RV-per-100. Neither of these players’ respective pitch types was thrown as often as many others saw fastballs, so Flores and Freeman are operating with extreme efficiency.
  • And then there’s Javier Baez. For almost every article that starts with Judge and Alvarez, there is one that ends with Baez. As of this writing, he is batting a paltry .220 and is on pace for fewer than 17 home runs on the season. The most concerning part for Baez is that pitchers are clearly beating him with a slider, which means that they don’t have to feed him a fastball and challenge him as a hitter. Baez’s teammate, Jonathan Schoop, is tied for the worst RV, and he is routinely getting bested by fastballs. Not coincidentally, the Detroit Tigers are averaging the fewest runs per game in the league.

Pitch Arsenal – Run Value: Pitchers

Below are two tables for Pitch Arsenal for pitchers, where we can see the success of each specific pitch. The first table is sorted by Run Value low-to-high, the second table is sorted by Run Value high-to-low — where the lower number is better for pitchers — and a minimum of 50 plate appearances was used as a cutoff.

Sorted Low-to-High
Player Pitch PA RV Per 100 RV xBA xSLG xwOBA HH%
Dylan Cease Slider 228 -3.4 -30 0.130 0.189 0.173 18.8
Corbin Burnes Cutter 302 -1.7 -21 0.238 0.352 0.305 39.7
Shohei Ohtani Slider 153 -2.7 -17 0.186 0.316 0.245 37.8
Carlos Rodon 4-Seamer 327 -1.2 -16 0.218 0.353 0.282 45.9
Justin Verlander 4-Seamer 240 -1.6 -16 0.250 0.424 0.318 42.3
Dillon Tate Sinker 117 -3.8 -15 0.262 0.368 0.288 40.8
Sandy Alcantara Changeup 171 -2.3 -14 0.177 0.239 0.215 28.7
Edwin Diaz Slider 118 -3.7 -14 0.126 0.159 0.155 32.6
Chris Bassitt Sinker 176 -2.0 -13 0.247 0.401 0.321 34.3
Tony Gonsolin Splitter 144 -2.7 -13 0.186 0.262 0.201 31.9
Ryan Helsley 4-Seamer 101 -3.3 -13 0.161 0.272 0.226 42.9
Yimi Garcia 4-Seamer 80 -4.6 -13 0.144 0.224 0.195 34.7
Cristian Javier 4-Seamer 273 -1.1 -12 0.190 0.343 0.287 40.7
Gerrit Cole 4-Seamer 263 -1.0 -12 0.194 0.352 0.270 45.8
Spencer Strider 4-Seamer 261 -1.1 -12 0.215 0.356 0.295 42.8
Joe Ryan 4-Seamer 227 -1.3 -12 0.211 0.391 0.302 42.2
Zack Wheeler 4-Seamer 202 -1.6 -12 0.218 0.365 0.280 48.0
Aaron Nola 4-Seamer 167 -1.6 -12 0.182 0.351 0.262 32.4
Trevor Williams 4-Seamer 153 -2.3 -12 0.215 0.348 0.268 41.7
Max Scherzer Slider 81 -3.7 -12 0.131 0.173 0.141 15.6
Sorted High-to-Low
Player Pitch PA RV Per 100 RV xBA xSLG xwOBA HH%
Chad Kuhl Sinker 175 2.5 18 0.350 0.592 0.439 52.6
Patrick Corbin Slider 158 2.9 18 0.244 0.424 0.320 38.8
Joan Adon 4-Seamer 209 2.1 17 0.288 0.539 0.417 41.0
Kyle Bradish 4-Seamer 144 2.9 17 0.312 0.532 0.399 43.1
Austin Gomber 4-Seamer 167 2.3 16 0.322 0.516 0.399 44.5
Josiah Gray 4-Seamer 186 1.9 15 0.261 0.627 0.426 46.0
Vladimir Gutierrez 4-Seamer 98 4.3 15 0.252 0.533 0.396 53.7
Nick Pivetta Curveball 144 2.5 14 0.256 0.378 0.295 44.4
Jose Berrios 4-Seamer 152 2.2 13 0.323 0.614 0.425 55.7
Madison Bumgarner 4-Seamer 140 2.1 13 0.279 0.544 0.393 49.5
Jose Quintana Changeup 106 3.1 13 0.292 0.424 0.351 40.5
Patrick Corbin Sinker 234 1.7 12 0.313 0.532 0.397 51.7
Kris Bubic 4-Seamer 178 1.7 12 0.298 0.506 0.393 48.0
German Marquez 4-Seamer 153 2.0 12 0.298 0.486 0.388 50.4
Patrick Corbin 4-Seamer 104 2.6 12 0.317 0.515 0.388 45.7
Chris Archer 4-Seamer 98 2.3 12 0.327 0.537 0.411 51.4
Hunter Greene 4-Seamer 229 1.2 11 0.271 0.537 0.395 49.3
Trevor Rogers 4-Seamer 208 1.3 11 0.292 0.535 0.406 47.3
Antonio Senzatela 4-Seamer 189 1.5 11 0.325 0.506 0.383 47.5
Kyle Wright 4-Seamer 111 2.5 11 0.286 0.555 0.413 54.2

Notes

  • Dylan Cease’s slider is outrageous. It’s one thing to lead the league in RV, but it’s another to lead by such a cavernous gap. Corbin Burnes — whose cutter is also incredible — is closer to each of the six pitchers that follow him on the list than he is to Cease. Not surprisingly, Cease is throwing his slider at a career-high rate, and it has actually surpassed his fastball as his most-used pitch. The same is true of Burnes’ cutter, which he now features on more than half of his pitches.
  • In the hitters’ section, it was clear that fastballs were likely going to lead the way for success at the plate. Conversely, we should expect to see fewer fastballs from the pitchers who rank atop their own list. Not so fast. Eleven pitchers — which makes up more than half of the table — are throwing 4-seam fastballs with outstanding results. Justin Verlander has been throwing that pitch successfully for years, but Carlos Rodon is tied with him in RV when limited to only fastballs.
  • When it comes to ranking the pitchers by their efficiency — using RV-per-100 instead of RV — then it makes sense to see so many relievers atop the list. That’s where Max Scherzer breaks the trend. He remains flat-out excellent, and he continues to flourish when going to his slider. Like the aforementioned Verlander, Scherzer has been doing this for years, but we should still recognize the greatness in front of us.
  • Seeing so many 4-seam fastballs on the last table featured in this article goes right along with the trend we noted earlier. Still, we can’t ignore what this means for each pitcher. At one point, it is basically a necessity to lean on the fastball and, if they can’t do it with confidence, they can’t do it at all. One name that is surprising to find on this latest list is Kyle Wright, as he is having an incredibly good season to the tune of a 13-5 record and 3.22 ERA. It is clear that wins by a pitcher is not the only metric that matters, but to have those numbers with relatively poor marks from the fastball is interesting. It either means that Wright can actually do better if his fastball can improve or that we are witnessing a pitcher on the cusp of a potential collapse. This is likely why Wright has turned to his curveball more than any other pitch in his arsenal.

Have something you want me to cover in this space, or do you just want to talk baseball? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @MarioMergola with questions or requests.

SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.

Mario Mergola is a featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros and the creator and content editor of Sporfolio. For more from Mario, check out his archive and follow him @MarioMergola.

Featured, Featured Link, MLB, sabermetrics