Out% for Fantasy Baseball Week 12

Taylor Tarter breaks down the Out% leaderboard for Week 12

The Out% leader heading into week 12 is Sonny Gray, whose sweeper has a 33.3% Out Rate. That is 14.8% above league average for that pitch. He remains the overall leader, adding nearly a percentage point to his sweeper from last week.

The top-10 overall out pitches in baseball includes Jameson Taillon’s sweeper, Pedro Avila’s changeup, Bailey Falter’s sinker, Javier Assad’s curveball, Yimi Garcia’s fastball, and Marcus Stroman’s slider. The top-10 also features splitters from Bryce Miller and Reed Garrett.

Below are the individual pitches, the top performers in Out%, and a few notes on some of the pitchers who are performing well and those who are struggling. You can find more information in our weekly Out% Google Sheet.

Average Out%

Here are the average Out Rates for each pitch. We will use this to measure how well a pitcher has performed versus the league average. They will likely fluctuate slightly from week to week.

Fastball (FF) – 16.6%

Slider (SL) – 18.2%

Curveball (CU) – 17.9%

Changeup (CH) – 19.6%

Sweeper (ST) – 18.5%

Sinker (SI) – 18%

Cutter (FC) – 16.5%

Splitter (FS) – 20.8%

Fastball Out% Leaders

As I review the Out% leaderboard for each pitch, please note that they are based on pitchers who have thrown a league-average amount of pitches for each pitch. This helps separate starters from most relievers.

Of the 11 players ranked in the top-10 of fastball Out Rate, just Frankie Montas and George Kirby possess an ERA worse than league average, though Kirby’s xFIP, xERA, and SIERA all are above league average. This continues to show the close ties between having an above average Out% on a fastball and having an ERA that is better than league average.

Fastball Out% Leaders (16.6% League Average)

Mitchell Parker’s fastball has just a .198 batting average against, yet whiff and putaway rates below 15%. While he does not induce many strikeouts, he does induce putouts. And the fact that he can get them on a fastball is impressive. He gets nearly seven feet of extension and creates 16.5 inches of induced vertical break – a tick above league average. Parker also tosses a splitter, a curveball, and a slider, and his ability to sequence them with his fastball has also been an asset leading to both real life and fantasy baseball success.

Here are some noteworthy pitchers whose fastballs have not been effective this season.

Cutter, Sinker, and Splitter Out% Leaders

Some of the pitchers below toss these pitches in addition to their fastball. Others use these pitches in lieu of a fastball. Pitchers who have above average Out% on these pitches and fastballs are definitely pitchers to target.

Cutter Out% Leaders (16.5% League Average)

Sinker Out% Leaders (18% League Average)

Splitter Out% Leaders (20.8% League Average)

By Out%, Logan Gilbert has the fourth-best cutter in baseball. According to our PLV leaderboard, his cutter ranks 13thoverall. It is an exceptional pitch, and one of four that he tosses that has a BAA of .200 or lower, and whiff and putaway rates above 20%. He gets a ton of release extension, which helps the ball seem faster than its typical 92 MPH. Here he is using it to get a punchout:

While Zack Wheeler’s sinker does not induce many whiffs – just 18% – it is still one of his most effective out pitches. It has a 32% putaway rate, which is the highest of all of his pitches. It also has the second lowest BAA of his arsenal at .154. Our PLV data grades it as a near Quality Pitch and ranks it as the 11th best sinker by PLV. It is one of the many reasons why he tops Nick Pollack’s list of top pitchers. I mean, look at this glorious pitch:

Bryce Miller’s splitter is the second-best out pitch overall, behind only Sonny Gray’s sweeper. He essentially replaced his changeup with the pitch, while also modifying his sequencing. Those changes have led to improvements in K/9, groundball rate, and ERA. Here he is talking about his splitter and why it has worked so well:

For pitchers without a four-seamer, this is also a good place to look for how well pitchers are doing. Here are a few pitchers whose cutters, sinkers, and splitters have been lacking.

Slider, Curveball, and Sweeper Out% Leaders

Below, you will find pitchers with some of the best breaking pitches in the league. These pitchers are using their breaking pitches to induce whiffs, strikeouts, and grounders on weak contact. The data from the offseason showed that the more a pitcher throws an elite breaking pitch, the better, so these are pitchers who have thrown an above-league-average amount of each pitch.

Slider Out% Leaders (18.2% League Average)

Curveball Out% Leaders (17.9% League Average)

Sweeper Out% Leaders (18.5% League Average)

Jared Jones‘ best pitch this season has arguably been his slider, which has a .160 BAA, a 39% whiff rate, and a 24% putaway rate. It ranks among the best sliders at getting batters out thanks to some wicked horizontal movement:

He also throws it hard, averaging 88.5 MPH, but touching 90, making it that much harder to hit.

Seth Lugo has looked like a new pitcher this season, and a major reason for that has been an absolutely filthy curveball. Among pitchers who have thrown a curveball in at least 50 plate appearances, only Ben Brown can claim his has a better BAA, whiff rate, and putaway rate. Lugo’s curveball has been so successful in large part due to its movement. He has the most vertical movement versus average among pitchers who have thrown a curveball at least 100 times. It also gets the 11th most horizontal movement against average. Just take a look at it here:

Brandon Pfaadt has struggled a bit this season, posting a 4.60 ERA. However, he has a 3.05 xERA, a 3.61 xFIP, and a 3.54 SIERA – all showing that he has pitched well enough to earn a solid ERA, though things have not worked out that way. He has just a 61% LOB, yet has increased his groundball rate and improved his walk rate from last season. If he continues leaning on his sweeper, he should see better results in his near future. Pfaadt’s sweeper has a .208 BAA, a 35% whiff rate, and a 25% putaway rate. It also grades as a Quality Pitch according to our PLV data, and ranks tied for eighth in PLV among all sweepers. Here is a look at it:

Here are a few pitchers whose sliders, curveballs, and sweepers have been lacking.

Changeup Out% Leaders – 19.6% League Average

Similar to breaking pitches, pitchers who can throw an offspeed offering with a high Out% will often find success. Even better are pitchers with an offspeed pitch and a breaking pitch that can induce outs. Here is the changeup leaderboard:

Changeup Out% Leaders (19.6% League Average)

Cristopher Sanchez has found success this season leaning on a nasty changeup. It is his primary out pitch for righty batters, but has performed well across the board at getting batters out. His changeup has a .188 BAA, a 41% whiff rate, and a 26% putaway rate. Among pitchers who have thrown a changeup in at least 50 PAs, none have posted better numbers in all three categories. Sanchez’s changeup also ranks among the top-10 in both horizontal and vertical movement versus league average among pitchers who have thrown a changeup at least 100 times, and only Charlie Morton and Nick Lodolo can claim the same. He turned his changeup into one of the best pitches in baseball by adding four miles per hour and 140 RPMs of spin. Here is what it looks like now:

Here are some pitchers whose changeups have not performed well:

Pitchers to Target Based on Out%

Here are a few pitchers that I would try to acquire based on their Out% data. These are pitchers who are successful at getting outs in multiple ways with multiple pitches.

  1. Tarik Skubal
  2. Logan Gilbert
  3. Ranger Suarez
  4. Seth Lugo
  5. George Kirby
  6. Joe Ryan
  7. Mitchell Parker

Taylor Tarter

Taylor is a fantasy baseball champion that has been playing for over a decade. Tune into his podcast, Fastball Fantasy Baseball, every Wednesday for in depth analysis making sabermetrics friendly to the everyday fantasy player.

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