Out% for Fantasy Baseball Week 13

Taylor Tarter breaks down the Out% leaderboard for Week 13

The Out% leader heading into week 13 remains Sonny Gray, whose sweeper has a 35.2% Out Rate. That is 16.7% above league average for that pitch. His sweeper led in Out% last week, improving by 1.9%.

The top-10 overall out pitches in baseball includes two other sweepers – from Mitch Keller and Jameson Taillon. Reed Garrett and Bryce Miller both have splitters that rank in the top-10. Also in the top-10 are Pero Avila’s and Cole Irvin’s changeups, Yimi García’s fastball, Javier Assad’s curveball, and Derek Law’s slider.

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%

Cutter (FC) – 16.4%

Sinker (SI) – 18.2%

Splitter (FS) – 21.1%

Slider (SL) – 18.2%

Curveball (CU) – 17.6%

Sweeper (ST) – 18.5%

Changeup (CH) – 19.6%

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 10 pitchers leading fastball Out%, only Montas has an ERA over league average. Many of these pitchers also possess other pitches that rank above league average in Out%. These are pitchers to target going forward as the links between fastball Out% and ERA become more evident.

Fastball Out% Leaders (16.6% League Average)

Nathan Eovaldi has a great fastball by many metrics, including Out%. His fastball has a .182 batting average against, a 21.7% whiff rate, and a 21% putaway rate. Among pitchers who have thrown a fastball in at least 100 plate appearances, the only others that have a BAA, whiff%, and putaway% higher than Eovaldi are Joe Ryan, Cole Ragans, Ronel Blanco, Bryce Miller, Garrett Crochet, and Luis Gil. Eovaldi’s fastball has elite horizontal movement, which makes it so difficult for batters to hit. Here is a look at it in action:

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 (16.4% League Average)

Sinker Out% Leaders (18.2% League Average)

Splitter Out% Leaders (21.1% League Average)

Spencer Arrighetti made his first Out% top-10 list, breaking through with a nasty cutter. He has elite extension and 2.5 inches of horizontal break versus average. He also has elite plvLoc+, giving him an elite PLV score, grading as a Quality Pitch. Arrighetti’s cutter has a .197 BAA, a 27% whiff rate, and a 28% putaway rate. Here it is in action:

Miles Mikolas has been excellent lately, posting five quality starts in his last six outings. He has leaned on a dominant sinker that has led to success. That sinker has a .167 BAA and a putaway rate of 20%. His sinker does not miss many bats, but his induced vertical break helps fool batters, and has led to a 42% GB rate.

Taj Bradley has an absurd splitter, posting a .140 BAA, a 33% whiff rate, and a 32% putaway rate. Among pitchers who have thrown a splitter in at least 50 PAs, only Fernando Cruz and Reed Garrett rank higher in all three categories. Check it out here:

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 (17.6% League Average)

Sweeper Out% Leaders (18.5% League Average)

Chris Sale continues to toss a dominant slider. He actually throws it slightly more than his fastball, a change from last season. It is a smart decision, though, since it is his best pitch by far. He gets a lot of vertical movement, totaling 49.7 inches and 3.8 inches versus league average. Take a look at this filth:

Nick Lodolo’s curveball has dominated the Out% list this season. It is no wonder, considering how much batters struggle to connect to it. His curveball has a .208 BAA, a 43% whiff rate, and a 29% putaway rate. Only Ben Brown has a curveball ranking higher in all three categories among pitchers who have thrown one in at least 50 PAs. Lodolo sequences his pitches well, playing his curveball off a solid fastball, making it easy to fool batters like this:

Nick Pivetta may not have the top sweeper according to Out%, but he arguably has the second-best sweeper overall. It has a .182 BAA, a 40% whiff rate, and a 31% putaway rate. Only Sonny Gray’s sweeper has higher totals in all three categories among pitchers who have thrown a sweeper in at least 25 PAs. Pivetta gets a ton of movement on his sweeper, getting batters to swing and miss like this:

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)

Tanner Bibee has ranked among the ten best changeups in Out% for most of the season. What makes his changeup so effective at inducing outs? It gets a crazy amount of induced vertical break. He also locates his changeup exceptionally well by our plvLoc+ metric as well as Stuff+. Our PLV metric grades his changeup as a Quality Pitch and ranks as the 13th best changeup overall. No other pitchers who have thrown a changeup in at least 50 PAs have a better BAA, whiff%, and putaway% than Bibee. Those numbers are .180, 32%, and 28% respectively. Bibee’s changeup certainly has been a factor in improving his K/9 rate to over 10, and improving his GB% from last season. Here he is getting batters swinging and looking on elevated changeups:

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 Suárez
  4. George Kirby
  5. Bryce Miller
  6. Mitchell Parker
  7. Tyler Anderson
  8. Spencer Arrighetti

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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