Out% for Fantasy Baseball Week 14

Taylor Tarter breaks down the Out% leaderboard for Week 14

For the fourth week in a row, Sonny Gray has the best out pitch in baseball with his sweeper. It has a 35.8% Out Rate, which is 17.2% better than league average for sweepers. His sweeper led in Out% last week, improving by .6%.

The other pitches in the top-10 of Out% include splitters from Reed Garrett and Bryce Miller. It also features Pedro Avila’s and Cole Irvin’s changeups, Derek Law’s slider, as well as Jameson Taillon’s, Andrew Abbott’s, and Mitch Keller’s sweepers.

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) – 16.7%

Cutter (FC) – 16.4%

Sinker (SI) – 18.2%

Splitter (FS) – 21.1%

Slider (SL) – 18.1%

Curveball (CU) – 17.4%

Sweeper (ST) – 18.6%

Changeup (CH) – 19.7%

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.

The league average ERA currently stands at 4.01, and of the 15 pitchers that appear in the top 10 of fastball Out Rate, just three have ERAs worse than league average. They are Ryan Pepiot, Frankie Montas, and Ryan Feltner. Of those three, only Montas has a second pitch above league average Out% – his sinker. This shows how important it is to have not only a fastball that can induce outs, but a secondary out pitch as well. And all of that clearly links to players’ ERAs.

Fastball Out% Leaders (16.7% League Average)

I have not covered relievers in these articles because fantasy teams typically roster so few, but Robert Suarez has been at or near the top of the fastball leaderboard most of the season, and that should be noted. His fastball truly is one of the best in baseball. It has a .155 batting average against, a 22% whiff rate, and a 21% putaway rate. He gets batters to miss in large part thanks to nearly elite induced vertical break, which fools batters. Plus, it touches 100 MPH, making it very difficult for batters to get to. Here is a look at it:

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)

Kutter Crawford’s cutter has worked well for him this season despite below average PLV data. He does locate it well, however, which certainly helps make it an effective out pitch. He also gets excellent movement from his cutter. Among pitchers who have thrown a cutter at least 250 times, just Crawford and Kenley Jansen rank top six in both vertical and horizontal movement above league average. Between the movement and location, Kutter has been able to induce outs with it, including strikeouts like this one:

Ranger Suarez might be more known for his changeup, but his sinker has also been lights out. Suarez has a top-10 groundball rate among qualified starters, and his sinker has been a key to that. It has a two degree launch angle, so essentially batters are hitting it straight into the ground. Only Zack Wheeler and Sonny Gray have a better BAA, K%, whiff%, and putaway% on a sinker among pitchers who have thrown one in at least 50 PAs. Suarez relies on his vertical movement to get batters to whiff on his sinker. It ranks 11th in both vertical movement vs. average and drop vs. average among pitchers who have thrown a sinker at least 250 times. Here is a great view of it in action:

Kyle Finnegan popped onto the splitter leaderboard this week thanks to an absolutely dirty pitch. It has a .139 BAA, a 37% whiff rate, and a 27% putaway rate. Those rank 13th, 18th, and 10th among pitchers who have thrown a splitter in at least 25 PAs this season. Interestingly, he does not rely on a ton of movement from his splitter, but rather relies on elite location and speed to get batters to miss. Here you can see what I mean:

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 (18.1% League Average)

Curveball Out% Leaders (17.4% League Average)

Sweeper Out% Leaders (18.6% League Average)

Justin Steele arguably has one of the best sliders in the game right now. Among pitchers who have thrown a slider in at least 75 PAs, only Tanner Bibee and Reynaldo Lopez have a better BAA, whiff%, and putaway% than Steele. Steele gets 6.6 inches of horizontal movement above average on his slider, which is fifth most among pitchers who have thrown at least 250 sliders. It has helped him settle into a 3.16 ERA after a rough start to the season. Steele also has three other solid pitches, so his sequencing has also helped his slider become one of the best in baseball.

Framber Valdez appears on the curveball leaderboard for the first time this season, and although our PLV data does not like it much, it still has been effective at inducing outs. He has both elite vertical and horizontal movement, leading to a .164 BAA, a 42% strikeout rate, a 42% whiff rate, and a 22% putaway rate. Among pitchers who have thrown a curveball in at least 50 PAs, only Tyler Glasnow and Ben Brown can claim to be better across the board. Valdez added some spin from last season, which has helped maintain those elite numbers. Here is a look at it:

Brandon Pfaadt has a top-notch sinker and sweeper, but in spite of that, Pfaadt still has an ERA worse than league average, and a disappointing K/9 rate for someone who struck out a lot of batters in the minors. It is a pretty tight sweeper, not moving too much compared to league average. But among pitchers who have thrown at least 200 sweepers, Pfaadt averages the fifth fastest, which compensates for the lack of movement. He also locates it extremely well:

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

Changeup Out% Leaders – 19.7% 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 (19.7% League Average)

Changeups have been among the best out pitches in baseball this season. Even bad changeups are better than most of the worst out pitches in the league. But that also means that elite changeups are some of the most effective pitches when it comes to getting batters out. Changeups are especially effective against batters who are of the opposite hand of the pitcher. One particularly effective changeup belongs to Jose Berrios. He only throws it 15% of the time, and almost exclusively to lefty batters, but he should probably toss it more because it is so good. Only Trevor Richards can claim a better BAA, K%, whiff%, and putaway% than Berrios among pitchers who have thrown a changeup in at least 50 PAs. It does not have as wild movement as you might think – just about a half inch to an inch more vertical and horizontal movement vs. league average. Still, it has managed to induce outs nearly a quarter of the time he throws it, making it one of the best out pitches in baseball.

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. Zack Wheeler
  4. Ranger Suarez
  5. George Kirby
  6. Shota Imanaga
  7. Zach Eflin
  8. Seth Lugo
  9. Joe Ryan
  10. Mitch Keller
  11. Tyler Anderson
  12. Brandon Pfaadt

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login