Out% for Fantasy Baseball Week 9

Taylor Tarter breaks down the Out% leaderboard for Week 9

The latest Out% leader is Reed Garrett whose splitter has a 34.6 Out Rate. That is 14.3% above the league average Out% for splitters. He takes over from Sonny Gray’s sweeper, which had a 37.9% Out Rate according to last week’s update.

Several relievers have pitches in the top-10 overall Out% leaderboard including Pedro Avila’s changeup, Mark Leiter Jr.’s splitter, Bryan Hudson’s sweeper, JoJo Romero’s slider, Ryan Yarbrough’s curveball, and Derek Law’s slider.

Mitch Keller also lands in the top-10 overall Out% leaderboard with a nasty sweeper. But Sonny Gray deserves special recognition because he is the only player with two pitches in the top ten. His sweeper and sinker rank second and 10th overall. He is a buy-high type of player, but with such elite out pitches, he is worth whatever you have to pay to acquire him.

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) – 16.4%

Slider (SL) – 18%

Curveball (CU) – 17.8%

Changeup (CH) – 19.5%

Sweeper (ST) – 18.4%

Sinker (SI) – 18%

Cutter (FC) – 16.3%

Splitter (FS) – 20.3%


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 13 pitchers among the fastball Out Rate leaders, just Montas and Feltner possess an ERA worse than league average. Possessing an elite fastball remains an important indicator of success, especially when pitchers possess other elite out pitches.

Fastball Out% Leaders (16.4% League Average)

Reese Olson’s fastball has a .137 batting average against, but just a 10% whiff rate and a 16% put-away rate. So how does it come do be one of the best fastballs in Out%? He has thrown it almost exclusively to lefty batters, throwing his sinker to righties. Lefty hitters seem to have difficulty picking it up despite the pitch not moving particularly much either vertically or horizontally. This could be a result of Olson locating the ball well, or that he has done a good job keeping batters guessing on which pitch they will see. Either way, Olson’s fastball has certainly led to his improvements this season.

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 Leaders (16.3% League Average)


Sinker Leaders (18% League Average)


Splitter Leaders (20.3% League Average)

Nestor Cortes‘ cutter is arguably his best pitch. It has a .228 BAA, a 25% whiff rate, and a 22% putaway rate. It works as a great out pitch against lefty hitters, while his changeup is his top out pitch against RHB. Cortes gets a lot of vertical action on his cutter, and throws it up and in against RHB and away for LHB, which makes it difficult for all batters to hit. It has a 107 Loc+, which is above league average. Here is a look at it in action:

Sonny Gray does not show up on this sinker leaderboard because these individual pitch leaderboards factor in the league average number of pitches, and Gray has not tossed enough sinkers to qualify. George Kirby has thrown enough sinkers to qualify, and his is one of the best at getting batters out. Take a look:

Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s splitter has been absolutely disgusting this season. Among starting pitchers who have thrown their splitter in at least 25 PAs, only Nathan Eovaldi has a better BAA, whiff rate, and putaway rate than Yamamoto. According to our PLV leaderboard, Yamamoto’s splitter is the fourth best splitter in baseball. This pitch certainly has contributed to his 10 K/9 rate and 3.21 ERA. Good luck to batters trying to hit this:

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 Leaders (18% League Average)


Curveball Leaders (17.8% League Average)


Sweeper Leaders (18.4% League Average)

Marcus Stroman’s slider has a 33% whiff rate and a 23% putaway rate, thanks to some great vertical movement. He gets 9% more drop than average on his slider, which ties for the 10th most among pitchers who have thrown a slider at least 100 times. While PLV does not love his slider, it has worked well for him this season at getting batters out. It has induced a five degree launch angle, playing a major role in Stroman’s eighth best 54% GB rate among qualified pitchers. Here he is using it to pick up an out:

Tyler Glasnow gets an absurd seven feet of extension on his curveball, leading to a ton of whiffs. His .105 BAA, 47% whiff rate, and 27% putaway rate make him one of just four pitchers who have thrown a slider in at least 25 PAs and are top-10 in each of those three stat markers. Zac Gallen is the only other starter whose curveball meets those criteria. Glasnow’s curveball is close to a 12-6 curve, with 2.8 inches of drop versus league average (11th most in the league). Take a look a this pitch:

Mitch Keller has a great sweeper, ranking among the top-10 overall pitches in Out Rate. He also has one of the top cutters as well. His sweeper has induced a 21% whiff rate, thanks in part to his sweeper having a ton of movement. Among pitchers who have thrown a sweeper at least 100 times, his is top-10 in both vertical and horizontal movement versus league average. He also ranks 30th in K% on his sweeper at 21%. Here is a look at it in action:

Noteworthy pitchers struggling with breaking pitches:


Changeup Out% Leaders – 19.5% 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 Leaders (19.5% League Average)

Michael King’s changeup has been his best pitch this season, and it is not particularly close. It has a .141 BAA, 42% whiff rate, and 32% putaway rate. Among pitchers who have thrown a changeup in at least 50 PAs, King has the third best run value, the second best BAA, the fourth highest whiff rate, and the second highest putaway rate. No other pitcher’s changeup ranks top five in all four of those stats. King’s success with his changeup comes from some insane horizontal movement. It has 18.4 inches of arm-side break, which is among the highest in the league, and 3.3 more inches of horizontal movement than league average – fourth most in baseball. This is why it works so well:

King really needs his other pitches to improve to have more success, considering he has just a 4.31 ERA this season.

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. Sonny Gray
  2. Tarik Skubal
  3. Logan Gilbert
  4. Ranger Suárez
  5. Zack Wheeler
  6. Zach Eflin
  7. Seth Lugo
  8. Mitch Keller
  9. Tyler Anderson

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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