While I was on the road, driving from Cincinnati to Goodyear, Amir Garrett started against the San Diego Padres. The stat line from the game was mediocre: 5IP, 8H, 3ER, 1BB, 1K, 1HR. By-and-large, though, the left hander has been pretty good this year.
The old adage is something to the extent of: Never pay attention to spring training stats. I certainly believe that to be mostly true. There’s very little correlation between spring performance and regular season performance. However, there are some stats that we can pay attention to that are worth looking at: The Statcast Data.
The Padres have the system running during spring training in their home ballpark, so for the first time since the Futures Game in 2015, we’ve got real, actual data on the Cincinnati lefty.
On the afternoon, over his five innings, the pitch averaged 91.6 MPH. He topped out at 94.2 MPH with the pitch. It’s a 4-seamer that has some rising action to it. He threw the pitch 69% of the time in this particular game.
The pitch averaged 79.7 MPH during the game. What was more interesting is that his slider was actually more of a cutter on the day. While it wasn’t a pure cut-fastball based on the movement, it was a lot closer to one than it was to a slider. Comparing it to the slider he showed off in the 2015 Futures Game (the only other time we’ve gotten data on him), the two versions of the pitch look quite different. Perhaps it’s just a sample size issue (very possible as we are talking about THREE versus 17 pitches), but it was interesting to see. Garrett threw this pitch 24% of the time.
The Change Up
Like the slider, the pitch averaged just under 80 MPH. It’s got a little bit of sinking action to it when compared to his fastball, but doesn’t have much of a difference on the horizontal plane (or at least didn’t on this given day). We only saw this pitch 7% of the time on the day.
Amir Garrett had three swinging strikes on the day. Two of them came on sliders and one came on the fastball. He threw his fastball for strikes 73% of the time. The slider was only a strike eight out of 19 times (42%). All three change ups went down as strikes.
I wrote a similar article on Robert Stephenson from the same game here if you are interested in reading about what he was throwing on the day.
This’s is interesting data Doug, but other than the fact that he only had three swinging strikes, if you showed me these numbers and asked me how his day went I’d have no clue whether he was dominating or got pounded. We need to get more used to this Statcast data for more pitchers on a regular basis. My only other observation is the speed difference between his fastball and the cutter and change. That 12 or 13 miles an hour seems about where you’d want to be. Maybe Garrett and Cody Reed should be talking. Doesn’t Reed have a much smaller gap and hasn’t that been part of his problem at the major league level?
I think you have the usage percentage flipped between the curve and splitter in the Stephenson article. Just FYI.