June 23, 2021

Zack Britton Isn’t A One-Pitch Pitcher Anymore (FanGraphs)


One of the most exciting and maddening things about baseball is its unpredictability. A guy who fell to the 25th pick of his draft turns out to be the greatest player of his generation? Sure. A 36-year-old returns from a major achilles injury to have his best offensive season ever and hits the decisive home run of the World Series? Of course. One of baseball’s richest teams goes from winning the World Series to claiming it’s out of money, firing the guy who put the championship roster together, and trading away its superstar player to cut costs in the span of 18 months? That… well, we probably should have seen that coming.

Baseball is a game without sure things, which means the few precious certainties we get tend to stand out. One of those certainties, for the past five years, has been that if Zack Britton is pitching to you, he’s going to throw you a sinker. No need for guesswork, or a chess match, or an ear trained toward a nearby trash can. Since he switched from starting to relieving in 2014, 88% of the pitches Britton has thrown have been sinkers. Not a lot of pitchers can get by on just one pitch — so few, you can probably name them off the top of your…

Read “Zack Britton Isn’t A One-Pitch Pitcher Anymore” at FanGraphs