Collin McHugh is Having One of the Best Seasons of His Career

Collin McHugh is Having One of the Best Seasons of His Career

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports How is he doing it? Collin McHugh joined the Rays this year after opting out of the 2020 season with the Red Sox. So far, he’s been a great add to the Stable, putting up some of the best numbers of his career. What did he change since joining the Rays? And what about the slider, his best pitch, is making him so effective? In 2017, Collin McHugh added a slider to his repertoire and has increased its usage drastically each year since. So far this season, he is throwing his slider 52% of the time, which is 25% more than any other pitch he throws. Baseball Savant The slider is McHugh’s best pitch, but what about its movement allowed it to earn that title? What type of slider does McHugh throw? Collin McHugh throws a sweeping slider. It is on the slower side (80mph) and gets plus horizontal movement. 40 Seconds of 22 Collin McHugh Sliders from tonight (either called or swinging strikes). pic.twitter.com/7woI0Dmhe6— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 11, 2019 If we were trying to figure out the movement based on spin efficiency and observed spin direction, it would confirm that McHugh throws a sweeping slider. McHugh’s slider has a spin efficiency of 58%. This tells us that in addition to the gyrospin (football spin) created by the slider’s release, 58% of the raw spin rate is contributing to the slider’s movement. In terms of observed movement, the slider is spinning from the 8:45 position. Typically sweeping sliders will have spin from approximately 9:00. Baseball Savant Movement and Results of the Slider As expected based on the sweeping motion, McHugh is getting above average horizontal movement on his slider. He is getting 5.8 inches above average when compared to those of similar pitchers. The slider also an above average run value of -2. For pitchers, the lower the run value the better. In terms of results, McHugh is limiting hard hit against his slider. Its whiff percentage and opponent slugging are below average, but because he relies on his slider so much more than other pitchers, I would consider these results to be pretty good. What else does McHugh throw? While the slider is McHugh’s best and more frequently used pitch, he also throws a cutter 27% of the time and a fourseam fastball 17% of the time. Similar to the slider, McHugh increased the usage of his cutter from 12% in 2019 to 27% in 2021. Relying more o

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