Oh That's Nasty Week 2: Corey Kluber's Slider/Curve
Just as Clayton Kershaw was last week, Corey Kluber is a well-known stud in the baseball community.
The Indians right-hander won the 2017 AL Cy Young Award and led the American League in several categories such as ERA, wins, WAR, WHIP, complete games, and shutouts.
He absolutely dominated the league, and no part of his repertoire was more dominant than his slider/curve.
Whether the pitch is a slider or a curve has been debated since he started throwing it, and even Kluber himself doesn’t know what to call it.
It can have the horizontal movement of a curve, and the drop of a slider, or vice versa, and what to call it largely depends on how Kluber decides to throw it.
Sometimes he throws it with less horizontal break and more vertical break -- like a traditional curve.
Whereas other times he will throw it with very little vertical drop and more horizontal drop -- more similar to a slider
Either way, it's completely filthy.
While even statistics websites like Brooks Baseball and Fangraphs.com can't seem to agree whether the pitch is a slider or a curve, what both sites will show is that the pitch is basically un-hittable.
Fangraph's Pitch Value/Hundred Pitches Thrown (explained in glossary below), shows that since 2016, Kluber's breaking ball has been more than TWICE as effective as the next closest curve -- thrown coincidentally by Oh That's Nasty week 1 feature, Clayton Kershaw.
Opposing hitters are averaging a measly .114 against the slider/curve since 2016, including righties batting just .089.
The pitch has a ridiculous 28% swing-and-miss rate overall, and nearly 32% whiffs from righties (see: Kevin Pillar, below).
Kluber has allowed only 7 home runs in 529 at bats via the breaking ball in the past two seasons.
So whether you want to call it a curve, slider, or slurve, I think we can all agree it makes you say, Oh That's Nasty.
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