Posted over at Driveline Mechanics...
Source: Getty Images
I hate to start this article off all doom-and-gloom style, but I’m already unhappy with where this analysis is going. This still accurately captures the intensity of pitching for the Yankees, but it also indicates two things I am probably going to dislike in Wang’s delivery:
Let’s check out the video…
Looks like I was wrong: I actually like quite a bit of what I see here.
I’d only change the fact that he shows the ball to CF/2b; I’d prefer if he turned it more towards third base at footstrike. Otherwise, very good. I suspect (but can’t tell without high-speed video) that he pronates hard through release to get the great sink he does on his fastball/changeup combinations, and I also think his slider is safer than most for the same reason. How about that pitch on the video, eh? Pretty nasty. Hard tailing pitches are my favorite ones, not only because they are extremely hard to adjust to, but because they are so effective against hitters from both sides of the plate and because you need to pronate hard to get that kind of action.
Let’s check out his pitch selection:
|type||Speed (MPH)||Break x (inches)||Break z (inches)||Balls||Strikes Called||Strikes Swinging||Foul/Foul tip||In play outs||Singles||Doubles||Triples||Home Runs|
That is some ridiculous lateral movement on his sinker, and he combines it with great depth. You can compare it to his changeup, which actually sinks less than his sinker, which is pretty much unheard of.
Interestingly enough, Wang doesn’t really pound the bottom half of the strike zone with his sinker:
He primarily works the middle and bottom thirds of the strike zone, rather than aiming low. Wang’s got great movement on his sinker, though, so hitters are probably naturally swinging over it due to the perception of the location, rather than the actual location itself. That’s even better than pounding the bottom part of the zone, because failure to pick up the real location of the pitch is what gets you soft contact.
When you put together a primary pitch that sinks more than the average changeup and combine it with a slider with great tilt and depth, who cares if you have a third pitch? Wang manages to work in his changeup anyway, which has great velocity differential and decent enough movement on its own. Clean mechanics, plus velocity, and deceptive pitches? Sounds good to me.