2018 New Pitch Tracker

This marks the fifth consecutive spring for tracking new pitches at Fangraphs. In 2014, the series was launched with a piece featuring both a retired and current pitcher and their insight into adding new pitches during the offseason and/or in camp. The 2015 tracking was done at RotoJunkieFix where I serve as the CIO which is just a fancy title for the guy that keeps a 20+ year old fantasy community up and running in his spare time. By popular demand, the 2016 New Pitch Tracker gained front page real estate here and I updated it throughout the spring with help from Jeff Zimmerman and others scraping the stories from the web and the crew at BrooksBaseball helping validate the pitches. There was quite a bit of activity on the 2017 New Pitch Tracker, but it has been rather quiet in 2018.

The follow-up work in 2014 showed that 17 of the 23 pitchers that faced at least 100 batters in 2014 improved their strikeout rate, 16 of 17 generated more swinging strikes while 15 of them reduced their contact rates. In 2015, even more pitchers tinkered with new pitches, but the gains were not as definitive. I did not do a follow-up piece to the 2016 new pitches to see whether gains were realized but that list included as many breakouts as it did busts. The follow-up to the 2017 new pitches showed that a few pitchers beneffited from the offseason work. Kirby Yates took a step forward thanks to his new splitter, Sean Doolittle refined his slider and had a big year,  and Roberto Osuna used his new cutter very well on his way to a successful year.

Below is the list of pitchers that have discussed a new pitch, a new arm angle, or tweaking things with an existing pitch in 2018:



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Reggie Cleveland
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Reggie Cleveland

Love it, thank you. Does this get updated throughout Spring Training?