Over at MLB’s website on Monday, Anthony Castrovince posted an interesting article about the nastiest pitches of 2018. A poll was taken of 85 players around the league, and we now have a list to play with. And there’s an Oakland A’s pitcher on it!
- Chris Sale slider
- Blake Treinen sinker
- Corey Kluber slider
- Craig Kimbrel knuckle-curve
- Blake Snell curve (tied-5th)
- Jordan Hicks sinker (tied-5th)
- Josh Hader fastball
- Max Scherzer slider (tied-8th)
- Jacob deGrom fastball (tied-8th)
- Adam Ottavino slider
Click the link above to see the others who got a couple votes, and for more details on the non-A’s.
Of course, having the single best pitch doesn’t necessarily make you the best pitcher, and in fact some of the guys in the Top 10 also got votes for other offerings in their arsenals. But having at least one elite weapon is certainly a great head start, and everyone on that list has parlayed it into being good-to-great overall (including the last four Cy Young winners). It’s always an interesting exercise to see what the players themselves think of each other’s skills, and Treinen in particular drew raves in Castrovince’s article:
Multiple weapons contributed to his incredible 0.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 80 1/3 innings. Two participants in this poll voted for Treinen’s cutter, and Padres pitcher Robert Stock voted for “Treinen’s everything.”
But the sinker, which can touch 100 mph and sits around 97-98, was especially special last season. When hitters swung at Treinen’s sinker, they whiffed about 30 percent of the time, second to only Britton among sinker and two-seam fastball users.
”His sinker is disgusting,” Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams said. “It’s a joke. You shouldn’t be able to throw a ball 100 mph that does that.”
We’ve already covered Treinen’s season in depth, pointing out that he had one of the best campaigns ever by a reliever and that he had a case as the A’s MVP in 2018. There’s not much more to say about him, so instead let’s enjoy a few videos of his nasty sinker. Courtesy of the Pitching Ninja (h/t Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBCS):
Blake Treinen, 96 mph Sinker.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 24, 2018
That looks like an 82 mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/tSGES0uTDH
Blake Treinen with your Standard 98mph Back Foot turbo Sinker. pic.twitter.com/3cAYX5EGyb— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 4, 2018
Blake Treinen, painted 100mph Sinker and 90mph Slider, Overlay.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 24, 2018
Treinen is, in fact, a witch.