Pittsburgh Pirates: Three More Underlying Numbers to Focus on in 2023

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Colin Holderman: Two Pitches With Sub-.200 wOBA

Colin Holderman was acquired at the 2022 trade deadline. A former ninth-round draft pick, Holderman developed his way through the New York Mets' system, running into some injury setbacks, but has made leaps and strides the last two seasons. Holderman made his debut last season and displayed two very quality offerings. 

The first was his slider, which he used over 40% of the time (40.7%, to be exact). Holderman threw this offering in the mid-to-high-80s and was very effective with it last season. Batters couldn't touch the pitch, having a whopping 41.5% whiff rate and a 47.5% strikeout rate against the offering. In the few times they did make contact, it was rarely a hard-hit ball, as Holderman owned a 23.5% hard-hit rate. Between his ability to miss bats and induce weak contact, the pitch resulted in a wOBA (weighted on-base average) of just .160. For reference, Holderman's former teammate and top-of-the-line closing pitcher, Edwin Diaz, had a .154 wOBA with his slider. Batters also managed a higher hard-hit rate vs. Jacob deGrom when he threw his slider last year.

Believe it or not, but this wasn't his most effective offering. That title would belong to his cutter. Holderman throws his cutter in the low-90s, but it's a devastating pitch. He only used it 7.6% of the time, but batters didn't manage a single hit against it. Holderman had a -6.1 RV/100 and limited opponents to a mere .140 wOBA with the pitch.

Holderman's sinker gave him some trouble last year, even though he throws it in the upper-90s, so a move to his cutter as a primary weapon might be in store for Holderman next season. Two offerings that did that much damage are impressive. Holderman could end up being a surprise rookie for the Bucs next season.