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Value/100 pitches: 0.48.

Back story:Zimmermann experimented with a two-seam fastball, but never felt comfortable and stuck with the four-seam version. He arrived at Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point throwing 86 mph. That shot up to 95 mph thanks to a heavy lifting program.

When the fastball is working “it feels like I don’t have to think about any mechanics. I just throw it. If I’m going to throw an outside pitch low and away, I feel like it’s going to be there every time. When it’s on, the control is unbelievable. I can throw it wherever I want.”

Gio Gonzalez

The pitch: curveball.

Velocity: 80.7 mph. Frequency: 28% (1662 pitches).

Movement: -8.1 inches horizontal, -48.1 inches vertical.

When thrown: 0-0 22%, 0-2 43%, 2-0 4%.

Outcomes: 42% ball, 16% called strike, 15% in play, 13% foul, 13% swinging strike.

Value/100 pitches: -0.06.

Back story: Gonzalez’s father, Max, taught him the pitch. They practiced in a narrow area by the side of their home, so, by necessity, the curveball was sharp, with plenty of vertical movement.

“He threw his magic in there. … If I ever go wrong on it, I ask him what I did wrong. He’s the one that knows all the answers. I’m like a student.

“I haven’t changed the grip and never will change the grip.

“I just figured it would be a pitch I’d need … I never thought it was going to be where everybody’s putting it.”

Edwin Jackson

Story Continues →