Mitch Keller Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 26 (April 04, 1996) | 6' 2" | 220lbs. | Throws: Right DH-1
Tm Lg YEAR W L SV Hld G GS IP H HR BB SO ERA WHIP Rating BB/9 SO/9 BABIP G/L/F % $4x4 $5x5
PIT A+ 2018 0 0 0 0 1 1 4.0 7 0 1 2 2.25 2.00 1.88 2.2 4.5 .430 n/a
PIT AA 2018 9 2 0 0 14 14 86.0 64 7 32 76 2.72 1.12 1.05 3.3 8.0 .255 n/a
PIT AAA 2018 3 2 0 0 10 10 52.1 59 3 22 57 4.82 1.55 1.42 3.8 9.8 .382 n/a
PIT AAA 2019 7 5 0 0 19 19 103.2 94 9 35 123 3.56 1.24 1.21 3.0 10.7 .334 n/a
PIT NL 2019 1 5 0 0 11 11 48.0 72 6 16 65 7.12 1.83 1.85 3.0 12.2 .484 39/29/32 -11 -5
PIT NL 2020 1 1 0 0 5 5 21.1 9 4 18 16 2.95 1.27 1.12 7.6 6.8 .102 44/8/48 6 6
PIT AAA 2021 1 1 0 0 8 6 28.0 27 2 13 39 3.21 1.43 1.30 4.2 12.5 .385 n/a
PIT NL 2021 5 11 0 0 23 23 100.2 131 10 49 92 6.17 1.79 1.69 4.4 8.2 .387 40/26/34 -16 -8
PIT NL 2022 4 8 0 0 22 20 112.0 119 10 39 91 4.26 1.41 1.37 3.1 7.3 .327 50/21/29 -2 2
Career 4yrs 11 25 0 0 61 59 282.0 331 30 122 264 5.33 1.61 1.55 3.9 8.4 .362 n/a
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BP's Michael Ajeto, putting the magnifying glass on Mitch today:


Here are some metrics, comparing Keller’s 2021 and 2022 fastball:

Strike%SwStr%Called%xwOBAcon
202164.08.218.1.409
202265.39.017.8.395

Keller’s fastball has become a legitimately superior pitch. It’s still a dead zone fastball by induced vertical break (IVB), but as you start to get towards higher velocities, fastball shape starts to matter less. I bargained that Keller might be able to gas past his middling fastball shape, but the whiffs aren’t that of a 96 mph fastball, and metrically, it certainly hasn’t changed in any meaningful way.

If the increased velocity hasn’t provided Keller with a solution, it makes sense that he make an adjustment, so that’s what he’s doing: Keller is now a bonafide sinkerballer. From Justice delos Santos:

Beginning last month, Keller has introduced and incorporated a sinker into his arsenal, which is slowly becoming his primary pitch. On Wednesday, Keller threw a career-high 42 sinkers as he pitched six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts in the Pirates’ 3-1 loss to the Tigers at PNC Park. Keller is still in the experimental phase, but his early returns with the sinker in his bag have been promising.

Before May, Keller had never thrown a sinker in a game before, and now for three straight games, it’s been his primary offering. Usually, it isn’t all that exciting to move from a four-seam fastball to a sinker – and I suppose you could still file this under the unexciting category – but as with most trends, it’s starting to come around again. And for Keller, it might be the difference between being an effective pitcher and an ineffective one...

baseballprospectus.com

Alex Patton Alex
Jun 13

Looks like he might be turning the corner.  Just lost Buehler and already without Scherzer.  Is he worth a flier?  My era and ratio are in the top 3 so a bit worried about the damage he could do. 

joel schreier jschri
Jun 12

I don't know if I should cut him or activate him!

Kent Ostby Seadogs
May 2
2021: EV 86.8 HardHit 6% Barrel 0% HR/FB 0% LA -34.1 Pull 38% Cent 19% Oppo 44%
2020: FB 56% FBv 94.0 EV 88.5 HardHit 42% Barrel 12% HR/FB 16% FIP 6.75
2021: FB 57% FBv 93.9 EV 91.5 HardHit 48% Barrel 7% HR/FB 9% FIP 4.30
Alex Patton Alex
Dec 16 '21