Tyler Cloyd pitched a great game against a very good team the other day. There is a good article here on CSNphilly about the kinds of pitches he threw and the speeds. It also mentions a newer stat to rate pitchers called “game score” created by Mr. Sabermetrics himself, Bill James.
Anyway, Cloyd’s average fastball speed was 86 mph. He was never known for his velocity, but that is definitely below average. You can still pitch at that speed, but you better not make any mistakes. I think that’s why it was a while before Cloyd was called up, because the higher-ups were skeptical if he could pitch without a 90 mph fastball in the bigs.
Even more interesting was the amount of change-ups he threw, 65% of his pitches, which is pretty crazy. In reality though, it may be that some of those were actually other pitches and not fastballs. Apparently Rich Dubee helped him with his grip when he was called up and it’s really working for him. The same thing happened when he started throwing a cut fastball earlier this year in when he came up to AAA. It resulted in a great year for him.
So, we shall see about young Tyler Cloyd. It really takes a whole year or more to judge a pitcher, or any player for that matter, especially if they kind of come out of nowhere. I think we all remember Pat Combs and Bruce Ruffin to name two flashes in the pan.