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Breaking down Kansas City Royals starter Brady Singer

Kansas City Royals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Coming into the season, Kansas City Royals starter, Brady Singer, was considered the dark horse candidate to win the AL CY Young. Singer has the arsenal to be a future front of the line starter and showed it last season where he pitched to a 3.23 ERA and struck out 150 batters. However, he has struggled a bit pitching to a 4.91 ERA with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks in 11 innings. Down below we are going to break down what the Atlanta Braves should expect from the former Florida Gator.

All stats are 2022 numbers. Next week 2023 statistics will be used.

Pitch #1 - Sinker - pitch usage - 53.7 percent

2022 stats - .244 xBA, .391 xSLG, .309 xwOBA

Pitch velo - 93.3 MPH - Spin rate - 2,297 RPM - vertical movement - 20.6 inches - horizontal movement - 14.9 inches

Singer’s sinker is not an elite pitch yet, but it has the potential to become one down the road and as his arsenal matures. Singer uses his sinker to try and generate contact on the ground which it did last season as it carried a ground ball percentage of 50.4 percent. It did get hit a bit hard though as the hard-hit percentage against it was 39.7 percent. Singer’s sinker effectively acted as a four seamer for him with how he used it as it possessed an in the zone percentage of 58.8 percent. It obviously did not have the same effect as a four seam and will not be thrown in similar locations, but for him it is his go to strike pitch. When ahead in the count his usage of the pitch dropped down to 47.4 percent.

Pitch #2 - Slider - pitch usage - 38 percent

2022 stats - .229 xBA, .367 xSLG, .287 xwOBA

Pitch velo - 85.5 MPH - Spin rate - 2,341 RPM - vertical movement - 36.8 inches - horizontal movement - 14.9 inches

This is Singer’s go-to pitch for generating swing and misses as it has a whiff rate of 33.9 percent. Batters chased it 57.2 percent, with his next highest pitch being the changeup at 25 percent. Right-handed batters struggled mightily against this pitch last season. The xwOBA against it was just .236 and the xBA was .229 and their average exit velocity was just 85.8 MPH. When right handers chased the pitch out of the zone, they whiffed at it 54.3 percent of the time. Expect every righty in the Braves lineup to see this pitch at a steady rate.

Pitch #3 - Changeup - pitch usage 7.7 percent

2022 stats - .387 xBA, .265 xSLG, .449 xwOBA

Pitch velo - 86.9 MPH - Spin rate - 2,229 RPM - vertical movement - 24.3 inches (6.7 inches below average) - horizontal movement - 14.5 inches

Singer almost threw his changeup exclusively to lefties last season as they saw 170 of the 182 changeups, he threw last season. There were only 31 batted ball events against it last season so there is not a whole lot of data to go off of for it. From a swing standpoint the whiff rate on the pitch was only 9.1 percent with a chase rate of 10.8 percent. When he threw it; it landed in the strike zone 39 percent of the time. His changeup seems more like a show pitch to try and keep lefties a bit more honest. Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies will likely each see this pitch a couple of times.

Key matchup - Austin Riley - Last year, when Austin Riley seemed to be mashing just about every pitch he saw, the only one that gave him problems was sinkers, Singer’s most used pitch. His run value per 100 sinkers faced was -0.7, the lowest amongst any pitch he saw 6 or more percent of the time last year. It was not an outlier either as in 2021 his RV/100 against them was -0.6 and it sat at -0.7 in 2020. If Singer is able to establish his sinker early and often look for Riley to have a quiet day at the dish.

Prediction - Singer throws 6 innings, allows 2 earned runs and strikes out 4.

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