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Jake Odorizzi has grown into a major league caliber pitcher.

Rob takes a look at Jake Odorizzi's growth into a successful major league pitcher.

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing eighth in the American League Rookie of the Year the year before he turned in another solid effort in 2015.In 2015, Odorizzi took another step forward in his career pitching back to back year of 160 innings plus.

He had 28 starts on the year giving up 149 hits but striking out 150 batters in 169 1/3 innings. An impressive note is that his walks went down from the year before, as he cut the walks down from 59 to 46. His K/BB ratio of 3.2 puts him as an above average pitchers with great control.


Odorizzi features a fastball that is consistently around 92 mph and a splitter around 86 mph. He also features in a cutter that sits at around 87 mph. His split-change is his put away pitch, and the  great rise he gets on his fastball makes it seem like it's coming in at 95 mph.

In the chart below you'll see how his pitches progressed or digressed over time. His fastball and split-change velocities -- his two most used pitches -- went up throughout the season which is great to see. As the year prior his velocity dipped in the summer months after starting out very high during the beginning of the season.

Pitch Velocity

Looking at his frequency in pitches, to better understand how Odorizzi attacks hitters, Odo' relies heavily on the four seam fastball and the split-change for about 80% of the time while his third most used pitch is the cutter. The slider and curve are just to keep hitters honest as they were only thrown combined 200 times out of 2,822 pitches.

One thing to keep in mind is Odorizzi did have an injury last year with his oblique that kept him out a month. It seems to not have any effects on him this spring but the oblique is scary injury for a baseball player.

As he continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see if the cutter is used more this year or if the slider and curve receive a bigger portion of usage this season.

Trajectory and Movement, from 01/01/2015 to 01/01/2016 via Brooks Baseball:

Pitch Type Count Freq Velo (mph) pfx HMov (in.) pfx VMov (in.) H. Rel (ft.) V. Rel (ft.)
Fourseam 1394 50.65% 92.25 -3.92 10.86 -1.16 6.54
Slider 118 4.29% 83.53 4.28 2.10 -0.97 6.59
Curve 92 3.34% 72.05 4.62 -7.83 -0.88 6.72
Cutter 323 11.74% 87.15 2.08 8.85 -0.71 6.62
Split-Change 825 29.98% 85.82 -6.00 5.57 -1.13 6.49

2016 Outlook

ZIPS projects Odorizzi in 2016 as the number two pitcher on the Rays by WAR behind Chris Archer and ahead of Alex Cobb and Matt Andriese. It has his earned run average at 3.60 in 31 starts with an innings jump from the 160's the past two seasons to 177 and 1/3 innings. His FIP is right in line with his ERA as it's at 3.67 with a 2.59 K/BB ratio with 165 strikeouts. Odorizzi is projected almost nine strikeouts per nine innings at 8.67.

Clay Davenport's projections have similar numbers on Odorizzi with 3.81 earned run average in 175 and 1/3 innings while registering two less starts at 29. It showcases Odorizzi getting farther into games which showcases his ability to limit walks and being able to retire hitters with his splitter mentioned above. It has his groundball rate at 42% which is a little below average with other starters on the list sitting between 45% and 55%.

The comps for Odorizzi are Bob Welch, Julio Teheran and Ervin Santana via Davenport's website. Essentially, the projections expect Odorizzi to be his old self. That's very good news for the 2016 Rays.