CC Sabathia has the best changeup in the AL
Yup, true story.
According to pitch value data, CC’s changeup is 22.5 runs above average. That’s the best in the American League for any starting pitchers with 150+ innings. In fact, across both leagues, CC’s changeup value is second only to Tim Lincecum’s, which is 33.5 runs above average.
CC also had the best changeup in the AL in 2008 (18.2 RAA). The pitch has improved, incrementally, in each year since 2006 and is now the best in the American League for the second year in a row. This season, however, CC’s changeup is ever bettter than it was in ’08. I’m not sure why this has occurred, although it could be that fastball has gotten better — it’s worth 15.8 runs above average this season, a career high — which is then aiding the change.
Kudos to John Flaherty for this one. Whenever CC is on the mound, Flash always seems to marvel at his changeup and I thought I’d check out the stats. Pretty interesting stuff, especially since CC’s changeup doesn’t seem to get much recognition.