This is going to be a fun one. Like I said in the video I personally love the Splitter. I started throwing mine when I was about 14 or 15 years old. It’s funny because my dad never wanted me throwing curveballs or sliders growing up but he gave me Roger Clemens Split Finger Fastball Grip and said “it’s a fastball. That’s it.” (My dad and Roger played together in Boston) So I took that and ran with it. To be quite honest I didn’t throw it a whole lot to begin with because I was doing just fine with my fastball against the other kids in my area. Ok, that’s enough about me lets get to Gausman.
You are starting to see it more and more these days with pitchers going to their secondary pitches a lot more. I think we’re getting over that “old school” mentality of pitch heavily off your fastball then use your breaking stuff for the strikeout. You’re now even seeing 2-0, 3-1, and even 3-0 off speed pitches which used to NEVER happen.
I think the cool thing about looking at Gausman’s data analytics is that his Splitter has never been the problem. In fact, as you’ll see below, his splitter has been a really really good pitch for him. Gausman has always been one of those guys that has the stuff we just haven’t yet seen him put together a really solid consistent year. In the early stages of 2019, with the heavy use of that Splitter, he’s putting up some really good numbers. See Gausman’s Data Analytics – Taken from Baseball Savant
As you’ll see above hitters have never really had a lot of success off this pitch. The Whiff% is very exceptional as well as that super low spin.. meaning that the ball is going to move more when it obeys the laws of aerodynamics and gravity.. (just tried to sound smart).
To think that Gausman’s Splitter this year in 2019 is averaging 82.8 mph and he can run his Fastball up to the high 90’s is pretty impressive. I can definitely see Gausman being an All-Star Closer with the 2-Pitch mix he offers but I think for right now there’s just too much potential for him in that Starting role. I mean the dude is a stud with an absolute lightning bolt for an arm. Pair that with one of the games best Splitters and you have yourself a pretty good pitcher.
I’m interested in Gausman’s Splitter grip that I’ll show below. It’s always cool seeing how other pitchers hold their really good offerings and then when I go to grip it like they do it feels like crap! Baseball is truly awesome in the regards that everyone is going to be different and certain things will bring about a ton of success for one guy but maybe destruction for the other. As you saw in the video above I’ve always held a very traditional Splitter grip (I’ll link a video below to show you a highlight of what my Splitter does). I know some guys like to feel the finger pulling down on a seam but that never felt good for me. Lets take a look at how Gausman holds his Splitter. Click this link to view. Gausman Split Grip
I’ve seen a lot of guys go to a “Split-Change” grip because they felt they struggled with pronation of a regular changeup. Gausman’s grip reminds me a lot like that because of where he puts his ring and pinky finger. It’s more of like a hybrid between the two because you’re getting splitter “vertical” movement and changeup “horizontal” movement at the same time. For me, as stated above, my Splitter acted as a “Forkball” and just dropped straight down as you’ll see in the video below. Now this video was taken my Rookie Season in 2010 so apologies for poor video quality. Have a look.
Again, I never think to “pronate” my Splitter as maybe some who throw the “Split-Change” would still think. I really only think sturdy wrist and finish out front! Again, it’s a fastball. I’ve thrown mine in the low 90’s at times throughout my career. That’s what I love about the pitch is the ability to just let it eat and not have to complicate it.
Hope you enjoyed this breakdown. If you ever have any recommendations on who I should do another breakdown let me know by sending me a message on Instagram.
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