Simon: Hitters struggle to hit Medlen’s changeup

From SABR member Mark Simon at on October 5, 2012:

The Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen has one of baseball’s nastiest changeups, and it was a major reason for his success in 2012. Medlen netted misses on 40 percent of the swings taken against his changeup (the major-league average is about 30 percent).

The pitch became even more valuable once Medlen converted to full-time starter. In the 12 games Medlen started, hitters missed on 49 percent of the swings against his changeup.

Medlen this season threw strikes 75 percent of the time with his changeup — that was the highest rate in baseball for anyone who threw at least 200 changeups.

Interestingly, Friday’s opposing pitcher, Kyle Lohse, had the seventh-highest strike rate at 72 percent.

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Originally published: October 5, 2012. Last Updated: October 5, 2012.