2020 MLB season: 5 Pitchers to Watch for
Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks
After an impressive start to the 2019 season with the Miami Marlins, Zac Gallen was targeted and acquired by Arizona. A deal that now looks to be a steal. Over 15 starts and approximately 80 innings pitched, Gallen, accrued a WAR of 2.5 in his rookie season with an impressive ratio of 96 strikeouts to 36 free passes.
He features a 93 mph four-seam fastball, yet also blends it with a 79mph curveball and an 85 mph change-up. The change-up is his foremost “out pitch”, in other words, it is the key pitch he will go to in strikeout situations.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, it has a very sharp break, fading low and away beneath the bats of left-handers and towards right-handers, resultantly jamming them. The second reason that this pitch stands out is that it is the perfect companion for his fastball in both movement and velocity.
His fastball is not necessarily going to overpower any batters, however, this is not its main feature within Gallen’s repertoire. It can be thrown with pinpoint accuracy at times, which will likely be honed as he matures on the mound.
Whereas the change-up is a weapon for the lefties, his curve is an out pitch for his right-handed opponents. He can equip it to throw for a strike or in an attempt to have the batter chase a ball well out of the strike zone. It also should be noted that it has induced a high number of flyball outs.
In sum, Zac Gallen’s overwhelmingly positive rookie season in 2019 has him primed for an interesting 2020 MLB season. He is certainly worthy of keeping your eye on, especially with his profound breakout potential.