Nine Things To Know About The Best Changeup In Baseball

Jeff Sullivan · July 18, 2014 at 10:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I try not to ever over-link to my own material, but then I pretty much never write about the Mariners anywhere but here. If I write a post about Allen Craig’s troubles inside, I’m not going to link it on USSM. But I just put something together about King Felix and the best changeup in the world, and it’s the sort of thing I would’ve put here if I didn’t put it somewhere else, so this might be up your alley. Felix throws a whole lot of pitches, but one of them is better than the rest, and it only seems to be getting better with time. If these trends continue, by 2025 Felix will throw exclusively perfectly-located 90 mile-per-hour changeups, and batters will still be helpless because they keep thinking it’s going to be a fastball until the last instant.

It’s a good pitch, is the point, and it’s a privilege to be able to write about it. It’s a privilege to even be able to share an existence with it. I think the times I spend writing about Felix Hernandez are my times of greatest clarity. Think about Felix and everything comes to a halt.


6 Responses to “Nine Things To Know About The Best Changeup In Baseball”

  1. ndevale on July 18th, 2014 12:18 pm

    Is the sublimity of Felix enough to carry the Ms on his back to the crown this year? Hershiser did it. Will Felix?

  2. dnc on July 18th, 2014 4:03 pm

    10. Felix’s changeup is ours and you can’t have (hit?) it

  3. henryv on July 18th, 2014 5:29 pm

    I don’t know that I think Felix’s change-up is a “change-up”.

    “It” falls 6 to 7 (at one point getting close to 8) inches further than his fastball, with a very small difference in velocity.

    The normal fall of a change-up with a decrease of 5-7 MPH (compared to a fastball) is 2-4 inches.

    One opinion is that it has to have some downward break to it. This is likely, but also boring. Also, who the hell can actually throw a breaking pitch at 91MPH which throwing a 4-seam at 94?

    I believe something else is responsible.

    I believe the reality is that Felix is actually able to alter gravity around the plate.

  4. henryv on July 18th, 2014 5:32 pm

    I thought one more thing was interesting to note:

    Good luck guessing what he is going to throw to you…

    At no point does Felix throw more than 34% of a pitch to a batter. Lefty or righty.

  5. Slippery Elmer on July 18th, 2014 11:31 pm

    Good reading, Jeff.

    I’m curious how many more seasons like this there need to be before Felix and the MLB Hall of Fame start being regularly mentioned in the same sentence.

  6. LongDistance on July 19th, 2014 12:01 am

    I enjoyed, Felix and the MLB Hall of Fame, reading this article Jeff.

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