We’re spending a lot of time today talking about who the best pitcher was in baseball in 2015.
But what about the best pitch?
Rodriguez threw 354 of them last season, his best season in terms of both his WHIP (0.86) and his walk rate (1.7 per nine innings). It's a pitch that helped him net 38 saves in 40 opportunities.
Opponents went 11-for-112 in at-bats ending with it (.098 batting average), missing on 40 percent of their swings and hitting the ball hard in only 5 percent of their at-bats.
To take it a step further, FanGraphs.com tracks a run value stat, based on how much each pitch a pitcher throws contributes to winning (strikes and outs have a positive value, balls and hits, walks, and hit-by-pitches have a negative value). Rodriguez's changeup was worth nearly 18 runs better than the average pitcher. Only two starters got more value from their changeup -- Zack Greinke and Danny Salazar.
But if we look at it on a per-100-pitches basis, Rodriguez's changeup moves to the top of the board of any pitch. In fact, among those pitchers who threw at least 40 innings and threw a pitch at least 10 percent of the time, no pitcher has a higher run value per 100 pitches than Rodriguez's 5.07 on his changeup.