Pitcher Analysis: Al Alburquerque
Ahhhhh…the new fun pitcher to watch. A new man who loves to strike them out. And ever since Zumaya’s arm ‘sploded Tigers fans needed someone fun to watch.
But Al Al isn’t without err. He walks way to many. A problem of many guys who like to see how far above 95mph they can throw. At some point these guys prefer to throw the ball really hard instead of try to get the out. With all that said Al likes to keep the damage to the minimum. He has an LOB% of nearly 80% and in 33 innings he has yet to give up a home run. That HR stat, it’s quite impressive for a man who only uses two pitches.
Now for the pitches. Mr. Al has two that he likes to use. He has a fastball (of both the two and four seam varieties) that he throws at 95+mph. He also has a slider that he absolutely loves and clocks it at around 85mph. Now normally for a relief pitcher two pitches are fine and I’d classify the breaking pitch (slider) as basically his “change-up” but in the case of Al Al I’m just gonna go ahead and say that the fastball is his “change-up.”
Why would I say that? Well, Al throws his slider more than 50% of the time meaning it’s the fastballs that keep the hitter off balance instead of the breaking ball. It’s a strange setup because normally a pitcher establishes the fastball and then moves on to the other pitches. But Al Al seems to be a bit of a hipster when it comes to pitching tradition.
Now on to a chart or two.
What a strange release point. Straight over the center of the plate. Why? Off to the video…
Yep. Just as I thought. The only thing touching that pitching mound is his big toe. Nothing wrong with that. Other than that it’s a pretty low release that stays pretty consistent.
Mechanically Alburquerque is very smooth. He gets from point A to Point B with very little effort–no extra motions, no stupid little stops–and seems to naturally generate quite a bit of velocity. He may use the slider too much but as long as it’s effective and he keeps locating it the way he does it’s not a big issue for a relief pitcher. He keeps his release generally consistent and a solid mechanics keep him deceptive as well. Overall I’d have to say that the Tigers have a very solid pitcher in Al Alburquerque.