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« Lost Balls | Main | The Fall and Rise of Joba's Fastball »

Masset's Asset

Nick Masset followed up a very good 2009 performance with a slightly above average 2010.  The majority of his peripherals showed decline.  He went from a 174 ERA+ to a 118 ERA+, and his walks and hits per nine increased.  However, he did see a bump in strikeouts, going from 8.3 to 10.0 SO/9.

While his fastball, change, and slider were all less effective to some degree in 2010, his curveball was very dominant last season.  In 2009, opponents hit .115/.179/.154 against his curve, compared to .088/.139/.088 last season.  Even more amazing, Massett threw 241 curveballs to opponents in 2010, up from 117 in 2009.

Top 15 MLB Curveballs by Contact% (Min. 100 PA featuring a curve)

Masset's curve saw the least amount of contact among all MLB pitchers last season.  By a lot.  At 41.5%, it was well below the league average of 72.1%.  His strikeout percentage of 66.7% was also tops among all pitchers' curves.  In fact, his 48 strikeouts on curveballs made up 57.8% of all his K's in 2010.  This is up from 27.1% in 2009 in which he recorded only 18 strikeouts on curveballs.  The downward velocity on his curve also ranked 6th in the majors at 20.2 feet per second.  Lastly, Masset's hook ranked 2nd behind Cliff Lee in wOBA with .115.

He's obviously found his out pitch.

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