How E-Jax Likes to Mix
In lieu of one long pitch f/x analysis of Edwin Jackson, I’m just going to break it into bits and pieces. First, let’s let’s look at how he mixes his pitches in different ball/strike counts. These are split out by batter handedness. This is based off of data from the beginning of last season up until now.
To give you a frame of reference, total E-Jax throws his 94 MPH fastball 63.7% of the time. He throws his slider 24.1% of the time. He throws a change-up 8.4% and a curve 3.9%.
Like most pitchers, Jackson likes to start things off with a fastball, but he’s not afraid to start batters off with his best pitch, the slider. Jackson will employ the slider often when he’s ahead to put the batter away, but once he’s behind, batters can bet on seeing a fastball, with the exception of a 3-2 count. Despite having 94 MPH heater, Jackson has always had crazy negative run numbers in his pitch type values. I hope that I can figure out why that is, but predictability might have something to do with it.
Sliders have high platoon splits, so Jackson moves away from his slider a bit more and throws a few more change-ups to offset lefties, but not by much. It should be noted that four-seam fastballs have high splits, too. Jackson will still throw a lot of sliders in favorable counts. It’s interesting that in strikeout counts he relies so little on the change-up. He’ll throw a change-up in 0-0, 1-1 or 2-1 counts but in 1-2 and 2-2 counts he’ll throw a fastball or his slider. He gets plenty of whiffs with the slider regardless of what side of the plate the batter is hitting from. When Jackson gets to 3 balls, pretty much regardless of the count, he’s going to go to the fastball when facing a lefty.
Jackson doesn’t have crazy platoon splits in spite of his fastball/slider happy ways, but I think he could definitely benefit from adding a cutter. He’s come to a good team for learning the cut-fastball, if he’s willing to listen and experiment.