Digging into Chris Bassitt’s numbers, and what to expect next from the Blue Jays

Ryley Delaney
1 year ago
The Jays have signed Chris Bassitt, let’s dive into his numbers.
Last season with the Mets, the 33-year-old had a 3.42 ERA and 3.66 FIP in 181.2 innings pitched, a career-high number for the righty. His 22.4 K% was below average, but he did a good job avoiding giving runners a free pass, as he had a 6.6 BB%.
As for his career totals, he has a 3.45 ERA and 3.81 FIP in 737.1 innings pitched. To go along with that, he has a 21.7 K% and 7.4 BB%, so no bad numbers.
Despite not being a strikeout artist, how has Bassist put up solid numbers? Well, he’s always been able to generate soft contact from his high 3/4 release point
According to Baseball Savant, Bassitt sat in the 95th percentile of average exit velocity of 85.7 mph, well below the league average. He also sat in the 87th percentile of HardHit%, essentially how many balls in play had an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher. Bassitt’s 2022 HardHit% sat at 32.8%, which is the same amount for his career.
His stuff is also what you’d expect from a pitcher who generates soft contact. He features six pitches, a sinker (used 33.4% of the time), a cutter (17.2%), a slider (16.3%), a curveball (13.9%), a four-seam fastball (13.1%), and a changeup (6.1%). 
His fastballs average in the low 90s, but they have a lot of sink, which batters will roll over on. This is reflected by his 48.8 ground ball% in 2022, as well as his career 44.2 ground ball%. What’s more, is that batters had a “Topped %” of 36.1% in 2022, and 32.4% for his career. Topped % essentially ends up resulting in ground balls, which are generally good for pitchers to get.
Bassitt also had a line drive percentage of 17.2% in 2022, which is pretty darn good. Out of any of the batted balls (ground balls, fly balls, line drives), line drives had a batting average of around 400 points higher than the other two. Bassitt really managed to keep that down, which could explain his rather low .282 BABIP.
For context, Kevin Gausman had a 24.6 line drive percentage in 2022, which could be the biggest reason why he had one of the worst .363 BABIPs.

What’s next?:

So the Jays filled the number three spot in the rotation, but it’s hard to believe they are done. What’s next for the only Canadian team?
Well, the Jays managed to sign a starter at a reasonable price while maintaining their most valuable trade chip, their three catchers.
Their biggest need as it stands is a left-handed batting outfielder, and one has to assume that this acquisition will come via trade. It’s been noted that the Jays have looked at a few players to fit this role, such as Bryan Reynolds and Daulton Varsho.
They’ve also been in the market for additional bullpen help, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’d want to add a fifth starter to upgrade Mitch White or Yusei Kikuchi. Assuming that this kind of trade happens, it wouldn’t surprise me if it were similar to the Teoscar Hernández deal, where they got a need (a reliever), but also got a prospect.
If they were to trade a catcher for an outfielder such as Daulton Varsho, I’m assuming they’d be getting a high minor pitcher in return.
In fact, as I was finishing up this article, the man who broke that a Chris Bassitt deal was “imminent”, announced that the Jays have shifted focus to trade for Pablo López or Bryan Reynolds via using one of their catchers.
So take that as you will, but adding López to the rotation would be absolutely insane.
It’s nice that the off-season is picking up and stay tuned for any further transactions!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


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