Kyle Scharber’s early season numbers are weird. Even though he is whiffing less overall due to connecting against fastballs, he’s still getting beat extremely badly by secondary pitches.
Schwarber’s current whiff rate is 25 percent, which is down by five percentage points from last season and currently at the league-average mark. I’d normally be pretty excited to see Schwarber whiffing so much less, but I’m a little puzzled by his inability to hit secondary offerings.
Against fastballs in 2019, you can see that Schwarber basically has less than a 10 percent chance of whiffing inside the strike zone.
But notice how he has greater than a 40% probability of whiffing at offspeed or pitches at the belt and greater than 60% probability at pitches below the knees.
Schwarber’s failure to make contact against breaking and offspeed stuff is way more pronounced this year than last. His probability of whiffing on breaking pitches inside the zone at the belt was less than 10 percent last season, and it was only around 20 percent just below the zone.
Schwarber’s struggle against secondaries may be a matter of early results clouding the stats, but it is definitely a trend worth monitoring. If he can continue to hit fastballs and match his success against secondary pitches from last year…look out, MLB.