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The 10 best pitches of the 2022 season

This staff has some of the best offerings in the entire game.

New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians - Game Two Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Time for some more reflection on the 2022 season! Sadly, this is happening a few weeks earlier than we all would like, but honestly, I’m still excited to carry out this exercise in particular. For the better part of three years, the Yankees have had some of the best pitching in the sport. From the top of the rotation to the bottom of the bullpen, the Yankees are filled with top-tier pitching, and as a result, top-tier pitches.

Matt Blake and Sam Briend’s presence in the organization has been very tangible, and it plays out well in this piece. Of all the people who will appear on this list, only one worked their way up the Yankees’ system as a top prospect with no hiccups. The others are a combination of late round draftees, waiver wire pick-ups, formerly DFA’d guys, and of course trade acquisitions. Perhaps I should now inform you all of what the topic is here today if you skipped over the title. Here are the top 10 pitches in the Yankees’ organization by Run Value per 100 pitches (RV/100):

No. 10, Luis Severino’s Slider (-1.8 RV/100, -6 total)

Man, I missed watching Severino. Finally after missing countless time in the last three seasons, we saw him in vintage form to end the season. His three starts off the IL plus his appearances in the playoffs were extremely promising. I’m very willing to say that he can return to form as an ace and help Gerrit Cole at the top of this rotation. His slider had the bite it needed when he was healthy, and it ended up being his own best pitch per RV/100 and the 10th best on the team.

No. 9, Nestor Cortes’ Four-seamer (-2.0 RV/100, -22 total)

Watching good hitter after good hitter whiff through Nestor’s four-seamer this year was mind boggling. After you look into the data and realize it makes sense, it becomes a little more explainable, but to the naked eye, you just can’t seem to understand why major league hitters are routinely whiffing through 90. In terms of total value, this was the number pitch on the Yankees staff. It shockingly beat out both of Gerrit Cole’s top offerings by a considerable margin.

No. 8, Jameson Taillon’s Curveball (-2.0, -8 total)

This has always been Taillon’s bread and butter. When he first debuted with the Yankees he struggled to command it under the zone, but as time went on, he perfected the release to bury this curveball in the dirt. It’s one of the most visually pleasing pitches to watch. There isn’t much quite like the top-down rainbow curve.

No. 7, Ron Marinaccio’s Four-seamer (-2.0, -7 total)

This pitch actually surprised me. I know Marinaccio is a wonderful pitcher, but I didn’t realize how effective his four-seamer was this year. This is almost certainly due to hitters getting beat by sitting on the changeup, but his weird release point plays a role as well. His two-pitch mix is going to take him a long way.

No. 6, Scott Effross’ Slider (-2.1, -7 total)

Effross is another one of those pitchers that is a joy to watch. His funky delivery and release make for wiffle ball type movement on his sinker and slider. Even a great hitter like Paul Goldschmidt whiffs through the deceptive slider. It’s too bad Effross will miss most of next year, but let’s hope he has a speedy recovery.

No. 5, Wandy Peralta’s Changeup (-2.5, -8 total)

This has been one of these best changeups in baseball for two years running. From the left side, it’s hard to find another that accrued as much value. Wandy relies on this pitch against lefties and righties. It’s got another pitch with demon type movement that drops off the face of the earth. Its tunnel with Peralta’s sinker is mind boggling experience for hitters.

No. 4, Lou Trivino’s Slider (-2.6 runs, -6 total)

It wasn’t a surprise to see Trivino return back to relief ace form upon his arrival in the Bronx. He has one of the best sweeper sliders in all of baseball, and it got even better in a Yankees’ uniform. He paired it well with a sinker, cutter, and changeup. Many above average hitters constantly whiffed at this pitch. The seam shifted wake is strong with this one.

No. 3, Michael King’s Slider (-2.6 runs, -6 total)

It’s a bitter sweet feeling. I love reliving Michael King’s dominance from the 2022 season, but then I am reminded that he wasn’t around much in the second half due to an elbow injury. I miss Michael King, and so did the Yankees in the playoffs. Imagine each time Clarke Schmidt came into pitch, it was instead King. No offense to Schmidt, he’s a good pitcher and will improve with time, but King was one of the best relievers in baseball this year. His sweeper was even better than that of Trivino’s.

No. 2, Michael King’s Sinker (-2.7 runs, -8 total)

This was my favorite pitch in baseball this year. King consistently dotted the back door sinker and fooled hitter after hitter. It didn’t matter who was up, or if it was up or down in the zone. He can run this pitch over corner with the very best of them. I genuinely cannot wait for him to come back and dominate again. This sinker/slider combo is perhaps the best of any reliever in baseball.

No. 1, Ron Marinaccio’s Changeup (-2.9 runs, -8 total)

Oh, remember that changeup I mentioned? Yeah, it was the highest rated pitch among any Yankees’ pitcher this year. It’s unicorn movement, especially horizontal approach angle, sets it apart from the rest of the league. As long as Marinaccio stays healthy, he will continue to be a productive reliever. Being a unicorn of any kind will give you a high floor of success.

But there you have it! There isn’t much I can say to add to these filthy pitchers. Just sit back and let the clips play through as much as you please. I know I’ll take another trip through to experience some joy from the 2022 season.