Bassitt has a 90-94 mph two-seam SINKER, a 93-97 mph four-seamer. He has a near-average 84-87 mh SLIDER and a 71-74 mph CURVEBALL, but between the two pitches, he uses only the one that is working better on that night. His 83-85 mph CHANGEUP is fringe-average. (Spring, 2018)
At times his fastball flattens out when he loses his low-three-quarters arm slot. His curve comes in below hitting speed, has sweeping glove-side movement and is an extreme flyball pitch. His slider results in more flyballs (than ground balls), is much harder than usual and has less than expected depth. His cutter has strong cutting action. His change has slight armside fade.
Broadening his pitch assortment away from a simple fastball/slider combination was one of his key adaption tasks when he converted from the bullpen to starting a few years ago. Also since his secondary pitches are fly ball pitches, it is quite interesting for a guy who relies a great deal on sinkers and has such low home run rates.
if he can shave a few walks off his ratios and stay healthy, Bassitt could be a decent back-end starter. If he does break out, the first indicator would probably be a higher strikeout rate. (July 2015)
2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 21.3% of the time; Sinker 40.4% of the time; Change 7.6%; Slider 13%; and Curve 17.7% of the time.
2017 Season Pitch Usage: Did not pitch
2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 13.3% of the time; Sinker 44.1%; Change 4.3%; Slider 25%; and his Curve 13.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93 mph, Sinker 92.5, Change 83.7, Slider 87.1, and Curve 71.6 mph.
2019 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 24.3% of the time; Sinker 40.6%; Change 8.4%; Slider less than 1%; his Curve 12.7%; and Cutter 13.6% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 94.3 mph, Sinker 93.5, Change 85.3, Slider 84.9, Curve 70.6, and Cutter 88.7 mph.
- 2020 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 15.4% of the time; Sinker 38.2%; Change 9.8%; Slider 3.7%; his Curve 9.6%; and Cutter 23.3% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 93.8 mph, Sinker 93, Change 84, Slider 76, Curve 70.2, and Cutter 88.4 mph.
Chris comes at hitters from a low three-quarters arm angle.
"I know there are things I’m really going to have to improve on, and obviously pitching to lefties is going to be one big thing going forward," he said as the 2014 season ended.
Bassitt’s two-seam fastball has been effective against righthanded hitters, and he’s been working on cutting the ball in on lefthanders.
“He has a live arm,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You look at him, just size wise and how it comes out of his hand, he’s an intriguing pitcher just because of the way he throws. And he’s shown the ability to fight through tough situations, which is what you want to see.”
Bassitt pitched out of the bullpen early in his career and, prior to the 2015 season, many believed he would eventually return to relieving. But he’s made the most of his opportunity to start and has many of the traits necessary to profile as a big league starter.
- 2016 Improvements: Bassitt has traded in his high-effort delivery for a simplified version borrowed from Sonny Gray. "It's a complete change from last year," Bassitt said.
The process began in 2015, when pitching coach Curt Young was working to resolve his occasional habit of tipping pitches. It was during this process they stumbled upon a few delivery patterns that mimicked those employed by Gray. "And we just ran with it," said Bassitt.
"We were seeing some things we wanted to clean up," Young said. "It really has to do with simplifying his delivery and making him comfortable with where his hands are starting from the windup. I'm seeing a more compact delivery from him, where it's been consistent in his side work, and that's really what we're looking for, for him to repeat it and be consistent with his delivery. His arm is going to work the same way every time, which helps him get into the strike zone."
Eliminating as many moving parts from Bassitt's complex delivery meant rotating his body to the right at the starting point, "where it almost appears he's in the stretch when he's in the windup," Young said. "That's how simple he's trying to keep it." From there, Chris takes a small step with his left foot to jumpstart his leg kick, helping him form a more compact delivery.
"He's starting from a strong position," Gray said. "The big thing for him is his lower half is in the same position every pitch. He has a smaller step back now, and he also has his back foot the way he wants it while he's delivering the pitch. He seems to like it."
"I'm so much more under control," Bassitt said. "Usually I'm stepping sideways, then I'm trying to step back, now everything is just directionally toward home plate. It just feels so much better. There's not so much rocking back and forth like before."
Such movements often cost Bassitt his command.
"With his ability and the confidence he gained last year, we expect him to be in the rotation, and we expect him to have a good year," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He has a high ceiling. He's got great movement, he throws hard, he came a long way with his breaking stuff last year, and I know his confidence came with it. He's the type of guy you can just see he's more confident out there."
This partly stems from Bassitt's newfound appreciation for the starting pitcher's routine. In the past, he often spoke of his preference for relieving.
"I kinda changed my mind," said Bassitt, laughing. "Last year, after bouncing back and forth, I'd be really happy to start all year. For now, I'm 100 percent on board with starting. I've embraced the routine and learned to love it."
In 2015, several of Bassitt's pitches—notably his cutter and changeup—were slow to develop. This go-around, they're already ahead of schedule, he said, because of his delivery tweaks. He also feels stronger, after an offseason of conditioning with Gray in Nashville, Tenn., at Gray's alma mater, Vanderbilt University.
Bassitt and his girlfriend came to love the city during his stints with the Nashville Sounds, so it didn't take much convincing for them to stay when Gray told him, "Just come work out with me every day."
"We had fun," Gray said. "As pitchers, whether it's a grip or it's something like this with his delivery, if you can help another guy out, that's what's so cool about pitching. We're all constantly trying to get better, and the best way to get better sometimes is by watching other guys." (Jane Lee - MLB.com. - March 3, 2016)
Sept 28, 2020: Chris Bassitt pitched lights-out baseball when his team needed it the most, and his dominant Septembers resulted in being named the American League Pitcher of the Month for September.
Bassitt was the hottest pitcher in baseball down the stretch, leading the Majors with a 0.34 ERA in September -- Gerrit Cole was next-closest at an even 1.00 -- as the A's ran away with the American League West title and clinched the No. 2 seed in the AL playoff bracket.
The 31-year-old righty went 3-0 and didn't allow more than one run in any of his four starts, which included three scoreless efforts. Bassitt's September lowered his ERA to 2.29 for the season.
This is the first pitcher of the Month Award for Bassitt. He went 5-2 with a 2.29 ERA in the short 2020 season.
As of the start of the 2021 season, Bassitt had a career record of 19-21 with a 3.59 ERA, having allowed 41 home runs and 368 hits in 398 innings.
- 2021 Improvements: Bassitt’s new slider
New A’s reliever Sergio Romo recently saw a frustrated Bassitt in the back fields and headed over to his new teammate to help out. Bassitt has only recently been incorporating a slider into his mix — he threw it just 2.5% of pitches in 2020 after not throwing it at all previously in his career — and couldn’t quite find a good grip.
Top Articles READ MORE Apple security exec asks court to toss briberycharge in Santa Clara County concealed‑gun probe SKIP AD Romo’s been in the league for 13 years. He knows a thing or two about being a teammate — so he offered Bassitt his slider grip, the one of a variation he’s established his career on.
“I said, ‘Dang this is pretty funky but I like it.’ And it’s blossomed from there,” Bassitt said after Wednesday’s game.
As Bassitt tries to perfect the pitch, he’s sought council from Jake Diekman, another slider savant in-house. Diekman improved his slider tremendously in 2020 by adopting a new grip that generated far more strikes than he’d gotten in seasons past. This offseason Diekman is working to improve his slider tilt, so that he can find a consistent delivery without concerning himself too much with spin rate. Bassitt has asked Diekman all about this.
“You name it and I’ve talked to him about it,” Bassitt said. “It’s still a work in progress, but things pop in my head and I’ll text him throughout the day, but yeah. If you can bring it up, I can guarantee I’ve asked him about it.”
Bassitt in 2020 threw the slider 25 times, according to Statcast. But Bassitt hopes that incorporating the pitch more readily into his repertoire will prevent him from falling behind in the count. He had a career year in 2020, posting a 2.29 ERA in 11 starts as he climbed out of swingman purgatory into the ace spot.
“It’s a new look,” Bassitt said. “You always have to be one step ahead of batters in the league, and this is my one step ahead of people. If I put another pitch in hitters’ head, it’s going to be a great thing for me. It’s a pitch that’s definitely going to help me this year.” (Shayna Rubin - March 10, 2021)