Jace Fry’s arm could prove to be very valuable to the Chicago White Sox.
Hidden in the bullpen behind big names like Liam Hendricks, Michael Kopech and Aaron Bummer is Jace Fry, a southpaw that could impact the 2021 season.
Fans know Fry to be a mediocre pitcher who does not give up the long ball too often but tends to walk hitters. In 2019, in 55 innings of work, Fry walked 43 hitters.
The three pitches Fry relies on the most, cutter, sinker, and curve, are movement pitches that rely on swings and misses outside of the zone. With all of the strikeouts he has in his career, Fry has shown that he has the command capable of racking up the K’s. What is holding him back?
While his off-speed command is superb, batters hit for a .500 average when seeing his fourth-most used pitch last season. Improving his fastball command gives him an excellent set-up pitch to draw more swings-and-misses which would bring down the walks. However, there is another pitch in Fry’s arsenal that could be a difference-maker.
His third most used pitch, the curveball, was used about 17% of the time. On average, his curve is about ten miles per hour slower than his other pitches and is an excellent pitch to make hitters look off-balanced if executed well.
His curve spin rate in 2020 ranked in the 12th percentile, making it essentially a beach ball if hung anywhere in the zone. Hopefully, with Ethan Katz as his new pitching coach, the two can improve his spin rate and command. Fixing just one of these pitches could make him impactful and reliable when his number is called.