Snell Still Needs a lot of Work

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From what I’ve observed, a lot of people have been using Snell’s recent success as an excuse to decide he’s fixed. He isn’t. His command is still a big issue, and it’s very unlikely that he’s going to be able to fix that before next season – at the earliest. He’s not awful, but when you fall behind 3-1 or 3-0 on nearly every hitter, you’re going to have a lot of problems.

His fastball isn’t really the issue – the velocity is good, and although he could stand to bring it’s strike percentage up from where it was tonight (57.4%), it’s not his biggest issue. He probably isn’t going to have much success until he develops better command of it – right now I get the feeling he has no idea where it’s going – but his biggest problem is his inability to control his other pitches.

His slider seems to be fine – he’s throwing it for strikes, and he’s missing bats with it. It accounted for half of his 6 swinging strikes tonight. So no, his slider isn’t the issue – what appears to be hurting him is his change. He throws it a lot, mainly because it’s the closest thing he has to an out pitch against lefties, but he has no command of it. He threw 21 of them tonight against the A’s – 9 of them (42.8%) for strikes, and didn’t miss any bats. When you’re regularly throwing a pitch that you can’t hit the zone or miss bats with, that’s going to be a problem, which is why he’s going to need to do a lot of work on it this offseason.

So, in summary: Fewer walks, more sliders, fewer change ups (until he improves it), and less nibbling.

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