Dillon Maples has one of the nastiest cutters/sliders in MLB, at least according to the small sample of pitch movement data generated during his late-season stint. In spite of — or more likely because of — such devastating breaking action, the young righty has had a history of command problems.
One would think that Maples would want to locate his breaking pitch down in the zone, but we didn’t see that with the 56 cutters in September and October. Most of them were thrown high and tight to righties, which, if I were a batter, would probably make me think I’m about to get my jaw broken.
Maples pitches backwards, using his breaking stuff to set up a fastball that can touch triple digits. If he’s able to dial in his location and control, maybe he’ll eventually get that shot to close after all.