I would never tell you how to appreciate baseball, but I’m really going to urge you to take a second to relish Dillon Maples’ crazy cutter. This pitch is among the most filthy in baseball and, quite frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.
The David Wallace (that’s an Office reference) of Cubs Insider, Evan Altman, spoke with Maples earlier in the offseason about how the breaking pitch revolutionized the reliever’s career. The two talked about Maples changing his sequencing by pitching backwards. The former top prospect returned to a strategy of establishing the strike zone with a cutter/slider early in the count instead of a fastball.
There’s a reason Maples rose from Myrtle Beach to Wrigley in such a short amount of time, and it’s not just because of sequencing. At the big-league level last year, Maples’ cutter moved more than any other righty pitcher. Not only that, but Maples was throwing cutters with about 75 percent more movement than the runner-up on the list.
Half the time batters are facing Maples, they are going to see the nastiest cutter in MLB. That was the case in his inning of work against the Indians, when he sat down all three hitters on strikes. Good luck hitting that pitch when he’s on. Just absolutely mind-boggling.
Here’s where it gets even crazier. Since 2007, Maples cutter horizontal movement average is better than 99.9999 percent of right-handed pitchers. The only person who has more cutter movement than Dillon Maples is Dillon Maples. Plus, he chucks it sometimes at 90 mph. Human beings aren’t supposed to throw baseballs like that.
I just don’t see how hitters can do anything with a pitch like Maples’ cutter. So next time someone asks you what is one of nastiest pitches you’ve ever seen, it’s okay to straight up say Dillon Maples’ cutter.
Big league filth. pic.twitter.com/JY6oWpbwmH
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 3, 2017