Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone reading this. We are back after the holiday break with our next Slinger Saturday.
This week’s slinger is none other than Mychal Givens of the Cincinnati Reds. Givens has been one three teams since his debut in 2015, spending 5.5 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles before being traded to the Rockies in 2020 and then being traded again in 2021 to the Reds. Let’s dive right into the numbers.
To begin, when it comes to durability, Givens ranks amongst the best since his debut in 2015. Since 2015, Givens ranks 10th amongst relievers in innings pitched with 396.1 across 360 games. Through his 7 year career, Givens has also posted an ERA+ of over 100 in every season except one (the one season came in his first 10 games in Colorado to close out 2020).
Givens is primarily a ground ball pitcher with a GB% of 42.4% in 2021 (second highest in his career) compared to a line drive percentage of 27.1% in 2021 (tied for best of his career). As he has aged, Givens has leaned away from being a strike out pitcher to being a ‘pitch to contact guy’. In 2021 he had his lowest strikeout percentage of his career (21.7%) and his highest walk percentage (14.1%).
Givens comes in at 13th overall in terms of lowest release heights in 2021. His average release height on his pitches came in at 4.6 feet above the ground. This sidearm release can be seen in the tweet below.
According to BaseballSavant, Givens 4-seam fastball moves at an average of 10 inches of horizontal movement as well as 18 inches of drop. The spin rate on Givens’ fastball spins at about 2400 RPM, which is in the 96th percentile of the league. This large amount of spin, along with a 4.6 ft release height gives his fastball a ton of arm side run and makes it so difficult to hit from the left side. In 2021, lefties hit .214 against Givens while righties hit .250.
Mychal Givens is currently a free agent and with the lockout still intact, we don’t know where Givens will end up when it is all said and done. Before the lockout, there was interest from the Philadelphia Phillies along with a few other teams. I think the Phillies would be a great fit for everyone. Givens has proven through his career that is a durable, above average closer and the Phillies are a team that desperately need to fix their bullpen woes. There is no doubt in my mind we will see Givens sign shortly after the lockout is lifted.