Red Sox pitcher Austin Brice has had his woes in the big leagues, dealing with injuries, demotions and promotions, and just overall struggles. He has gone from the Marlins to the Reds, back to the Marlins, then the Red Sox, and is now a free agent. Overall, nothing really stands out when looking at Austin Brice’s career statistics aside from his 2019 season where he appeared in 36 games, had a 125 ERA+, and struck out 46 hitters. Let’s take a look at what went right in 2019 for Brice.
While 36 appearances is really nothing special (in fact, the league leader in 2019 for pitchers had 83), it was a career-high for Brice. In 2019, Brice’s favorite pitch was his curveball, throwing it 44% of the time. Hitters had an average of only .175 against this pitch with an xBA of .214. Brice’s curveball had an average release height of 4.5 feet, an average velocity of 81.7 MPH, and an average spin rate of 2900 (!) RPM. Granted, this was in the time when pitchers were using foreign substances to enhance their pitch movement profiles. However, whether or not this was the case for Brice, these numbers are extremely impressive.
2019 saw Brice’s lowest hard-hit rate of his career at 35% and has since been increasing over the past two years. Brice has shown that he has the stuff to compete at the highest level but in order to make a move back onto a team, a revamp of his arsenal may need to come sooner than later. A fastball from a lower slot that usually lives up the zone paired with a curveball that also lives in the middle zone is not something to fool hitters with in 2022. I can see Brice ending up on a team soon, granted with the necessary changes being made.