The Best Sliders in MLB
Our best pitch series continues with some of the nastiest sliders in Major League Baseball.
By Zach Smith
These frisbee sliders are absolutely unfair and almost impossible to hit, even for the most talented of hitters.
Jacob deGrom- NYM
Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher on Earth, and he throws the hardest slider, averaging 91.6 mph. The most amazing trait about his slider is the ability to get swings without ever throwing it in the zone.
Tyler Rogers- SF
We started with the fastest slider in baseball and now have moved onto the slowest one. Rogers throws his at just 72 mph, and it rises because he is a submarine pitcher.
He releases the ball inches above the ground, causing it to rise from his release point on the way to the plate. This causes hitters to get under the ball and get outs by way of weak fly balls.
Blake Treinen- LAD
Entering 2021, Treinen made a big change to his slider. He decreased velocity of the pitch from 89 to 86 mph, while increasing horizontal movement by more than 10 inches.
What had already been a great pitch, became the most unhittable pitch in baseball behind Corbin Burnes' cutter, with hitters mustering a .073 average and .101 wOBA against.
Chris Sale- BOS
To call Chris Sale’s slider a true slide is almost ridiculous considering it averages nearly 50 inches of vertical drop and more than 10 inches of horizontal sweep.
It’s been a staple pitch for years. The creativity of Sale’s repertoire, and especially of his slider, is why he continues to prosper even if his velocity doesn’t return to the high 90’s we once saw.
Carlos Rodón- FA
The free agent has had one of the best sliders for years. Rodón had a breakout 2021 season in which he had a 2.37 ERA and held batters to a .107 BA and .148 wOBA against his slider.
Since 2019, Rodon has allowed a .169 wOBA against his slider. He keeps batters on edge with a lot of movement and a velocity that’s on the upper end of the slider spectrum at 86 MPH.
Gerrit Cole- NYY
Sticky stuff or not, Gerrit Cole has one filthy slider that can reach 91 mph, and like deGrom, hitters don’t have time to react, especially when he pairs it with a 100 mph fastball.
It’s hard to square up even if contact is made. He throws his slider with tons of gyro spin, or spin that does not make the ball move. Gyro spin helps Cole throw it harder and with a sharper break.