The dominant feature of Detroit Tigers left-hander Tarik Skubal is his screaming fourseam fastball. We say “screaming” because throughout his run through the minors and his 2020 debut, the pitch featured superb, high-efficiency backspin that gave it above average vertical and horizontal movement both. Combined with premium velocity for a southpaw, this is the weapon that should carry Skubal to some major league success even as he works to refine his command and his secondary pitches.
Unfortunately, so far in 2020, something is not right with the fastball.
Last season, Skubal’s fourseam fastball averaged 2422 rpms, which is well above the average of 2307 rpms leaguewide.