Pitching is an art.
It requires a specific set of skills to mess with hitters’ timing, making them swing and miss, or at least force them into making suboptimal contact that could lead to easy outs.
It’s not a coincidence that he is widely considered one of the top relievers in the American League, and MLB in general.
He is what you would call ‘overpowering’: he throws a cutter at 100 mph, and also has a devastating slider.
When you see him pitch, you certainly understand why he has a minuscule 1.22 ERA this season: he throws hard, his pitches move a lot, and he has control and command.
That’s the recipe for success.
Not only does he have clear swing-and-miss skills, but his chase skills are top-notch, too.
No One Gets Hitters To Chase Like Clase
A batter chases when he swings at a pitch considered out of the strike zone.
In MLB, there is no one like Clase in forcing opposing hitters to chase with his stuff.
Emmanuel Clase aka Emmanuel Chase. 😤
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 22, 2022
Go ahead, we won’t stop you if you want to call him Emmanuel Chase from now on.
Not only does he lead the league in chase rate, but look at the gap between him and the second-ranked player!
It’s a joy to watch: about half of the time Clase throws a pitch out of the zone, the hitter swings at it.
This often results in swings and misses and weak contact, either on the ground or soft popups.
His slider has wicked movement and his cutter is very, very hard to square up, making him a nightmare matchup for opposing hitters.
Clase is one of the reasons why the Guardians lead their division and are currently chasing a playoff spot.