Luke Weaver – 4th Season
Poor Weaver has an uphill climb in Arizona, where he’ll always be remembered as the core piece in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the future that would make Diamondbacks fans think the trade was worth it.
I’m not giving up on Weaver, but the realistic best future for Weaver is that he develops this season and next, when the Diamondbacks can trade him for a non-tainted return just before he gets expensive. Sad but true, it sometimes takes until the second or third branch before a trade tree bears fruit.
In the meantime, the Diamondbacks will be tracking the development of Weaver’s secondary offerings. His fastball has been effective, but he’s also reliant on it at nearly a 60% clip, and he doesn’t seem wholly comfortable with any of his offspeed pitches.
He has experimented with a cutter, which could be a difference make if he can harness it effectively. Usage of his curve doubled last season, but hitters smoked it to the tune of a .529 xSLG. A straight change has been his most effective offspeed pitch, but that’s simply not enough firepower to get through opposing lineups three times.
Weaver can reset by working with a brand new coaching staff in Arizona. Having Dan Haren whispering in his ear will hopefully refine in his approach. Haren was once over-reliant on his fastball, and it was his ability to adjust that kept him in the major leagues for thirteen seasons.