Mets pitching monster Reed Garrett is proving you don’t have to always throw hard to wreak havoc

A look into what has made Reed Garrett so fantastic in 2024.
Apr 20, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Mets pitcher Reed Garrett (75) reacts after
Apr 20, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Mets pitcher Reed Garrett (75) reacts after / Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Reed Garrett is going to teach a whole new generation of baseball fans about deeper pitching analytics. The stunningly successful New York Mets reliever already has me glaring at his Baseball Savant page trying to understand this monster came to be.

One significant change already made this year is his use of the sweeper. Thrown 37 times in 2023 with an average velocity of 86mph, he has already delivered the pitch 39 times in 2024 at an even slower average speed of 84.8mph. It’s the slowest of the pitches among the five in his arsenal and one of the most effective. No one has gotten a hit against it yet. His second most-used pitch against a slider, Garrett has cleverly used those two and a split finger far more often than his 95mph+ four seam fastball or sinker.

In an era where pitchers are taught to throw hard and injuries ensue, Garrett is going against the grain. He and the coaching staff have caught on that this is the direction to take him. A Whiff% of just 17 last year with his four seamer and again at only 14.3 in 2024, Garrett has gotten away from throwing straight and hard and been more of a junk baller.

Mets pitcher Reed Garrett is built different

By avoiding the “max effort” with every pitch, Garrett was able to pitch on Friday night and again on Saturday less than 24 hours later. His 33 pitches on Friday didn’t scare him or the coaching staff from asking him to close out the game. It took him 13 more pitches to strike out the three Los Angeles Dodgers he faced.

Garrett isn’t intimidating at first glance nor does he even look it in his delivery. It’s those hard-throwers or highly-stacked pitchers who tend to strike fear into hitters most. Garrett is built like your average athletic man at 6’2 and 195 pounds. He could be your kid’s gym teacher and probably was destined for it if not for this revolutionary change to his style.

Through the early going, Garrett has a Whiff% of 64.7 with his split finger. His slider and sweeper are setting up for the final out with this third most-used pitch going in for the kill.

Somehow, it’s not even that most used pitch getting the strikeouts. Garrett has benefitted from his sinker, used 17 times this year, with a PutAway% of 100.

Explaining how this journeyman reliever went from what he was prior to 2024 to what he is now is a deep discussion happening on many Mets fan group chats right now. The pitching lab is getting credit, but it’s ultimately Garrett who deserves the credit. He is executing on the mound and doing so in a smart manner. He has quickly earned the faith of fans and the coaching staff. His gutsy outings over the weekend against the Dodgers secured his importance and just how valuable he will remain for this team.