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Diving Into Chase Burns’ Electric Statcast Data


Image credit: (Photo by Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Chase Burns pitched an ACC Tournament game at Truist Field, which gave us all the gift of Chase Burns Statcast data. You can peruse his performance here.

Burns is one of the top players in our updated 2024 MLB Draft rankings. He has the potential to be one of the stars of the NCAA Tournament, which begins on Friday. Before we dive into the data, which I can assure you is glorious, let’s take a moment to use ye old eye test, courtesy of Pitching Ninja:

Burns’ slider reminds me a lot of Brad Lidge’s slider, which perhaps was the original “deathball.” It has massive depth and college batters miss it by a country mile. Statcast has all of his breaking balls as sliders. But I think it’s actually two pitches, one a true gyro slider, the other a curveball. I’ve done a rough remapping of his arsenal, and this is what his performance looked like:

Surprisingly, we only saw four whiffs on the fastball, which is unusual given the velocity and ride the pitch gets. What we did see was a boatload of whiffs on both the slider and the curve. My rough classification gives him 17 swings and misses on 42 sliders (70% whiff rate on swings) and nine swings and misses on 25 curves (64% whiff rate on swings).

While it’s curious that his fastball didn’t dominate in this small sample, it is possible the opposing team was sitting fastball. That would explain both the low usage of the pitch, and the outrageously good results on his breaking balls.

Burns’ ability to hold his elite velocity throughout the game was striking:

Above is a rolling five-pitch average, which never dipped below 96.5 mph, and he hit 99 mph on his 102nd pitch of the game. His last four fastballs were 97.7, 99.3, 97.6 and 97.8, which speaks to his ability to maintain elite velocity late into a start, and makes his average velo of 98 all the more impressive.

The Fastball

Let’s dig into the fastball, which is a metric monster of a pitch. As mentioned above, it has elite velocity at 98 mph, which he can hold deep into games. The only starting pitchers that threw four-seam fastballs with that kind of velocity in 2024 are: Paul Skenes (99.4), Jose Soriano (98.9), Bobby Miller (98.3), Hunter Greene (97.8) and Jared Jones (97.3). That’s elite velocity for a starter, period.

What about shape? Burns averaged 19 inches of induced vertical break (IVB) which is a measure of how much a pitch resists gravity. If we account for the reduced amount of time his pitches have to move, he clocks in at an elite 19.9 inches of IVB/flight, which normalizes IVB to a 0.4-second window, or the time of flight of an average fastball.

Astute readers will want to know if that’s actually a good amount of ride. Perhaps Burns has a very over-the-top delivery that would allow him to naturally get more ride? Let’s put his elite IVB in context. He averages a release height of 6.4 feet and a release width of 1.5 feet on his fastball. Here are the average IVB/F numbers for all 4-seam fastballs, with Burns’ release highlighted:

That means that the typical fastball thrown from that release point will have roughly 17 inches of IVB per 0.4 seconds. Burns is getting 3 inches more ride than that. That’s elite fastball shape. If we look for a pitcher with a release +/- 2″ in release side or height, with at least a 95 mph fastball, we get this list:

Dylan Cease’s fastball is a pretty good fastball, from a pure stuff perspective. Burns’ latest start looks a lot like Cease’s, if not slightly better. We don’t know if the movement profile will translate directly to pro ball, so take all of these numbers with a healthy dose of caution. However, the shape data is very good, and extremely promising.

Interestingly, Burns’ slider also shares a lot of similarities with Cease, sitting in the same velo band (88 mph) and IVB (0-2 inches), though Cease’s is more refined with better deception via release angles, and more gyro spin. Burns has the slight edge in spin rates at around 2890 rpm, which helps a slider from a raw stuff perspective.


Burns did a good job targeting his fastballs to righties, mostly up and away. This is not a pristine command profile, but it’s also a very small sample.

He located his breaking balls down and away for the most part. Again, this isn’t pristine command where he’s dotting the pitches right below the zone, but we see the same general principle, breaking balls low, fastballs high. This is what you want to see from a young prospect.

The Changeup

We only had four pitches from him, and zero whiffs, but it’s promising that he’s willing to throw it. It’s clearly far behind his main weapons. Given the strength of his fastball-slider-curveball combination is, developing the changeup into another weapon would be icing on the cake.


Chase Burns’ Statcast debut was excellent. He struck out 15 batters of the 18 outs he recorded, which is as electric as it gets. However, his underlying metrics might be even more exciting than the surface level results.

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