Interview: MLB Pitcher Blake Snell Reveals the Secrets Behind His Most Powerful Pitches

Rangers Rays Baseball, St. Petersburg, USA - 30 Jun 2019 Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws against the Texas Rangers during the second inning of a baseball game, in St. Petersburg, Fla 30 Jun 2019 Image ID: 10325019a Featured in: Rangers Rays Baseball, St. Petersburg, USA - 30 Jun 2019 Photo Credit: Mike Carlson/AP/Shutterstock
Mike Carlson/AP/Shutterstock

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell had a breakout season in 2018, and after leading the American League in wins (21) and ERA (1.89), he’s become one of the leading candidates to win the AL Cy Young Award. Snell is up against pitchers like Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians, who both won the award in previous years. (UPDATE: Snell has won the American League Cy Young award for 2018. Read more here on the win.)

Snell’s league-leading win total didn’t just come against bad teams, either. He went 9-2 with a 2.00 ERA against the teams with the five highest-scoring offenses in baseball: the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians. Not bad for a 25-year-old in his third season in the majors.

Interview: MLB Pitcher Blake Snell Talks About His Cy Young-Winning Season

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Snell joined a special club with his performance this season, becoming just the seventh pitcher since 1920 to win 20 games, have an ERA lower than 2.00, and do it all at 25 years old or younger—Snell will turn 26 in December—according to He also ranked in the top-5 in the American League in strikeouts per 9 Innings (K/9 11.01) after putting up 221 strikeouts in just 180.2 innings pitched.

Snell took some time to speak with us about how he dominated hitters during the 2018 season, showing us how he grips some of the pitches that helped him get it done.

11 Fastball Questions With Rays Star Blake Snell on His Cy Young-Winning Season

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In the video, Snell also talks about:

  • How he grips his fastball
  • Why his fastball has been his most effective pitch
  • Why he throws his slider against lefty hitters
  • How he uses his circle changeup to fool hitters

Here’s our interview with Blake Snell about the secrets behind his pitches:

The AL Cy Young award was announced on November 14.

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