2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Touki Toussaint

Touki Toussaint’s 2019 season was a back-step from 2018. Today’s Touki Toussaint Player Review will explore the reasons why that happened and what to look forward to next year.

Touki’s curveball played a disappearing act for most of the season. Easily his best pitch, it just didn’t have as much life as it used to. After the 2018 season almost everybody was talking about Touki’s curveball as one of the nastiest pitches in the MLB… then all of a sudden it was average. Actually, according to Statcast, his curveball spin rate was exactly average and his fastball spin rate was below average.

MLB changing the ball

One reason why was the juiced ball. Apparently, the seams on the ball were not as raised as they used to be. This created a problem for pitchers like Touki who rely on a big breaking curve. Also, the laces used to manufacture the ball in 2018 were 9% larger than they were in 2015 and then this year they appeared smaller again. All of this toying with the ball will have a different effect on different pitchers, but it seems to have really messed with Touki as he was nowhere near as effective this season.

What does the future hold?

Scouts are still very high on Touki, his fastball is still rated 60/60 and his curveball 65/65. His future value rating is 50, which is very good and hopefully he can build on his short time in the majors the past two seasons. It’s possible that he was a victim of too much shuffling between Atlanta and Gwinnett; he threw 39.2 innings in AAA with a 7.49 ERA and 41.2 innings in the MLB with a 5.62 ERA. His BABIP in the MLB this season was .339, a noticeable jump from the .254 he put up in 2018. This means it is possible that he was just a victim of bad luck, and 2020 will be the year of Touki.

Next season Touki will be fighting for the 5th spot in the rotation. Assuming no more starting pitching is added, it will likely be between him,Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson and Sean Newcomb. I think the Braves would prefer Newk stay in the pen, so it will likely come down to spring training performance of the other three. Touki has the talent to make it happen, but he needs to put it all together and maybe get some better luck!

Everybody loves Touki

Don’t let this Touki Toussait Player Review taint your opinion of the pitcher. It’s hard not to root for the guy. Just look back at last spring training and how he did entire interviews on how he refused to eat the butt fries at Chick-Fil-A, among other hilarious storylines. For all of our sakes, I hope the baseball either goes back to the 2018 version or Touki learns how to use it.

If you enjoyed this piece on Touki, here’s a look at another player who’s looking for a big bounce-back in 2020.

Note from Ryan

This is the last player in the 2019 Atlanta Braves Player Reviews. I want to thank all of the authors that have given their time over the offseason to put out such quality writing reviewing all of these players. As a follower, if you’re able think about becoming a Patron to help support these writers!

Thanks for reading!

Long live Braves Journal!

Author: Matt P

Hello, I’m Matt Pocza! I am a 4th year finance and economics student at the University of Florida and I love the Atlanta Braves. I’ve played baseball my entire life, and I am a sidearm pitcher for the club team at Florida. I also enjoy scuba diving, football and business. Follow me on twitter @braves_rumors!

15 thoughts on “2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Touki Toussaint”

  1. I’m seeing some things saying JDs camp asked for final offers on wednesday, but it appears he’s still trying to wait out the Braves on upping their offer… interesting

  2. Folks, as a Braves baseball fan, I’m going to miss Julio Teheran. I’m glad we’re upgrading, but I’ll miss him.

  3. It’s hard to know if what we’re hearing is true, but it seems like Donaldson has been waiting for Atlanta’s best offer for a while. That leads me to believe that Donaldson would much prefer signing with Atlanta. And I can only imagine Atlanta knows that and is trying to take advantage of it. I feel like this is yet another situation where Georgia not having a state income tax could come into play.

  4. @3
    I’ll co-sign that sentiment, Rob.

    It never ocurred to me that the changed ball/stitches could have caused such a problem for Touki.
    MLB really has to stop doing that.

  5. @5 yes, it’s something that you don’t really consider but just a slight change in grip could mean inches of movement on a pitch.

  6. @4–actually Georgia does have an income tax. The two largest states without an income tax are Texas and Florida. I assume of the four franchises in those states only the Rangers would possibly be interested.
    Which teams seem to be finalists in the JD sweepstakes?

  7. @8 is absolutely correct, the income tax rate in Georgia is 6%.

    It seems pretty clear that if Donaldson was willing to sign for 3/$75M or thereabouts it would have already happened. If there are teams willing to sign him for 4 years, and the Braves aren’t willing to go that long, then I doubt he will sign with Atlanta. It’s his last shot at a lucrative contract, so that extra year is worth a lot. This is where not having the DH puts NL clubs at a big disadvantage.

  8. JC’d

    Hard to believe Julio won’t ever pitch again as a Brave. Our continuum…always there, in the picture. That smile.

    Another loss to the awful American League, big bucks, no class.

    God speed.

  9. Well, we hear now that talks between MLB and the Umpires union are underway on the touchy-touchy-feely-feely subject of our new friend, the Robotic Umpire.

    Some predictions then. Vladimir P will be watching closely. His guys still unable to mess with apple pie he sees a great future in hacking up the National Pastime. Chaos will ensue and he knows it.

    Secondly, the Astros. Surely not you say, the CIA already have a live in crew of three in the ladies bathroom at that awful park (there are no ladies in Texas). But i’m told management and the front office are totally addicted by now to their queer CPU which will do exactly as it is told.

    National League first then the American. WOO HOO!

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