Detroit Tigers: Reese Olson's great first outing leaves plenty to be excited about

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson (45) delivers a pitch during his MLB debut against the Chicago White Sox.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson (45) delivers a pitch during his MLB debut against the Chicago White Sox. / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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Movement Profiles + Metrics = Success

Olson's stuff was downright filthy on Friday, and the White Sox struggled to hit him at times. While any rookie pitcher whose stuff is new to the big leagues, there can be a bit of lag from the opposing hitters as they adjust, but it's hard not to tip the cap to Olson, who had all four pitches working for him in his debut.

The right-hander worked the mid-90s on the fastball and held the velocity around 95-96 mph, reaching for 97 mph as his peak velocity on the day. The pitch spun up around the 2,200 RPM mark on average and had carry to it. The pitch had a ton of arm-side run to it, even getting some arm-side sink at times in which Baseball Savant deviated as a sinker from his four-seam that had similar velocity and spin rate profiles.

Either way, his fastball was on, locating it exceptionally well and having a ton of life to the offering. He threw the pitch 46% of the time, and while he may not have missed a ton of barrels with the pitch, he threw it for a strike to set up his off-speed.

The change-up was dominant in his debut, showing a ton of really good arm-side tumble to it. It had that "fall off the table" shape while working 86-89 mph, killing spin down into the 1,700s at its best. He threw the pitch 13 times, getting nine swings and inducing six whiffs. He generated a touch on 67% of the swings, and nearly half the time; he threw the pitch overall; pretty nasty stuff.

But wait, there's more. The slider is his go-to breaking ball, and he showed it aplenty during his debut. Olson's slider is downright filthy, working 82-87 mph, mostly being around 85 mph. The spin is unicorn-like, getting up above the 3,000 RPM range and averaging above 2,900 RPMs in his debut. The shape is nasty, with a high-tilt look and plenty of depth. He threw the pitch 30 times and induced a whiff on 33% of the swings, which was impressive.

The slider is not the only breaking ball, showing a feel for a more 12-6 or 11-5 shaped breaking ball he can whip out as well. Olson's curveball works the upper-70s with spin averaging close to 2,800 RPMs. He only threw the pitch five times, but it was a good change of pace and something he could tunnel well within his arsenal.

The movement profiles on these pitches were insane, and the metrics to pair were even better. There was a lot to like about what Olson did today in his debut.