Passan identifies the best new pitches of 2024 MLB season

Logan Gilbert's cutter has helped take his game to another level. Which other pitchers have added to their arsenals this season? Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball in 2024 belongs to pitchers. It's not just the .699 leaguewide OPS or the average fastball velocity approaching 95 mph. It's the widespread desire for starters and relievers to stroll into a pitching lab and leverage modern technology to learn new pitches in a fraction of the time it used to take. A practice long reserved for only the nerdiest pitchers is now seen as a necessity.

Quite often it's little more than a refresh or retooling of a past offering. Clarke Schmidt has a 2.59 ERA for the New York Yankees thanks to an improved cutter. Trevor Williams pulled away from his traditional slider, embraced his sweeper and has allowed one home run in 46 innings after yielding a major-league-high 34 in 144⅓ innings last year. There are countless more tweaks and tinkering that only serve to reinforce this pitching era.

The apex of this pursuit comes when a pitcher adds a brand-new pitch. Perhaps it tunnels well with something he already throws, meaning it looks like it's traveling on the same trajectory before deviating. It could serve as an in-between pitch -- like a cutter often does a fastball and slider -- in terms of velocity, break or both. Maybe it better aligns with a pitcher's natural tendency to pronate or supinate, or how he moves most efficiently and effectively.

With the season's two-month mark approaching, it's an ideal time to assess the success of the most prominent additions. There are phenomenal resources available in this space, from Lance Brozdowski's daily notes to Major League Baseball's official pitch-classification account, which meticulously tracks new pitches (as well as old ones that got a tuneup). Thanks, too, to ESPN Sports & Information Group's Evan Garcia for tracking new pitches.

Here are the dozen most worthy of highlighting, starting with the pitch that has helped a former relief pitcher become the starter with the third-most strikeouts in MLB.