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Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman is MLB’s speed king – SportsUntapped.com
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Added August 18th, 2015 by Ian

Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman is MLB’s speed king
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Starting in the 2015 season, MLB began using Statcast technology as the baseball league now tracks just about every statistic imaginable at all 30 of its stadiums. One of the more interesting tidbits is the tracking of this year’s 50 fastest pitches thrown. And on this list of 50 you’ll find just one name and that’s relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds. In fact, if the list showed the fastest 101 pitches of the season, Chapman’s name would still be the only one on it.

According to the league, Chapman is solely responsible for the fastest 101 pitches in the 2015 campaign. For interest sake, the pitcher with the next hardest pitch this season is reliever Bruce Rondon of the Chicago Cubs, who hurled a fastball over the plate at 101.7 miles-per-hour back on July 18. This bit of news shouldn’t really surprise baseball fans though considering Chapman threw 12 pitches in this year’s All Star Game which were all more than 100 mph.

That’s not bad considering Chapman came on in the ninth inning and struck out all three batters he faced with 14 pitches. The two pitches that didn’t reach the 100 mph barrier were recorded at 98 and 99 mph. Also, earlier this season, Chapman made MLB history by reaching 500 strikeouts quicker than anybody before him. Chapman set the new mark by striking out his 500th batter in just 292 innings. The previous mark was held by Craig Kimbrel of the San Diego Padres who achieved the feat earlier this year in 302 innings.

Chapman’s strikeout rate per nine innings sat at 15.47 on August 15. This is the MLB record for any pitcher who has thrown a minimum of seven innings. Last season, Chapman managed to throw twice as many pitches that reached at least 100 mph as the rest of Major League Baseball combined. The left-hander hit the 100 mph mark an incredible 358 times in 2014 on 832 pitches, meaning that just over 43 per cent of his offerings were at least 100 mph. The next on the list was Kelvin Herrera of the Kansa city Royals who managed it 48 times on 999 pitches for 4.8 per cent.

There’s no doubt that Chapman’s the king of the fastball in an era in which numerous pitchers can come close to 100 mph. However, Rondon’s 101.7 mph pitch this year was two miles per hour slower than the fastest pitch Chapman came up with. On average, Chapman’s pitches have reached 100.2-mph this season, which is 1.8 mph quicker on average than Herrera, who ranks number two.

 
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