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Aroldis Chapman works out, throws "only" 96 mph

Dec 15, 2009, 4:20 PM EDT

Aroldis Chapman had his big workout this morning. Scouts from 15 teams showed up to watch him pitch two five-minute bullpen sessions. According to Jorge Arangure, he threw in the 92-93 mph range for the most part and and topped out at 96.

The Twittersphere is complaining about his velocity this afternoon, but it’s probably worth noting that (a) the much repeated “100 mph” stuff about Chapman is based on a single radar reading from the WBC and could have been a fluke; (b) Chapman is still a lanky 21, and could easily add some velocity once he is farther into a workout regime superior to that he saw in Cuba; and (c) even if he tops out at 96 mph for the rest of his career, that would make him the hardest throwing lefty starter in the majors.

No, the real question isn’t the gun, it’s the control. No word from Arangure about that, though it’s probably hard to really gauge control in a bullpen session.  He’s being referred to this afternoon as “a tremendous talent.” Someone in that same article compared him to Brien Taylor. I think it was meant as a compliment, but jeez, Brien Taylor?  FanHouse’s Ed Price heard from someone who was there who said “he’s got the package.” I’m not sure what that means and wonder if the person who said that really does either.  Everyone talked about his arm, but we all knew he had a good arm. The question is whether he can pitch.

The next question is if any of the teams in attendance — which included the Yankees, Orioles, Reds, Nats, Royals, Phillies, Cubs, Rangers, Mariners, Red Sox, Astros, Angels, Marlins and Pirates — are going to top the Sox’ offer of $15.5 million.

  1. Cru11 - Dec 15, 2009 at 5:11 PM

    I know Im beating a dead horse but please Red Sox, stay away. I beg you.

  2. YANKEES1996 - Dec 15, 2009 at 5:12 PM

    If the Sox do get him for 15.5 million, he is a steal. Depending on his control I think you will see the bidding increase, 96 mph is more than respectable.

  3. Ryan - Dec 15, 2009 at 5:20 PM

    Agreed. They want to give him more money than Strasburg? Huh?

  4. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Dec 16, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    Someone in that same article compared him to Brien Taylor. I think it was meant as a compliment, but jeez, Brien Taylor?

    Come on CC, that’s not a bad comparison unless Chapman likes going to bars and getting into fistfights defending family members.

  5. DSFC - Dec 16, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    Craig, comparing anyone’s raw pitching ability to Brien Taylor is a huge compliment. The kid had a once in a lifetime arm. I still feel like crying as a Yankee fan when I think about what might have been.

  6. Wooden U. Lykteneau - Dec 16, 2009 at 12:24 PM

    Psst. There are whispers Chapman is older than 22.

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