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Aroldis Chapman offically topped out at 102.7 miles per hour

Sep 1, 2010, 1:45 PM EST

During his much-anticipated debut last night the radar gun used for the Reds’ television broadcast clocked Aroldis Chapman at 102 and 103 miles per hour on back-to-back pitches, and amazingly the gun wasn’t even “hot.”
MLB.com has released the official PitchF/X data and Chapman topped out at 102.7 mph, which ties him with two different Joel Zumaya pitches from last season for the highest velocity ever recorded by the three-year-old system.
Chapman averaged 100.3 mph on the six fastballs he threw, which is insane. To put that in some context, before going down with a season-ending elbow injury Zumaya posted the highest average fastball velocity in baseball this year at 99.3 mph. Henry Rodriguez is second at 98.3 mph, followed by Daniel Bard at 97.9 and Stephen Strasburg at 97.3. No one else averages above 97 mph.
Wow.

  1. David - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Harang and Gallardo both had about 1mph extra on all their pitches last night over their season averages, so the pitch f/x system may have been slightly hot.

  2. Detroit Michael - Sep 1, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    There must be a typo in the average velocity reported for Henry Rodriguez. Perhaps his fastball averaged 98.3 mph?

  3. JimmyY - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Put a ligament in storage now for when Chapman’s blows out in about a year.

  4. RichardInBigD - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    Do you really think it’ll take a whole year?

  5. Cougar Hunter - Sep 1, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    What is it about his delivery that makes you so certain?

  6. GP - Sep 1, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    After reading the articles about the “Inverted W” (I think that’s the correct term) pitching mechanic, I’m very interested to see if Chapman is using that style or not. It’s not totally clear from the above picture but he seems to be in decent position there based on what I read.
    Regardless, the breakdown watch is and should be in full swing. Anybody got an office pool? ;-)

  7. Slydog - Sep 2, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    One thing in Chapman’s favor is that he hasn’t pitched that much, especially for a Cuban national. The Reds’ team doctor described MRI’s of his elbow and shoulder taken prior to his signing as “pristine”. We’ll see.

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