The scouts notice. Because it's April, and because his statistics are just fine, and especially because this is Justin Verlander they're talking about, they don't think all that much of it yet. That doesn't keep them from asking one another the same thing: Are you getting what I'm getting?
Four starts into the season, Verlander's fastball is AWOL. And the answer to their question is yes: Their radar-gun readings are not lying. The best fastball in baseball has simply been good.
"I've had him 91-93," said one AL scout who has seen two of Verlander's starts.
"He's been 90-94, topped out at 96," confirmed an NL scout.
PITCHf/x data captured around the major league parks verifies their readings. The data can be interpreted a number of ways. Baseball Info Solutions, which provides statistics for FanGraphs, says Verlander's average fastball this year is 91.9 mph. Brooks Baseball, which uses PITCHf/x for its proprietary data that usually is about a half-mile-per-hourRead More »from 10 Degrees: April illusion or is Justin Verlander really losing zip on his fastball?