August 28, 2010
No, not in a car, driving home from Louisville Slugger Ballpark. Chapman was pitching for the Triple-A Louisville Bats of the International League. And, Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse reports, the left-hander threw 105 mph.
Your first thought might be, "Yeah, right. Did he strike out the Loch Ness Monster on three pitches while he was at it?"
Price, who usually isn't given to hyperbole, tweeted the news.
Aroldis Chapman tonight hit 105 mph and "sat at" 103, with a 90-91 slider. Scout: "best fastball I have ever witnessed"
Do I believe 105 mph? It seems pretty fantastic, doesn't it?
Hall of Famer Bob Feller, legend has it, once threw a ball 107.9 mph. Feller (right) probably would tell you he did it. But I think they timed him pitching against a speeding motorcycle. By the time the Army got involved clocking Feller after WWII, he was throwing about 99.
It's rare for any pitcher to reach 100 mph; Most top out in the low 90s. Perhaps 95 is considered "really fast" for a major leaguer.
Maybe the Chapman gun was a little hot. And yet, Price says a scout, along with the ballpark scoreboard — presumably using another radar device — had the same reading.
It wasn't a start; Chapman tossed an inning of perfect relief against the Columbus Clippers. Checking the box score, Chapman threw 16 pitches — including 11 strikes — and got three swinging strikeouts.
For one inning, a guy who has been clocked at 100 or 101 before could put a few extra feet on his fastball. It's possible.
The question is, do the Reds really want him to be throwing 105? The human arm isn't really meant to pitch at all, much less at those speeds. One of these days, Chapman's elbow is liable to fly off his arm doing 45.
Chapman is expected to join the major league pennant race come September. The Reds could use him, but only if he promises to keep it under 100.
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