Velocity is on the rise in Major League Baseball. Ten years ago, hitting 100 mph with a fastball was a rarity. These days, it feels like almost every reliever can reach triple digits on a good night.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the season’s hardest pitch has been thrown by a rookie. And no, we’re not talking about St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks. We’re talking about another rookie who stole his title Monday night.
That would be Miami Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero, who uncorked a 101.8 mph fastball against the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth inning of Monday’s game.
You may not have heard of Guerrero until now. Why? Well, he plays for the Marlins. Even fantasy baseball experts might not be familiar with the 27-year-old Guerrero because he’s not the team’s closer.
Pedro Florimon had the pleasure of standing at the plate when Guerrero unleashed an 0-2 fastball that registered at 101.8 mph. The television radar gun actually clocked it at 102 mph, but that figure was rounded up from 101.8 mph. The pitch wound up high and inside, running the count to 1-2.
On the next pitch, Florimon struck out on a puny — in comparison — 97.6 mph fastball. We can’t really blame Florimon, though. The 101.8 mph pitch came pretty close to hitting him. It probably took everything in his power not to cower in fear when Guerrero delivered the 1-2 offering.
Prior to Guerrero’s 101.8 mph fastball, Cardinals rookie Jordan Hicks held the 2018 record for fastest pitch of the season. He hit 101.6 mph with a pitch earlier this year. The king of velocity — Aroldis Chapman — continues to throw hard as well, so it’s possible he’ll reclaim his title by the end of the season.
Our money, however, might go to another rookie. Based on how things have gone this season, you can’t rule out another flame-throwing youngster stealing the title from everyone. It’s already happened twice!
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik
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