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Monday, May 21, 2018

Cardinals’ Jordan Hicks throws MLB’s fastest pitch of the year, clocking 105 mph twice

You can’t help but notice the violent armside run. It’s there because Hicks throws sinkers rather than four-seam fastballs. Yes, he touches 105 with a sinker.

In an era when every team has guys coming out of nowhere and getting more than a strikeout per inning, Hicks only has 9 K’s in 22 innings despite his monster velocity.  Hitters only have two measly extra-base hits against him, both doubles.

Nasty Nate Posted: May 21, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jordan hicks, st. louis cardinals

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   1. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5676499)
Maybe I'm just old (yeah, "maybe") but I find the hubbub about how hard someone throws to be fairly uninteresting. Is he a good pitcher? If so then he's interesting to me. It's all sizzle and no steak, I'd rather watch a good pitcher than someone who throws super hard but isn't very good.
   2. salvomania Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5676522)
Have you seen this pitch?
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5676527)
Maybe I'm just old (yeah, "maybe") but I find the hubbub about how hard someone throws to be fairly uninteresting. Is he a good pitcher? If so then he's interesting to me. It's all sizzle and no steak, I'd rather watch a good pitcher than someone who throws super hard but isn't very good.


There's a quote in the Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, regarding Bob Brown, a Braves pitcher from the 1930s who went 16-21 in his career. Long time umpire Beans Reardon claimed that Brown was faster than any other pitcher he ever saw, including Lefty Grove and Bob Feller. The authors' reaction to that is, "Well, okay. But does a fastball that wins sixteen games rate higher than a fastball that wins 300? Not usually."
   4. Tin Angel Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5676538)
Have you seen this pitch?


If that's how little control he has over it he could really end up hurting someone.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5676551)
Long time umpire Beans Reardon claimed that Brown was faster than any other pitcher he ever saw, including Lefty Grove and Bob Feller. The authors' reaction to that is, "Well, okay. But does a fastball that wins sixteen games rate higher than a fastball that wins 300? Not usually."
That's some...rigorous analysis there.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5676675)
Hicks only has 9 K’s in 22 innings despite his monster velocity


I saw him pitch against the Pirates in a game a couple of weeks ago. He throws just as hard as advertised, but doesn't seem to have a great idea of where the ball is going.
   7. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 21, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5676679)
Have you seen this pitch?


Ball one.
   8. Leroy Kincaid Posted: May 21, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5676739)
All of these 100+ MPH pitches we've been seeing the past couple of years have to be partially attributed to the radar guns being calibrated (or whatever) differently.
   9. . . . . . . Posted: May 21, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5676745)
The movement on that pitch is unearthly, and strongly suggestive of arm speed that’s vastly ahead of other pitchers.

Like, that might be a 102 mph pitch in 1990 instead of a 105 mph pitch today... but it’s still 102 mph!!
   10. OCF Posted: May 21, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5676750)
The specific velocity is one thing, but for throwing hard and throwing a sinker: remember Kevin Brown?

A note about Brown: if you use ERA+ (and innings) as your criteria, Brown's career looks pretty close to Curt Schilling's. But if you move to RA+ rather than ERA+, a gap opens in Schilling's favor. In other words, Brown gave up more unearned runs. As far as I can tell, that is the simple consequence of being a ground ball pitcher rather than a fly ball pitcher, because far more errors are committed on ground balls as opposed to fly balls.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5676812)
A note about Brown: if you use ERA+ (and innings) as your criteria, Brown's career looks pretty close to Curt Schilling's. But if you move to RA+ rather than ERA+, a gap opens in Schilling's favor.


It's worth noting that gap is that large in large part because Schilling had the lowest UER/IP rate in history. Brown doesn't fare as poorly against other pitchers of the era (though Moose, the other pitcher in the typical comparison, is not too far behind Schilling in that category).

   12. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5676819)
9 - There’s crazy movement on that pitch but I think it looks more ridiculous than it is because it deflects off the cathcer’s mitt.
   13. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 21, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5676838)
Maybe I'm just old (yeah, "maybe") but I find the hubbub about how hard someone throws to be fairly uninteresting. Is he a good pitcher? If so then he's interesting to me. It's all sizzle and no steak, I'd rather watch a good pitcher than someone who throws super hard but isn't very good.
.

He's a 21 year old RHP who throws a 105 mph fastball that moves like a Randy Johnson slider. If he ever learns to command it, he'll be plenty good. And even if he doesn't, how on earth is it not interesting?

So yeah, maybe you're just old.
   14. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:06 PM (#5676863)
All of these 100+ MPH pitches we've been seeing the past couple of years have to be partially attributed to the radar guns being calibrated (or whatever) differently.


Out of the hand vs half way to the plate ...
   15. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:28 PM (#5676875)
All of these 100+ MPH pitches we've been seeing the past couple of years have to be partially attributed to the radar guns being calibrated (or whatever) differently


I think I remember reading that the gun currently aim closer to the pitcher than in days past, where they clocked the ball closer to the plate.
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5676880)
his minor league stats are certainly not impressive--over 8 hits per nine; when you throw gas like that, ypu should be unhittable
   17. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5676881)
That's still only a couple miles per hour difference, though. Pitchers are being selected for speed because no one can figure out durability.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:44 PM (#5676891)
his minor league stats are certainly not impressive--over 8 hits per nine; when you throw gas like that, ypu should be unhittable


He's still learning to pitch. He had great success in spring training because his control has improved. He wasn't really thought of as a guy who was going to make the roster when they invited him to camp, but knew he would be a future major leaguer(He's still projected to be a starter) but he played too well in spring training, and the team had too many question marks in the pen, that he made the roster, with the thought process being that eventually they'll send him back down to continue his role as a starter.

If the steps he took this spring are real improvements, he should be just fine when he goes back to the minors, if it was a sample size issue, then we'll see what happens. For now he's getting major leaguers out, and is the third or fourth guy out of the pen.
   19. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: May 21, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5677064)
This WARNING PDF PDF PDF !!!!! article referencing Adair says that the "fast" guns and "slow" guns are only different by about 3 mph, but the total drop in velocity is about 8 mph from release to mitt.
   20. Karl from NY Posted: May 22, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5677410)
Do we even need radar guns any more? With high-speed cameras, can't we time the pitch from release to impact, over a known distance, and accurately solve for the velocity that way?
   21. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: May 22, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5677424)
Do we even need radar guns any more? With high-speed cameras, can't we time the pitch from release to impact, over a known distance, and accurately solve for the velocity that way?
This seems like it might be harder--you would then have to account for differing atmospheric conditions, such as wind and humidity, as well as spin (which I believe interacts with the air around it to create drag) and maybe even scuffing and rosin (or whatever else they use nowadays on the ball), assuming you could accurately model that. Then there is the fact that balls that curve more go a slightly further distance over the same horizontal distance. If you put all those factors together, what do you get? I don't know, but it seems likely to be more than the inaccuracy in a radar gun,

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