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Friday, August 29, 2014

Watch a Japanese baseball player try to hit a 186 mph fastball (Video)

It’s tough to figure out exactly what’s going on in the video above because it’s in Japanese, but we know the important stuff: That’s former Nippon Pro Baseball home-run king Takashi Yamasaki guesting on some sort of funny Japanese TV show.

His goal is to try to hit a 186 mph fastball from a pitching machine. Yikes.

 

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Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fastballs, japanese baseball, nope

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   1. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4781804)
Yeah, I wouldn't be standing in there without a helmet (like, a welder's helmet or something with a full face guard) and some body armour.
Even if I were to get around on it, I'd be worried that I'd foul it back into my body.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4781818)
Once in my life I took some hacks at the 90 or 95 mph batting cage. I did better than this guy, but not a lot better.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4781826)
pf

i think i told this story about how when my one boy was playing baseball in high school one year they had a lefty pitcher who threw hard (i am guessing maybe low 90's) for high school and was getting all kinds of recruiting attention. i had been a pretty fair country player back in the day but was now in my 40's (or was i 50?). anyway, practice is almost over when i stop by to pick him up. the lefty is one the mound so i am watching when good natured jawing leads me grabbing a bat. i watch a few pitches, again to more jockeying, and then on the next swing knock one into the trees in deep left field

have not tried any baseball since given i wanted to leave the game on my terms!

thanks for reading. as you can guess i relish telling that story. ha, ha.
   4. Canker Soriano Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4781829)
That's awesome. You almost can't even see the ball. Even trying to bunt he got nowhere near it.

I really wanted to see the ball snap the bat in half on a bunt attempt, just saw it off Bugs Bunny-style.
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4781834)
agreed on the nature of the video. and on the matter of lack of at least head gear.

   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4781869)
Unfortunately, the pitching machine is going to see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow.
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4781891)
This brings up all kinds of ideas for All-Star game activities that would be much better than a stinking home run contest. Just ramp up the pitching machine and see which hitter can hit the fastest pitch. "Hit" would consist of merely getting the ball in fair territory. No bunting. Imagine if Mike Trout actually hit a homer on a 140 mph pitch. Awesome!
   8. Jeltzandini Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4781898)
It all would have terrified me, but the casual bunt attempt especially. Which would definitely deflect directly into my face, in the unlikely event of contact.

Would like to see Pitch f/x data.

   9. bunyon Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4781907)
@7: I'd make them at least hit a fair ball past the baselines. But, yeah, that would be awesome. Hell, let them use an aluminum bat so they don't shatter wood all over.

Great video. I wonder how far they'd have to push the machine back before he'd get around on it. It strikes me as cool that if you build a field upon which the race between batter/runner and ball thrown by infielder to first is a fair fight that that same field produces the dimensions necessary to balance the ability of hitter to get around on a ball thrown at maximum speed by the pitcher.
   10. bunyon Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4781909)
@8: it looked to me like he was a guy just acting like he'd bunt. I know it was fast but he didn't appear to want any part of it. Not that I blame him. And, yeah, no helmet? Crazy.
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 29, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4781948)
Nippon Pro Baseball home-run king Takashi Yamasaki


It's Takeshi Yamasaki.
   12. John Northey Posted: August 29, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4781952)
Yeah, agreed on the replace the home run derby (or supplement it) with this. Start at 110 MPH, anyone who hits it fair on 3 pitches keeps going. Then 120, 130, 140, ... until you are down to one guy and see how far you can push it with the final player. Ideally each team would nominate a player (the players on that team pick him). The 110 round could be non-TV pre-game to cut it down to a manageable size (highlights could be shown). Also have an award for longest home run hit during the contest... imagine someone like David Ortiz making solid contact on a 130 mph pitch (at that point it would be largely luck based to make solid contact) - that could be very fun to watch. I'd also wonder if some team would send a punch and judy hitter ala Munenori Kawasaki who might be able to make contact on it long than the big sluggers would.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: August 29, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4781990)
thanks for reading. as you can guess i relish telling that story. ha, ha.


You were a much better hitter than I was.

After I took my round at the 90+ mph batting cage an employee got in there and he hit a lot of line drives, but he had no bat speed whatsoever, he had just timed the machine really well. I wonder if it's even possible to do that with this thing going at 186.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: August 29, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4782028)
This brings up all kinds of ideas for All-Star game activities that would be much better than a stinking home run contest. Just ramp up the pitching machine and see which hitter can hit the fastest pitch. "Hit" would consist of merely getting the ball in fair territory. No bunting. Imagine if Mike Trout actually hit a homer on a 140 mph pitch. Awesome!


I would love to see that.

I understand why mlb doesn't do a skills contest because of potential injuries, but this seems like a fairly "safe" one. (obviously as mentioned, not fully safe because of foul back potential etc... but you don't run the same risks as having outfielders throw the ball a given distance or at a timed speed)

   15. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4782088)
I understand why mlb doesn't do a skills contest because of potential injuries,

They did do one for a few years in the 80's until (surprise, surprise) Barry Larkin blew his right elbow out in a throwing accuracy event or something like that at the 1989 ASG.
   16. AROM Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4782161)
Even watching bp homers has gotten boring. It's more interesting to watch the fly balls that stay in the park, and the kids trying to shag them. But the worst part is all the taken pitches. I would change the rule so that every pitch not homered is an out, not every swing. It's not like the pitcher is trying to get you out. You are choosing your pitcher, so get one who can throw strikes.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4782185)
I used to have a high school friend who threw in the low 80's pitch to me from a 46' Little League mound. Other than being conked in the forearm a couple of times, it was the best way I ever discovered to develop my reflexes. I don't know what the 60'6" equivalent would have been, but it would have had to have been pushing 95. After going through a few hours of that, hitting from a regular mound seemed a hell of a lot easier.
   18. Rob_Wood Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4782188)
... and 9 out of 10 major league umpires called the pitch a ball (too high)
   19. puck Posted: August 30, 2014 at 01:15 AM (#4782214)
Should have been 168 mph.
   20. Born1951 Posted: August 30, 2014 at 01:31 AM (#4782218)
Unfortunately, the pitching machine is going to see Dr. James Andrews tomorrow.

Good one!
   21. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 30, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4782260)
Interesting thing about Yamasaki: he actually played briefly for the Dodgers' GCL team as a 18-year-old back in '87...then returned to Japan and played 25 years! (Anybody know the story behind that?)

EDIT: BR bullpen sez:

He was sent to the US to learn how to play third base in the Arizona Instructional League but never played that position in NPB. He was briefly on loan to the Los Angeles Dodgers system, going 0 for 10 with 3 walks, 4 strikeouts and a run for the 1987 GCL Dodgers.


Didn't realize MLB and NPB did that sort f thing in the 80s...
   22. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 30, 2014 at 08:42 AM (#4782264)
Masanori Murakami was essentially "on loan" to the Giants back in the mid-60s. After he had two good seasons as a reliever, his Japanese team demanded that he be returned to them, and the Giants complied.

-- MWE
   23. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: August 30, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4782291)
Should have been 168 mph.


Exactly what I was thinking.
   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 30, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4782440)
Interesting thing about Yamasaki: he actually played briefly for the Dodgers' GCL team as a 18-year-old back in '87...then returned to Japan and played 25 years! (Anybody know the story behind that?)

EDIT: BR bullpen sez:


He was sent to the US to learn how to play third base in the Arizona Instructional League but never played that position in NPB. He was briefly on loan to the Los Angeles Dodgers system, going 0 for 10 with 3 walks, 4 strikeouts and a run for the 1987 GCL Dodgers.


Didn't realize MLB and NPB did that sort f thing in the 80s...


That was actually not unknown to send Japanese players to instructional leagues even earlier than that. I was going through my 1970 SN Baseball Guide a while back, and noticed that half-a-dozen Japanese players played for the San Francisco Giants team in the 1969 Arizona Instructional League, players for the Taiyo Whales. What was interesting was that although most of the players who participated were young players, two of them were among the biggest stars on the team - Makoto Matsubara, who had been an All-Star selection in Japan the previous four years, and ended his career with 331 home runs; and Shigeyuki Takahashi, who'd been a two-time All-Star and won 21 games in 1965. Exactly why they sent such players to an instructional league is a question only they could answer...






   25. Win Big Stein's Money Posted: August 30, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4782471)
Would've been nice to see what would happen had he connected.
   26. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: August 30, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4782513)
Back in his early Mets days, Carlos Beltran was known to use a pitching machine that threw colored tennis balls at up to 155 mph. I think, given the opportunity to watch a few pitches beforehand, there are probably a number of MLBers that could catch up to a ~185 mph pitch just by cheating on their stride, provided the machine threw at a fairly consistent speed and location.
   27. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: August 30, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4782563)
I don't think Beltran was actually swinging at those -- I seem to remember that he was trying just to read a number on the ball.

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