And he didn’t even need Brandon Phillips’ car to do it.
That’s right, Aroldis Chapman topped out at 105 mph in a relief appearance with Triple-A Louisville on Friday night. Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse had it first, though it was repeated by Buster Olney of ESPN.com and Peter Gammons of MLB Network and NESN this morning.
According to Price, Chapman “sat at” 103 mph on his fastball and also threw a slider in the 90-91 mph range. One scout told Price that it was “the best fastball I have ever witnessed.” With consistent heat like that, it’s no surprise to learn that he struck out the side in last night’s appearance.
Chapman has thrived since moving to a relief role, posting a 2.40 ERA and 49/12 K/BB ratio over 30 innings. As a reliever, he has held opposing batters to a .156 batting average and allowed just one home run.
He’s expected to be promoted to the major leagues as soon as rosters expand on September 1, so we should see his major league debut in just a few short days. I’m thinking a few of us might be interested in checking that one out.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.