Tony Cingrani made his first Triple-A start last night and the Reds prospect was about as good as a pitcher can be.
Cingrani, who ranks among MLB’s top 100 prospects according to both Baseball America and MLB.com, took a perfect game into the fifth inning and ended up exiting after six no-hit innings while striking out 14 of the 19 batters he faced.
He struck out the first seven batters and 13 of the first 15 batters, threw 55 of his 82 pitches for strikes, and only a leadoff walk in the sixth inning ruined his perfect game. And he also had some good quotes afterward, telling Danny Wild of MILB.com:
I was just throwing it up there, and they couldn’t hit it. I felt pretty good, the ball was coming out of my hand pretty well. … I just threw a bunch of fastballs and located wherever I wanted, just kept putting up zeros.
Last year Cingrani jumped from Double-A to the majors to make MLB debut in September and Aroldis Chapman remaining in the bullpen increases the 23-year-old left-hander’s odds of arriving in Cincinnati to stay at some point this season.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.