Jamie Moyer not cracking 80 miles per hour with any of his pitches last night was noteworthy enough for me to write about it earlier today, but then I started thinking about his velocity as it relates to my own weak arm.
Which brought me to this question: What percentage of adult males can throw harder than 80 miles per hour? My initial reaction is “very, very few.”
Sure, if you count only former high school pitchers or good athletes the percentage will be much higher, but for the overall male population of, say, ages 20 to 60? And that’s including all the guys who’ve never played baseball, which is a significant percentage in itself.
After all, if you go to an MLB game where they have a booth set up with a radar gun someone throwing 80 mph would be met with amazement and would then be followed by dozens of guys blowing out their arms trying to duplicate the feat while actually topping out in the 60s.
So, my guess is one percent or fewer. What say you, HBT’ers?
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.