Video: Watch a Japanese batter try to hit a 186 m.p.h. fastball

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This is fun. It’s in Japanese, but you don’t need to speak Japanese to get what’s going on here. A special pitching machine that can fire a 186 m.p.h. fastball + an NPB hitter trying to square up. He does not succeed. Partially because he appears to be totally unaware that the pitch is going to be that fast.

Go to the 3:29 if you want to see his first effort.

 

Afterwards, the pitching machine talked about wanting to work on his offspeed stuff because all big league hitters can turn on a fastball.

 

Rangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.

Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.

Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.