Last month we witnessed he hardest-hit ball in the two-year Statcast era. It was a Giancarlo Stanton grounder that resulted in a fairly easy 4-6-3 double play.
Last night we saw the fastest pitch in the two-year Statcast era. It was 105.1 miles per hour and, of course, it came courtesy of Aroldis Chapman.
Oh, and it was a ball, low and inside, that
Steve Pearce (um, I dunno) J.J. Hardy laid off of because, well, it was not a great pitch:
I continue to stand by my comments from the Stanton thing: Statcast is pretty neat and I’m confident that, at some point, there will a lot of cool things analysts can do with it and which players can, eventually, use to enhance their games. It’s pretty useless to tout speeds and angles and stuff in a vacuum, however, and the social media and broadcasting folks should maybe lay off of it unless and until there are actually some contextualized and relatable things to be drawn from the data which, on its own, is only moderately interesting.
Jered Weaver won a game on Sunday, after all, and he throws about as hard as the kid across the street who plays on the JV team. There’s a little more to it, ya know?
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.