The major leagues introduce advanced training techniques and pitchers’ velocity steadily rises every year. In the past, 100 miles per hour (160.9 km) was called a symbolic number, but now it has become relatively easy to see 100 miles per hour in itself.
Among bullpen pitchers, 안전놀이터 there are quite a few players averaging over 100 mph, and starting pitchers with high pitches are increasingly averaging velocity in the upper 90s. According to the tally of ‘Baseball Savant’, as of the 8th (Korean time), among the pitchers who have thrown more than 400 pitches this season, there are a total of 7 players whose average speed of four-seam and sinker (two-seam) fastballs exceeds 97 miles (about 156.1 km). .
Hunter Green (Cincinnati) is the fastest at 98.9 miles (159.2 km), and Jacob deGrom (Texas) is second with 98.7 miles (158.8 km). Sandy Alcantara (Miami) ran 97.9 miles (157.6 km), Shintaro Fujinami (Oakland) ran 97.1 miles (156.3 km), Spencer Strider (Atlanta), Dustin May (LA Dodgers), and Shane McClanahan (Tampa Bay) respectively. With 97 mph, he joined the ranks of fireballers.
If you expand the category beyond 96 miles (154.5 km), there are 14 people including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels, 96.8 miles), Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees, 96.6 miles), and Senga Godai (New York Mets, 96 miles). It is an era of literal feast of fastballs.
However, among the starting pitchers on the planet, the fastest player may not be in the major leagues. It is because Sasaki Loki (22, Chiba Lotte), who is gathering expectations of Japanese professional baseball as a ‘monster of the Reiwa era’, is showing a terrifying restraint. According to the measurements, Sasaki’s average speed of his four-seam fastball this season reaches a whopping 99 miles (159.3 km).
Measurements in the United States and Japan may differ, but Japan has also recently installed high-tech equipment such as ‘Trackman’ in each stadium, rather than a basic speed gun. The Trackman system has been used by the major leagues since 2015, and it was the ‘Trackman’ that was used at the time of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at the Tokyo Dome last year.
Constraints are interchangeable. Minor league teams using Trackman equipment, and Japanese and Korean teams have systems built to enable data exchange. For this reason, there is a high possibility that Sasaki’s 99 miles will not be significantly different in the United States. Sasaki also threw a fastball that reached 100 mph at the WBC held in March.
Of course, direct comparison is difficult. In Japan, starting pitchers have longer rest days than in the United States. I usually throw about once a week. Chiba Lotte also thoroughly manages Sasaki’s innings and pitches. Because it is a treasure that will be used forever. So, there will be an aspect of recovery that is easier than major league pitchers. However, Sasaki is still a young pitcher at only 22 years old. He is afraid that he has more to reach out to.
He is also doing well this season. He pitches 32 innings in five games for the season and has an earned run average of 0.84. He struck out a whopping 50 in 32 innings. Except for 3 runs in 7 innings against Orix on April 28, there are no runs in the other 4 games.
He threw a fast ball in the WBC and raised global awareness, and major league clubs are analyzing Sasaki’s every move in detail from an early age. Analyzing Ohtani’s pitching during his third year, it is even evaluated that Sasaki has nothing to lose. He also emerged as an interest in when he would start challenging the major leagues.