Tomorrow is likely Arodis Chapman's last day in Louisville for the 2010 season. With the Sept. 1 roster expansion, the Reds are expected to promote him to give them a power arm out of the bullpen that will provide a nice boost in the middle of a playoff race. But if the Bats' fans may have seen the last of the lefty, he gave them an amazing parting gift.
Anytime a pitcher hits triple digits on the radar gun, it's a special moment. There are few pitchers in baseball who can run it up to 100 mph. But what Chapman did on Friday in a three up, three down, three strikeout innings against the Columbus Clippers enters into Sidd Finch territory.
AOL FanHouse's (and former Baseball America correspondent) Ed Price was the first to tweet that Chapman touched 105 mph during his dominating inning. Baseball America subsequently received another report that had him at 104 mph. MLB Network's Peter Gammons also talked to a scout who had him at 105.
That kind of velocity almost breaks the 20-80 scouting scale. If grading purely on velocity, a 97 mph fastball is considered an 80, or the upper end of the scale. Subtract eight miles per hour from that down to 89 and you are looking at a 40-45 on the scouting scale. There's nothing in the scouting scale to account for a pitch eight miles an hour faster than what's already considered an 80.
The Twitter-verse was quickly filled with people questioning whether it was possible that Chapman had touched 105. But it's easily within the realm of possibility. Chapman has hit 103 mph on multiple occasions this season, and the 105 was seen on multiple radar guns, not just one amped up stadium gun.
What was more important for the Reds was Chapman's command. He retired the side on 14 pitches, 11 of them were strikes. Since July 10, Chapman has thrown 66 percent strikes. Over those 20 games, Chapman is 4-0, 0.83 with eight saves in eight opportunities. He's allowed 10 hits and seven walks over those 21 2/3 innings with 35 strikeouts. He's struck out 42 percent of the batters he's faced over the past month and a half.
The Reds will be able to put Chapman on the postseason roster if they want–they have a couple of players on the 60-man disabled list who can be replaced.
Race For The Title: The competition for the MiLB batting title appears to be coming down to two players. Albuquerque's John Lindsey, a 33-year-old 16-year minor league veteran, went 5-for-10 on Friday and Saturday to raise his average to .361. He leads Fresno's Brandon Belt by seven points. Belt, 22, has hit a cold snap since his promotion to Triple-A last week—he's 1-for-17 since the callup.
The ERA title is Gwinnett's Brandon Beachy's to lose. Beachy allowed one run in six innings on Sunday against Norfolk to lower his ERA to 1.83. He leads Akron's Matt Packer (2.08) by a substantial margin. If Packer does close the margin he would be adding another ERA title to his resume–he led Division I in ERA in 2008 with a 1.14 ERA at Virginia.
Late Start: Several 2010 first-round draftees have made their debuts since the Aug. 16 signing deadline. Here's a quick rundown:
• The Orioles sent No. 3 overall pick Manny Machado to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he's 1-for-7 with a home run and only one strikeout.
• Reds catcher Yasmani Grandal got a full week of work in the Rookie-level Arizona League, going 8-for-28 with four walks and four strikeouts. Cardinals pick Zach Cox, who got essentially the same contract as Grandal, went 6-for-15 in the Rookie-level GCL.
• Twins righty Alex Wimmers and Marlins first baseman Christian Yelich wrestle for the meaningless title of Best First Week (or Two). Wimmers jumped to high Class A Fort Myers, where he's pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. He's yielded two hits and three walks. Yelich, playing in the GCL, went 9-for-24 with a double, triple and stolen base.
• High School Player of the Year Kaleb Cowart, one of three Angels first-round picks, got off to a 3-for-21 start in the AZL, adding six strikeouts.
• Giants outfielder Gary Brown, who had a bit longer of a layoff than most due to a broken finger that ended his college season early, was 4-for-22 in the AZL, adding his first two (presumably of many) professional stolen bases.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog