In the 1990s, the TV commercial said chicks dig the long ball. In 2017, nothing’s sexier than velocity, and more pitchers are reaching triple digits seemingly every year. Top 100 Prospect ranking in parentheses.
Major league examples: Noah Syndergaard, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Martinez, Kelvin Herrera, Aroldis Chapman
Alex Reyes (4) rhp, Cardinals
The game’s best pitching prospect averaged 97 mph on his heater last season and hit 101 in the Futures Game and in the big leagues. Unfortunately for him and the Cardinals, Reyes had Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2017 season.
Francis Martes (15) rhp, Astros
The No. 2 pitching prospect in the minors can air it out and throws plenty of strikes in the mid-90s, a separator.
Michael Kopech (32) rhp, White Sox
While his 105 mph reading may have been a bit hot, it was plausible, because he has touched 103 mph and hits 100 as consistently as any prospect.
Reynaldo Lopez (31) rhp, White Sox
The Nationals had two 100 mph starters in Lopez and Lucas Giolito, though Giolito’s velocity dipped in 2016. Lopez’s didn’t, but both are now White Sox.
Yadier Alvarez (26) rhp, Dodgers
The Cuban signee was a late bloomer who wasn’t a star in Cuba but developed after leaving the island, reaching 101 mph in 2016.
Riley Pint (46) rhp, Rockies
He reached 102 mph as an amateur, making him one of a rare clutch of documented preps to throw 100 mph that includes Giolito, Tyler Kolek and Colt Griffin.
Dylan Cease (97) rhp, Cubs
He was throwing 98-99 mph in high school before injuring his elbow, which required Tommy John surgery. He was throwing 100 mph post-surgery, with reports up to 101.