Does Aroldis Chapman Have a Challenger?

Aroldis Chapman 100mph Blazing Fastball PitcherAroldis Chapman has dominated MLB with the league’s hottest Blazing Fastball ever since he burst on the scene in 2010. Not since the days of Joel Zumaya has the Cuban Missile faced a contender for his title as Flamethrower of the Year. But now a potential challenger has arrived. A young phenom named Bruce Rondon is blasting some serious heat for the Detroit Tigers.

To join the Blazing Fastball 100+ Club a pitcher must be able to throw 100 miles per hour. That is some serious smoke. So far this season only 14 players have been able to reach this elite threshold.  The chart below shows how many Blazing Fastballs they have thrown:

2013
# of Pitches (mph)
100+
101+
102+
103+
104+
Aroldis Chapman
125
48
14
5
1
Bruce Rondon
88
41
9
Henry Rodriguez
30
9
3
Kelvin Herrera
19
2
Trevor Rosenthal
13
1
Gerrit Cole
8
1
Nate Jones
7
Fernando Rodney
4
Jose Dominguez
4
Matt Harvey
2
Nathan Eovaldi
1
Danny Salazar
1
Greg Holland
1
Carlos Martinez
1
# of Pitches
304
102
26
5
1
# of Players
14
6
3
1

1

Tigers Bruce Rondon throws 100mph blazing fastballsAroldis Chapman’s 125 pitches of 100+mph give him a big lead over Rondon, but the catch is Rondon has gotten his 88 in only 22 innings! Rondon spent most of the 1st half of the season in the minor leagues. He really started firing Blazing Fastballs at the beginning of July. If he keeps up his current pace he could potentially surpass Chapman before the season is over.

Chapman stands by himself as the only pitcher who is man enough to fire seeds at 103 and 104 miles per hour, but even there Rondon is giving the Missile a run for his money. Rondon has topped out at 102.8mph twice so far. Does he have a little bit left in the tank to possibly hit 104?

Rondon is not the only newcomer to the 100+ Club this year. In fact there are 7 more.

Gerrit Cole throws 100mph Blazing FastballsPirates rookie Gerrit Cole was the 1st overall pick of the 2011 draft after a stellar career at UCLA. He is a rare starting pitcher who can hit triple digits with his heater.

Jose Dominguez is a rookie reliever for the Dodgers who managed to hit 100 mph 4 times in 8 innings before landing on the Disabled List. Hopefully he will be back soon.

Young phenom Matt Harvey seems like he can do it all on the mound. The potential Cy Young winner has hit 100 mph twice so far.

Nathan Eovaldi is a 23 year old starter for the Marlins. Indians hurler Danny Salazar is another flamethrowing 23 year old rookie. St Louis righty Carlos Martinez is only 21 and weighs 185 pounds but he can pound the catcher’s mitt.

Greg Holland is having a fantastic season as the Kansas City Royals’ closer.

How many of these guys can keep throwing smoke long-term? How many were a flash in the pan? Not too many arms can sling heat over and over for years. Only 4 pitchers have been confirmed by PITCHf/x to throw 100mph at least 100 times. Can you name them? Check back soon to find out the answer. Meanwhile, take a guess in the comments section below.

About Nick Doran

Sabermetrics aficionado, baseball purist and Cincinnati Reds supporter.
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One Response to Does Aroldis Chapman Have a Challenger?

  1. John McCarty says:

    Awesome article. Billy Wagner. Nolan Ryan Justin Verlander Chapman.

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