Chapman Impresses in Debut…

Aroldis Chapman‘s Major League debut was met with nothing short of giddiness and excitement from legions of baseball fans last night. As Chapman was considered one of the best international prospects in the game and had crazy stuff to boot, it makes sense that fans both inside and outside of Cincinnati were extremely excited to watch this phenom. Throw in the utterly ridiculous radar gun readings showing a 105 MPH fastball and there’s the most anticipated debut this side of Stephen Strasburg. Unsurprisingly, as soon as Chapman took the mound, Twitter went over capacity. Now that’s a buzz.

Chapman didn’t disappoint – he touched 102.7 on the gun, according to Brooks Baseball, and the TV gun for FSN Wisconsin had Chapman at 103 to his first batter faced, Johnathan Lucroy. That’s legitimately unique velocity, although I have to say that I’m actually more impressed by this pitch. (h/t Big League Stew)

Chapman struck out Lucroy with an 86 MPH slider, which showcased a whopping eight inches of horizontal break. The pitch didn’t hit the 90 MPH mark nor move a foot and a half as Reds’ catcher Ryan Hanigan claimed, but that’s still impressive. Indeed, that pitch may end up being the true knockout in Chapman’s arsenal. He threw it twice and drew swinging strikes both times, whereas the fastball was thrown six times and “only” drew one whiff. MLB hitters are certainly capable of making contact with high velocity pitches, and almost every strikeout artist relies on a secondary pitch as the hammer, with the notable exception of Matt Thornton.

Eight pitches obviously aren’t enough to fully gauge what we have in Aroldis Chapman, but it’s certainly enough to get excited about. His stuff is sheer spectacle, and he should be a viable weapon out of the Reds’ bullpen down the stretch.

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14 Responses to “Chapman Impresses in Debut…”

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  1. OremLK says:

    That’s a slider? Good lord.

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  2. The Duder says:

    What an awesome inning of baseball that was to watch. I was at the Strasburg debut and it was constantly electric, turned up to 11, but watching this game on TV, the atmosphere looked as if someone was doing magic… the crowd was hushed…whispering to each other “is it real?”

    Totally effing sweet.

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  3. Jake says:

    Why did the Reds not call him up before Sep 1? Aren’t they going to be kicking themselves when they don’t have this guy in the postseason?

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  4. noseeum says:

    Holy crap.

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  5. Os Fan says:

    fastball averaged 100.65 w/ 7.5″ of run… thats randy johnson circa ken griffey baseball

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  6. NEPP says:

    103 mph is sickening…how long till his arm surgery (hoping it doesnt end that way for him)

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  7. Brandon says:

    Compared to his fastball (according to pitch/fx), it has like 16 inches of movement or so. Maybe that’s what he meant.

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  8. Greg says:

    It’s the breaking stuff that blow up the elbow … not the fastball.

    That said I hope he’s more like Nolan Ryan than Joel Zumaya

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  9. Matty says:

    they didn’t need chapman before now they had all the tools they needed and they wanted to save him for a possible deep postseason run

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  10. im a model and a bit of a party animal but i love living in los angeles and meeting new and interesting people.. Kendra Wilkinson is my idol.

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