Ruiz Hits Record Heat

ruiz hits.jpg

Carlos Ruiz hit a 103.5 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman for a double in the eighth inning last night in Game 3 of the NLDS.

Nobody has hit heat like that.

Let me explain. Pitch f/x data goes back to 2008, but SABR’s Trent McCotter found that nobody had hit a faster pitch than Ruiz. Here’s a look at McCotter’s list from the past three seasons:

  • 103.5 mph: Carlos Ruiz v. Chapman, double, 10/10/2010
  • 102.0 mph: Carlos Gonzalez v. Chapman, single, 9/6/2010
  • 101.7 mph: Adam Dunn v. Joel Zumaya, single, 6/17/2010
  • 101.5 mph: Derrek Lee v. Zumaya, single, 6/23/2009
  • 101.4 mph: Mike Lowell v. Zumaya, single, 6/4/2009
  • 101.4 mph: Alfonso Soriano v. Zumaya, single, 6/24/2009
  • 101.1 mph: Scott Podsednik v. Zumaya, single, 6/11/2009
  • 101.1 mph: Paul Konerko v. Zumaya, double, 6/8/2010
  • 101.0 mph: Kazuo Matsui v. Zumaya, single, 6/26/2009
  • 101.0 mph: Jason Kubel v. Justin Verlander, single, 9/19/2009

As McCotter points out, Ruiz’s pitch was 1.5 mph faster than Gonzalez’s pitch. That might not seem like much, but he said 1.5 mph is a significant gap when we’re talking about three years of data.

McCotter also found it’s the first time a 103+ mph pitch has been put into play. Of the 19 pitches that pitch f/x has record at 103+ mph:

  • 12 were balls
  • 3 were fouls
  • 1 was a swinging strike
  • 2 were called strikes
  • 1 was a double (Ruiz)

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9 Comments

Not really impressed. There were three hard hit balls that inning, including one scalded by Cole Hamels. If a fastball at any speed is thrown right down the middle of the plate, a MLB player can catch up to it. I was far more impressed by the changeup he threw for a strike against Victorino. If Chapman can develop another consistent pitch to go with his heater, he may have a chance.
Plus, I am suspicious of the gun in Cincinnati. They repeatedly had Cole throwing at 96 MPH and he usually tops off at around 94. I think they have settings on the gun to make Chapman appear even more intimidating. He supposedly threw a couple at 105, but I highly doubt it.

Phan, CHapman supposedly has a wicked fastball, change up, and breaking ball as well. SInce he’s only been used out of the pen this year in the majors he hasn’t used the breaking ball. Next year, when he’s a starter we’ll see it. From what I’ve seen so far, he’s going to be a force in the league for a while, unless he throws his arm out like Washington’s half year wonder did

phan52, pitch f/x probes are all calibrated the same, independently of whatever gun the stadium is using, so that doesn’t have an affect on how Ruiz’s hit off Chapman is measured here.

f-i-j, Strasburgh is the real deal and will be fine when he recovers from TJ surgery, as the successful recovery rate for TJ surgery is extremely high. He was successfully getting people out at every level he’s pitched.
Chapman’s fastball right now is very hittable and he needs work. It is far from ‘wicked’, as Ibanez, Chooch and Cole showed in that inning. Strasburgh’s fastball is ‘wicked’, to use your word. He has tremendous movement and has no problem throwing it for strikes. It is very difficult to throw a fastball like that for strikes but Strasburgh has already mastered it. Chapman, not so much.

Well phylan, you know as well as I do that Cole usually tops off at around 94, and they had him at 96 multiple times last night. You do the math. Something ain’t right. I have no idea what pitch f/x is or if it is reliable. Are you telling me the readings they project at the game are not from a gun on site?

The velocities that you see on TV and on a stadium scoreboard come from different sources than pitch f/x. I agree that Cinci’s gun is definitely juiced, and I often think that CBP’s is a little on the fast side as well. Pitch f/x from last night had Cole averaging 92 mph, in line with his average this season. Basically, my point is that if pitch f/x said the pitch Chooch hit was 103, it was probably 103. Pitch f/x is operated by the MLB and is generally considered to be very accurate.

The gun in Cincy last night showed the pitch that Chooch hit at 105mph so the f/x gun is probably right on, the one Cole hit to left field showed at 101mph at the ball park so guessing it was a couple of mph below that…

-peter

Phillies Outside

I read a comment from Jayson Werth where he said, “he’s fast, but you can see it,” so apparently his arm motion leaves the ball visible to hitters long enough. I’m in the camp that says the Cincy gun is juiced, since he didn’t throw that hard in Philly on Friday night.
But baseball people are so fixated on numbers that I suppose he’ll be a big deal over the next couple of years. That’s nice, but he’ll have to develop a couple of pitches in order to be successful, since big league hitters can hit anybody’s fastball.

Whether or not the Cincy gun is juiced or whether or not Chapman’s fastball is “wicked” or not, Ruiz is the first player to get a hit on a 103 mph fastball. No one is saying it’s not hittable – it’s evident from the stats that it is. Just give the guy some credit.

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