Trying to hit a fastball in Major League Baseball is difficult enough as is. So one can only imagine how much harder it is to hit a rubber sphere hurling your way at 100+ miles per hour.
Somehow, someway, hitters manage to make contact on pitches thrown that fast, but they often miss by quite a large margin. Just ask Aroldis Chapman; he’s made a living blowing fastballs by hitters, with an average fastball velocity is 99 miles per hour, and the ability to throw up to 105 MPH.
Devon Travis was one of the handful of batters who have been able to get the bat on a ball thrown by Aroldis Chapman this season. In fact, Travis did it four times during his at bat versus Chapman yesterday, culminating in an opposite field single.
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) May 27, 2016
Yes, even Jon Heyman was impressed with Devon Travis’ hitting ability. The MPH on that pitch? 102. It was down and slightly away, and yet Devon Travis somehow stuck with it and hooked it into right-centre field.
Even more impressive, the sequence of pitches and how Travis managed to hang tight in this at bat. He faced six straight pitches which were 100MPH or more, and he managed to make contact on four of them.
“I told myself before that pitch, ‘OK, you’re late, try to hit it to left-center,’ and I hit it between first and second. I just think for the guys who throw a little harder, you almost have to set your sights a little further to the pull side and hopefully you can hit it fair to the right side.”
Image via Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports