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Yordano Ventura throws fastest pitch in 5 years

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Faster isn't always better, but this was really, really fast.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Royals rookie Yordano Ventura has a potentially bright future ahead of him. He made his major-league debut on Tuesday night, and already made his mark with a single pitch, as ESPN's Buster Olney noted on Twitter on Tuesday morning:

The distinction between starting and relief is an important one -- Aroldis Chapman wouldn't throw 103 miles per hour as often he has were he forced to conserve his energy for long outings, but since he's a closer, he can just rear back and go. So, sure, it's not Chapman's 103, or even his insane 105 recorded at Petco Park a few years back, but a tick under 102 miles per hour from a starting pitcher is a rarity, as you already figured out given no one has hit that mark in five years.

Velocity isn't everything, though: if a pitch is straight, it doesn't matter how fast it's going, as Yan Gomes reminded us on the pitch in the question:


Still, Ventura went 99, 99, 98, 102, and then opened up the next at-bat with a wicked 97 mph pitch with hard downward movement, so it's fair to be impressed by him even with the base knock. Still, more of this...


...rather than straight 102 would probably do him well.

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