10 GIF-filled Aroldis Chapman facts that will blow your sweet little mind
Spring Training is a lot like the teaser trailer for a movie. Just as we salivate for 30 seconds of disjointed action and a gravelly voice saying "Coming this summer," we devour the sights of players stretching in the outfield grass or taking leisurely bullpen sessions.
But it's not the real thing. All it does is make us ravenous for the beginning of the season when pitchers reach back and light up the radar gun. And there is no one who does that quite like Aroldis Chapman.
So while we wait for that kind of baseball action, let's look at 10 Chapman facts that will threaten to tear your mind apart with their awe-astounding nature. And don't worry, there are plenty of GIFs for your viewing enjoyment.
1. Chapman struck out 106 batters in 54 innings, good for a 17.67 K/9. That also breaks Craig Kimbrel's 2012 record of 16.66.
2. He faced 202 batters. Which means that the Cuban Missile struck out over half of the batters who came to the plate. He also only gave up only 21 hits during the year. That's five times less than the number of batters who struck out.
Here is one of the few times a batter made contact. Of course, Chapman struck out the next two batters.
3. Chapman set the record for most consecutive games with a strikeout at 49, blowing past Bruce Sutter's previous record of 39.
4. He struck out 61 batters on 100 mph or greater heat last season. Again, he only pitched 54 innings. (Where is the emoji where a guy's eyes literally blow out of his head and his ears give off steam? That's the emoji one should use.)
5. Chapman threw 395 pitches 100 mph or faster. That's more than double the total of every other Major Leaguer combined.
6. There were 213 pitches thrown last year timed at 101 mph or greater. Chapman threw 207 of them. There were 67 pitches timed at 102 MPH or faster. Chapman threw all of them.
6. Aroldis Chapman's fastest pitch was timed at 104 mph. Paul Goldschmidt somehow fouled it off.
Of course, to strike him out, Chapman dialed it back a tad. Bringing it all the way down to 103.
8. Naturally, that led to an average fastball velocity of 100.3. That's nearly three miles-per-hour faster than Houston's Carter Capps.
9. Despite all of this, Chapman's slider was even better. As calculated by Fangraphs, Chapman's slider was 3.10 runs above average per 100 pitches compared to his fastball which was 1.73.
When you see how it spins across the plate as if it were attached to a string, and the fact that it's still sitting in the upper-80s, you can see why.
10. I don't really have a fact here, but I just like watching Aroldis Chapman pitches on repeat. That's like a fact, right?