Holy smoke! Hicks hits 104.6 in spring game

March 26th, 2023

With Opening Day mere days away, Cardinals flamethrower Jordan Hicks appears to be more than ready.

On Saturday night against the Mets, Hicks threw a 104.6 mph sinker. That is the fastest tracked pitch (regular season, playoffs or Spring Training) since … Hicks threw 105 mph twice in May 2018.

In addition, Hicks also hit 102 mph 10 different times. That feat has been accomplished only by four other pitchers in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008): Aroldis Chapman (14 times), Ryan Helsley, Bruce Rondon, and Jhoan Duran. Hicks himself has done it six other times before Saturday.

Hicks’ sinker averaged 102.4 mph, which is a full 3 mph faster than his average sinker was in 2022. Hicks’ slider, too, was up 3.7 mph in his outing (88.4 mph Saturday, 84.7 mph in 2022).

Hicks, who looks primed to pitch high-leverage innings in the Cardinals' bullpen, is throwing harder than he has since 2019. Now positioned mainly as a reliever after making eight starts last year, Hicks is letting it loose like we haven’t seen in four seasons.