These are the slowest K pitches of '20

December 19th, 2020

High velocity is what excites scouts and analysts, lights up Statcast, and gets fans and players alike expectantly checking the scoreboard for the latest triple-digit reading.

But the opposite end of the velocity spectrum offers its own charms. While only a select few can throw a baseball 100 mph, the rare instances of a Major Leaguer tossing one below the 70 mph mark offer both novelty and a chance for those at home to think, “Hey, maybe I could do that, too.” (You can't, though.) And if that pitch is actually successful? Even better.

In 2020, including the postseason, there were 59 strikeouts that came on pitches of 100.0 mph or faster, despite the shortened schedule. By contrast, there were just 36 on pitches of 70.0 mph or slower.

Thanks to the easy-to-navigate treasure trove that is MLB Film Room powered by Google Cloud, a few clicks is now all it takes to find the highlights for each of these low-velo gems, sorted in ascending order of pitch speed. From there, you can watch them all, as well as create your own highlight reel of up to five clips -- such as the one above -- which can then be shared on social media, embedded on a website or shared via email or text.

In this case, we have the five slowest strikeout pitches of 2020, a satisfying collection that includes two different position players, a potential future Hall of Famer and the author of one of the more surprising no-hitters in recent memory.

The 2020 leader? That would be veteran infielder , who has 4,909 Major League plate appearances, compared with three batters faced on the mound. Those came on Sept. 18, when Frazier saved the Mets’ bullpen by pitching a perfect top of the ninth inning against the Braves in a 15-2 loss. Frazier’s 13 pitches maxed out at 67.5 mph, and one of his five “knuckleballs” was a 55.3 mph butterfly that froze Adam Duvall for strike three.

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Frazier wasn’t the only position player to get a chance on the mound in a blowout and wind up with a K on a leisurely pitch. Enter . It wasn’t the highlight of the year for the Rays’ undrafted utility man -- there was that rather huge homer off Aroldis Chapman in Game 5 of the Rays-Yankees ALDS -- but he did punch out Toronto’s Randal Grichuk on a 63.6 mph floater (third-slowest K this year) to notch the strikeout that eluded him over his four innings pitched in 2019. He even managed to walk off the mound afterward like it was no big deal.

Connoisseurs of the slowball will not be the least bit surprised to see that threw the second- and fourth-slowest strikeout pitches of 2020, the most deliberate of which came in at 61.9 mph. The 37-year-old Houston hurler has been the master of this art for a while now -- his “eephus” curve a way to keep opponents flailing even as his velocity trends downward. Over the past three seasons, Greinke’s 73 Ks on pitches 70.0 mph or slower are more than three times any other pitcher’s total.

Rounding out the top five is the Cubs’ , who on Sept. 13 against the Brewers threw one of two no-hitters in MLB in 2020, in just his 15th career start. That feat was assisted by an array of 22 curves at 70.0 mph or slower, although none of them went for strike three. However, Mills did pick up two such K’s in other September outings, including one at 66.5 mph that pulled the string on a helpless Gregory Polanco on Sept. 3 at Pittsburgh.

So there you have it -- the slowest strikeout pitches of 2020. This was but one example of what fans can find in MLB Film Room, which now offers up more than 5 million videos. Launched on Sept. 8, the tool includes nearly every pitch of every season back through 2016, as well as historical clips going back to 1926. With more than 40 unique search categories, Film Room presents users with a unique opportunity to customize their experience, whether the goal is serious or whimsical.

This vast library is waiting, so check it out and share the results.