There are some pitchers with some nasty stuff in MLB and some hurlers that can consistently reach triple digits on the radar gun, but there’s one pitcher that is numerically, and anecdotally, the nastiest of ’em all.
A feature piece by Grantland on perceived velocity reveals that Miami Marlins reliever Carter Capps’ unorthodox hop-step delivery throws hitters off in more ways than just a startling deviation from the norm.
MLB’s Advanced Media department discloses data that shows that because of Capps’ long extension, the distance between his release point and the front edge of the mound, of 8.2 feet, he possesses the highest perceived velocity in MLB at 101 mph, topping even Cincinnati Reds three-digit hurler Aroldis Chapman.
By comparison, San Diego Padres closer Craig Kimbrel, whose average fastball tops Capps’ 97.6 mph at 98.2 mph, has a perceived velocity of 98.28 mph with an extension of 6.5 feet.
Contact rate and anecdotal evidence are congruent with the assessment that Capps is the nastiest pitcher baseball has to offer.
At 51.8 percent, Capps has the lowest contact rate of any major-league pitcher, which players attribute to his "sneaky" fastball.
When asked which pitcher is the nastiest out of those he’s faced in MLB so far, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Jung-ho Kang nominated the Marlins reliever, which should come as no surprise to those who understand the inherent advantage of his unorthodox delivery.