Cardinals' Jordan Hicks throws MLB's fastest pitch of the year, clocking 105 mph twice

The Cardinals smothered the Phillies on Sunday (STL 5, PHI 1), thanks mostly to rookie Jack Flaherty's 13 strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. However, a different Cardinal rookie right-hander pilfered some of Flaherty's bandwidth thanks to his ninth-inning encounter with Odubel Herrera. We speak of 21-year-old Jordan Hicks, who's supplanted Aroldis Chapman as the hardest thrower in the game today. 

On Sunday against Herrera, though, Hicks leveled up even by his own standards: 

Yes, young Mr. Hicks is now a peer of not just Aroldis Chapman, but also peak Aroldis Chapman, who registered 105 back in 2008. Those are two are the lone members of the 105-mph club. Now for the moving pictures:

No, the command wasn't quite there, but sometimes forces of nature are not tidy and perfect. Now take another look at the 105-mph offering that got away from catcher Francisco Pena

You can't help but notice the violent armside run. It's there because Hicks throws sinkers rather than four-seam fastballs. Yes, he touches 105 with a sinker. That unique pairing of movement and velocity yields the following profile: 

  • Hicks is the hardest thrower in the game today. 
  • Hicks in 22 innings this season has struck out just 9.5 percent of opposing batters, versus a league-average mark of 22.5 percent.
  • Hicks has a lofty groundball percentage of 60.6. 

That all adds up to a pitcher who's unlike anyone else, maybe ever:

Please enjoy, indeed. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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