The two fastest pitches of the year have come from the arm of Jordan Hicks as the St. Louis Cardinals rookie threw not one, but a pair of pitches today clocked at 105mph.
And you’re going to have to break it down one tenth past the decimal point to him throwing the fastest pitch ever recorded in MLB history.
“I didn’t do anything special besides throw hard today,” said Hicks with grin.
The 105mph fastballs from Hicks are just behind the 105.1mph mark set by Aroldis Chapman in 2016.
“I think the hardest before yesterday was 102.6,” shared Hicks on his velocity. “Yesterday, I saw 103 and was like ‘I can do it’ so I tried to throw a little harder today and see how it goes.”
Reaching these new velocities is a surprise for Hicks, who doesn’t know just how fast his speeds can continue to reach.
“It’s weird because whenever I try to throw that hard and then I come back and try to take some off, it feels really different,” he said. “I don’t know. I can’t really explain it.”
Besides the two pitches at 105mph, Hicks also clocked in at 104.3, 104.2, and 103.7 all in the same at-bat against Odubel Herrera, who struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch.
“Odubel, he just takes forever to get in the box, to be honest,” shared Hicks. “It kind of amps me up a little bit. I just, I bring it against him. I like to.”
Last April, Herrera was clocked at taking an average of 31.9 seconds by FanGraphs.
“It doesn’t irritate me,” Hicks continued. “It’s just kind of like, why? Just get in the box. Know what I mean? It’s all good, though. It’s all good.”
Hicks came on in relief of fellow rookie Jack Flaherty, who was impressive in his own right–allowing just one run and two hits while striking out 13 batters in 7.2 innings. Humble about his own performance, Flaherty gushed about the arm of Hicks.
“I wish I could do that,” stated Flaherty. “That’s the only thing going through everybody’s mind is, ‘I wish I could throw the ball 105 miles per hour’…yeah, you see 105 up there and it’s like wow. That doesn’t happen. You don’t see that.”
“Wow, dominant today,” said Hicks. “I love watching that and then get to come in on his standing ovation, kind of pumped me up too. I think that really might have been what it was, getting the adrenaline from him getting that standing ‘o’.”
Just something to think about, Hicks is 21 years old. Flaherty is 22.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports