We all dig the long ball, but what do 100 mph fastballs do for you? I personally get pretty excited, however, when I see a pitcher back up the heater with a 79 sweeping curveball, now we’re cooking!
The Welsh here with a live look at one of the hardest throwers in the Arizona Fall League, Nate Pearson. I’m lucky enough to live out in Arizona, where baseball seems to never take a break.
The video above is from his first appearance in the AFL. This was an important outing, as he only logged 1.2 innings in 2018, after a line drive off his elbow ended his season on May 7th. Pearson started the inning throwing his fastball 97-98. The video shows his battle with Estevan Florial. He worked the fastball in the same 97-98 range early, but ultimately finished him off with the curveball.
Following the first video, Pearson started touching 100 MPH on the gun. He finished the day hitting 100 five times. The command got shaky a bit into the second inning, but he recovered and limited the damage. Pearson ended the day walking three and striking out four over 3.1 innings of work. The video below was his second sequence against Florial. Pearson attacked Florial with his off-speed pitches inducing a ground-ball double play. On the day, Pearson threw all 4 of his pitches, flashing promising feel. While the fastball velocity was the buzz around the stadium, Pearson also mixed his curveball and change-up effectively. By my count, he threw two sliders as well.
Overall I walked away very impressed with the command he showed on the upper 90’s to triple digit fastball. Seeing the ball move a bit at that speed is a very positive sign as well. Most recently I’ve seen Hunter Greene throw into the 100’s, but when it had command it was flat. Pearson impressed with his off-speed stuff and with what I observed plan to be bullish on him moving into the off-season. In his 2nd start, Pearson was lit up, lasting just one inning, giving up eight runs (seven unearned), one homer and walking four in the process. Not good. Like many flame throwing pitchers, the off days are pretty off. I’m not too worried. Remember, this is a kid that is working the rust off after throwing just 1.2 innings this season. Despite the ugly line, Pearson’s stuff was still electric. Don’t panic!
After his first outing, I spoke with him for a minute. I asked him about hitting 100, and in a very humble way, he quickly commented that he “hit it five times, and “it felt good!”
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