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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

5/17/22 : Ninety Five Plus

High velocity doesn’t necessarily translate into success as a pitcher but it certainly can be an advantage to those hurlers who are capable of delivering their pitches at high speed.

While the art of pitching still is determined by the ability to throw quality strikes, spinning the baseball to create ball movement and knowing how to miss bats or pitch to soft contact having a fastball that is indeed “fast” is a great weapon.

The fastball is still the best pitch in baseball in this old pitchers opinion, all else plays off the ability to locate the old number one. Even pitchers with dominant “off speed” pitches must maintain a fastball to at least keep batters honest in the box.

A few years ago it seemed the Phillies were distinctly lacking behind in pitchers capable of bringing the heat in the “95 plus” range - that’s no longer the case. Guys that do so are generally termed as “big arms”. Here’s a look at current pitchers in the organization who are in that category. I’m including pitchers who flash in the 95 plus stratosphere along with those who sit in that range.

By my count the Phillies presently have 76 “Ninety Five Plus” pitchers in the organization.

Major Leagues : ( 11 )

RH Zack Wheeler - dominate upper nineties FB

RH Zach Eflin - generally uses sinker in the 92-94 mph range but has capabilities of mid to upper 90’s four seamer

LH Ranger Suarez - will sink and cut FB in the 92-94 mph range but can let it fly 95-96 whenever he wants

RH Nick Nelson - has shown 95-98 mph four seamer out of the pen

RH James Norwood - 95-98 mph FB offsets a hard breaking splitter

RH Seranthony Dominguez - 95-99 mph sinker - a rarity to get such high velo on a two seamer

RH Connor Brogdon - 95-97 mph four seamer that can go higher, offsets dominant changeup and hard cutter

LH Jose Alvarado - throws a 95-101 mph sinker with overpowering movement - can dominate - battles command

RH Corey Knebel - out pitch is a power curve but FB sits in the 95 to 97 mph range as a weapon as well

RH Andrew Bellati - FB generally sits 93-94 but can flash 95-96

RH Jeurys Familia - FB generally sits 95-97 mph offsetting splitter and slider

Triple A : 12

LH Christopher Sanchez - has generally been 92-94 mph this season but has shown 95-97 mph

RH Mark Appel - FB is generally 93-95 mph - flashes 96-97 - used to be higher

RH Hans Crouse - currently on IL - we’ve seen 92-94 for the most part but flashes 95-96 with ride.

RH Tyler Cyr - has flashed 99 mph in the past - generally in the 94-97 mph range

LH Kyle Dohy - has better command 92-94 mph yet can get 95-97 mph - offsets outstanding changeup - command issues

RH Nick Duron - sits 95-97 mph - we’ve seen 98-99 on occasion

LH Damon Jones - cutting action FB generally at 94 mph - easily reaches 95-96

RH Michael Kelly - sits 94-97 mph - touches 98-99 on occasion

RH Dillon Maples - has sat 92-94 mph this season - showed 96-98 regularly with Cubs last season

RH Francisco Morales - generally sits 95-96 mph - touches 97-99 - offsets wipeout slider now used as primary

LH Braedon Ogle - generally 94-96 mph with four seamer - battles command

LH Zach Warren - currently on IL - sits 92-94 mph - has shown ability to get 95-97 mph - out pitch is big breaking curve

Double A : 10

RH Mike Adams - sits in the 93-94 range but has flashed 95-97 both this year and last

RH Ofreidy Gomez - recently signed - sits 96-99 mph with four seamer

RH James McArthur - generally 92-95 mph range - flashes 96-97 when needed

LH Erik Miller - in shorter stints as an opener/reliever he’s sitting 94-97 with FB

RH McKinley Moore - will sit 93-96 mph with four seamer - reaches 98 - battles command

RH Bubby Rossman - FB generally sits 94-97 - has flashed 99 mph

RH Matt Seelinger - sits 92-94 mph - reaches 95-96 - “knuckle drop” is out pitch

RH Noah Skirrow - FB has returned to college form - 93-95 mph range - touches 96

RH Billy Sullivan - has shown upper nineties - generally sits 94-97 mph

RH Braden Zarbnisky - fastball generally in the 93-94 mph range and flashing upwards of 95-96

High A : 13

RH Mick Abel - sits mid to upper nineties - has shown 97-100 mph consistently

LH Erubiel Armenta - will generally sit 93-94 with FB but can tick up into 95-96 range as well

RH Andrew Baker - consistently 96-100 mph - has to harness command

RH Ben Brown - FB range in the 93-96 mph area - might even be more there

RH Carlos Francisco - FB generally 93-94 - we’ve seen flashes of 95-96 mph

RH Cristian Hernandez - sits 92-94 mph but has shown ability to reach 96-97 mph at will

RH Griff McGarry - dominant FB - regularly 98-100 mph

RH Tyler McKay - since converting to a reliever - FB in the 94-96 mph range to offset hard slider

LH Jhordany Mezquita - generally 92-94 mph - we’ve seen 95-97 in times past

RH Dominic Pipkin - 94 -98 mph FB consistently albeit there’s more there - offset is late action slider

RH Jason Ruffcorn - mid nineties in general - late life and run

RH Matt Russell - fastball can reach 96-98 mph, generally sits 93-95.

RH Andrew Schultz - upper nineties to 100 mph capabilities - command has been issue - sharp slider to boot

Low A Clearwater : 10

RH Malik Binns - generally rides 91 to 94 mph - flashes 95-96

RH Jean Cabrera - generally 92-94 with FB - can reach higher - has touched 98

RH Eiberson Castellano - will sit 92-94 mph - we’ve seen him touch 95-96 on backfields

RH Alex Garbrick - four seamer sits 94-95, touches 96 - two seamer in 92-95 range

LH Jordi Martinez - generally 92-94 but we’ve seen him at 95-96 also

RH Tommy McCollum - features a splitter offset by FB in the 92-97 range

RH Andrew Painter - overpowering heater consistently in the 96-100 range

RH Rodolfo Sanchez - sits 92-94 generally however touches 95-96

RH Cam Wynne - four seamer generally 93 to 95 mph - will get to 96-97 range on occasion

RH Carlos Bethancourt - sits 91-94 mph - we’ve seen 95-96 on backfields

Extended Spring Training : 5

RH Jose Pena Jr - will ride FB at 92-94 mph, has shown 95-98 range

RH Alex McKenney - can bring the heat 94-96 consistently - has touched 99

LH Maikel Garrido - FB 94-97 mph - command wanes

RH DJ Jefferson - sits 91-94 mph - we’ve seen him at 95-96

LH Jake McKenna - generally 92-96 mph - flashes higher

Rehab Assignment : 15

RH Albertus Barber - was mid nineties before surgery - working way back there - at 92-94 mph in live BP

RH Blake Brown - has shown capability to register his fastball in the triple digits and sit consistently in the mid to upper 90’s.

RH Starlyn Castillo - before surgery was 93-96 range - is almost back there again - 93-95 mph in live BP

RH Joel Cesar - was mid nineties with Pirates before - working back

RH Chase Antle - sat 94-97 mph in college ranks - working way back after surgery

RH Sam Jacobsak - generally 91-94 range but 95-96 easily reached

LH Taylor Lehman - has shown 92-95 in live BP post surgery

RH Christian McGowan - will consistently register 94-97 range

RH Tyler Phillips before was sitting 94-97 with Rangers - working back towards that

RH Nicoly Pina - we saw him in 95-98 range on backfields - working back to there after surgery

RH Brett Schulze - has been popping 94-97 range in live BP sessions

LH Keylan Killgore - generally sat 92-96 before surgery - in live BP ranging 92-94 on way back

RH Eduar Segovia - we saw him at 93-96 mph pre surgery - working towards that again

RH Sam Coonrad - has shown upper nineties to 100 mph range

LH Jo Jo Romero - prior to surgery was 94-97 as a reliever - is back to 93-95 range now in live BP

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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