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« Cain Far From Perfect vs. Righties in 2013 | Main | B. Chuck: Yovani Gallardo, the 1000 K pitcher »

Cole's Fastball Lethal in MLB Debut

With three near-triple-digit fastballs that stung Russell Martin's hand and Gregor Blanco's ego, Gerrit Cole announced his arrival as baseball's new velocity king. The first overall pick in the 2011 draft shut down the Giants during his MLB debut Tuesday night, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings pitched and even driving in a pair of runs off Tim Lincecum. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage wanted Cole to take a simple approach, and the 22-year-old did by pumping fastball after fastball. The results? Simply dominant. Here's more on Cole's lethal fastball.

  • Cole had little need for his secondary stuff, throwing 65 fastballs out of 81 total pitches (80.2%). His heater averaged 96.1 MPH and topped out at 99.4 MPH. For comparison's sake, Stephen Strasburg (average fastball speed of 95.4 MPH) throws the hardest among qualified starting pitchers. Cole's nearly 100 MPH pitch to Gregor Blanco in the first inning was the fastest thrown by a starter in the majors this season, just beating out Justin Verlander, Wily Peralta (99.3 MPH), Strasburg (99.1 MPH) and Matt Harvey (99 MPH).
  • He retained that fastball zip deep into his start. Cole threw his fastball at an average speed of 97.2 MPH in the first inning, 96.1 MPH in the second, 95.6 in the third, 95.3 MPH in the fourth, jumped back up to 96.7 MPH in the fifth and then sat at 95.4 MPH in the sixth and 96.3 MPH in the seventh. His last fastball of the night was 97 MPH.
  • When you've got a fastball like Cole's, why nibble? He threw 45 of his 65 fastballs (69.2%) over the plate. Cole also pounded hitters at the knees, throwing nearly half (47.7%) of his gas in the lower third of the strike zone.

Cole's fastball location on June 11, 2013

  • Giants hitters missed seven of the 34 fastballs (20.6%) that they swung at, comfortably above the 14.7% MLB average for starting pitchers.

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