Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer throws hard. He averaged 94.39 mph on his fastball last season, according to BrooksBaseball.net, one of the best pitching sites on the planet.
He’s looking to top that in 2018. For the past couple offseasons, Bauer has worked with Driveline Baseball in an attempt to refine his game. The company does a lot of work with weighted balls, which can help a pitcher gain some velocity.
On Wednesday, Bauer threw a ball that registered 116.9 mph during one of their drills.
— Driveline Baseball (@DrivelineBB) January 10, 2018
You already know the catch, right? That’s not a pitch. Bauer is taking a running start and whipping a 3oz ball a short distance. He threw a ball 116.9 mph, not a pitch. It’s semantics, we know. But still. We were up front “a catch.”
If you feel you’ve been duped, allow us to try and explain why we still think the above video is worth your time.
• First off, it’s pretty fun to see 116.9 mph on a baseball radar gun regardless of how that figure was produced. It takes an incredible amount of effort to hit that figure.
• Driveline Baseball is considered a facility on the cutting edge, so we’re getting a brief look into the types of things they preach to pitchers.
• Bauer’s throw was a record in this drill, that seems to be worth something.
• Bauer’s throw came in nearly seven mph higher than this toss from Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech’s last offseason. That was a similar drill, and Kopech is known for being a flamethrower on the mound. Bauer obliterated that number.
It’s important to note that this video doesn’t mean Bauer is suddenly going to start averaging 100 mph on his fastball in 2018. If anything, it’s more proof that Bauer is still trying to take his game to another level. It’s also an inside look into some of the newer methods pitchers are using to improve their performance.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik