Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through Spring Training 2021, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous few days’ games in glorious high-definition GIFs. We want to bring you the highest caliber of nastiness possible, so if you see a nasty pitch, please tell us about it. You can tweet @PitcherList to let us know, and we’ll give you a shout-out here in the article if your tip makes the cut.
As a bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord in the Nasty Pitches Channel, and if your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free T-shirt!
Marcus Stroman‘s Splitter
The pure beauty of Spring Training personified right here – the joy of watching a veteran pitcher we like debuting a new pitch with high upside to improve his craft. We are all in. Marcus Stroman threw 6 split-finger changeups, and we are crazily excited. Here is his 84 mph splitter to strikeout rookie Bryan De La Cruz.
Framber Valdez‘s Changeup
Young Astros sensation Framber Valdez put himself firmly on the fantasy radar in the shortened 2020 season thanks to a devastating sinker, curveball combination that saw an overall bump in K% to go along with a fabulous 5.6% walk rate. If he can throw this 90 mph changeup consistently with the same quality, he could take yet another step forward in 2021. Pete Alonso didn’t have a prayer.
Matthew Liberatore’s Curveball
Matthew Liberatore, the Cardinals’ #3 prospect who was acquired in the trade that sent October sensation Randy Arozarena to the Rays, has one of the best curveballs in the minor leagues. This devastating 72 mph curve certainly jelly-legged Marlins outfielder Monte Harrison nicely. Here’s to hoping we see him in the big leagues this year.
JT Brubaker‘s Sinker
Ok, I have to admit that I didn’t purposely sit down to watch the Tigers and the Pirates battle it out in Spring Training. Did anyone? This nice 92 mph sinker from JT Brubaker to strike out Akil Baddoo did catch my eye, though.
Walker Buehler‘s Knuckle-Curve
And in case you had forgotten about the talent of Walker Buehler in the off-season, here’s a delightful reminder of that sensational knuckle-curve.