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The Nastiest Pitches From April Tournament: Smokin’ Sixteen

Which pitch will be crowned the Nastiest Pitch of April?

Every day we bring you the nastiest pitches of the previous night’s games, and there are a bunch to sift through for our weekly Nastiest Pitch series to determine which pitches are the nastiest of the week. We’ve since narrowed it down to sixteen of the very best pitches from the previous month, and it’s up to you to determine which pitch will be crowned the Nastiest Pitch of April.

Vote for one pitch in each matchup, and be sure to come back tomorrow to vote in the next round. Every vote counts, and your opinion matters!

 

Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

 

4/26 – Justin Lawrence’s Slider (1)

 

 

vs.

 

4/10 – Hunter Greene’s Fastball (4)

 

 

This might be an unfair opening round matchup for Hunter Greene considering that Justin Lawrence’s slider had some of the nastiest movement we’ve seen all season, but 101 MPH painted for strike three on the end of the zone is no small feat. I don’t roster Greene anywhere this year and I regret it, because he’s a ton of fun to watch on the mound.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastier?

 

4/12 – Matt Brash’s Slider (3)

 

 

vs.

 

4/23 – Matt Brash’s Slider (2)

 

 

Which version of Matt Brash’s filthy slider is nastier? He’s been a fan favorite in the Nastiest Pitches voting this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if that continues for much of the year. His slider is special and we’ll be seeing plenty of it.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastier?

 

4/24 – Shane McClanahan’s Changeup (1)

 

 

vs.

 

4/23 – Devin Williams‘ Changeup (4)

 

 

Shane McClanahan has the highest CSW% among all starters in baseball (37.9%) and his changeup has the 13th highest CSW% of any individual pitch in the league (44.3%). It’s been an absolutely devastating weapon all year and hitters have been mystified thus far. Meanwhile, if you asked most baseball fans who has the nastiest changeup in baseball right now, many would probably say Devin Williams. And I wouldn’t disagree, but McClanahan needs to be in that conversation.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastier?

 

4/8 – Charlie Morton’s Curveball (3)

 

 

vs.

 

4/29 – Tanner Houck’s Slider (2)

 

 

These are two very similar pitches so it’s only right for them to face off in the first round. Neither Tanner Houck nor Charlie Morton have been great pitchers this year; In fact, they’ve both kind of stunk, and I’m sure they’d both be the first to tell you how bad they’ve been. But they still have elite pitches in their arsenals and have thrown junk all season, so don’t be surprised if they both turn it around sooner than later.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastier?

 

4/7 – Kyle Hendricks‘ Changeup (1)

 

 

vs.

 

4/23 – Matt Festa’s Slider (4)

 

 

As we move on to the right side of the bracket, the matchups don’t get any easier to choose between. Kyle Hendricks threw the nastiest pitch of opening day, this changeup which fell off the face of the earth and reminded Kolten Wong that Spring Training is over. Meanwhile, nobody else is talking about how filthy Matt Festa’s slider has been this year and I will continue to shout it from the mountaintops as often as I can. This is a tough, tough matchup.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastier?

 

4/8 – Jhoan Duran’s Splitter (3)

 

 

vs.

 

4/15 – Jhoan Duran’s Splitter (2)

 

 

The Splinker is the best new pitch in baseball, and this pitch alone makes Jhoan Duran a must-watch every time he takes the mound. Just like the Brash vs Brash matchup earlier, it’s up to you to choose which of Duran’s splitters is the nastiest.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastier?

 

4/22 – Kyle Wright’s Sinker (1)

 

 

vs.

 

4/22 – Kyle Wright’s Curveball (4)

 

 

Are you noticing a trend here? This time we have two different pitches by the same guy, but it’s still a tough choice. Kyle Wright’s start against the Marlins on April 22nd was nothing short of marvelous, and we got these two filthy pitches out of it which will both be featured in highlight reels throughout the year. This was one of those starts that you remember for a long time.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastiest?

 

4/15 – Miguel Castro’s Slider (3)

 

 

vs.

 

4/27 – Pablo López’s Changeup (2)

 

 

Our final matchup of the Smokin’ Sixteen is between two pitches on either side of the plate, each with devastating results. One should have resulted in a HBP (Miguel Castro’s slider), but it was so nasty that the batter didn’t even argue. Meanwhile, Pablo López’s changeup continues to be one of the most underrated pitches in baseball. This is one of the toughest matchups we’ll have in this tournament.

 

Which Pitch Was Nastiest?

 

Tune in tomorrow for the Exciting Eight, and don’t forget to let us know in the comments if your favorite pitch deserves some love!

 

Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Ben Brown

Ben is a lifelong resident of the great state of Maine who loves the wild and wacky intricacies of baseball. During the summer months, you'll find him either in the woods at a golf course or floating on the water upta camp, both with a local beer in hand and a game on the radio.

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