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 June.
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!
Miguel Castro’s Slider (1)
Tarik Skubal’s Knuckle Curve (4)
Miguel Castro is one of the nastiest relievers in baseball, and this might just be the nastiest pitch of his career. Does he miss is spot a bit? Sure does, but Ketel Marte really does his best to sell us on the filthiness of the pitch. This is one heck of a matchup for Tarik Skubal’s knuckle curve, which gets a ton of movement as it slowly creeps towards the plate. It’s a nasty pitch, but is it as good as Castros? I doubt it.
Pablo López’s Changeup (3)
Tejay Antone’s Curveball (2)
I love Raimel Tapia’s reaction to this nasty changeup from Pablo López. He immediately looked back at the catcher as if to say “How did that pitch escape my bat?” I don’t know either, Raimel. It’s that voodoo magic down in Miami where all of the pitchers have nasty changeups. Meanwhile, the opponent in this matchup is a nasty backdoor curveball with a ton of late bite from Tejay Antone. Not only did it have some awesome movement, it also hit his spot and got him out of a jam in a tie ballgame on the road. That’s a tough pitch to execute in any situation, and he truly nailed it here.
José Urquidy’s Changeup (1)
Jake Cousins‘ Slider (4)
I gotta admit, I totally stumbled upon this José Urquidy changeup by mistake. I was on the hunt for a Mickey Jannis knuckleball in that game and I just so happened to see this pitch, and boy am I glad I did. The amount of horizontal movement in that pitch is absurd, and DJ Stewart knew he got fooled immediately. On the other side of this one is a filthy slider from rookie Jake Cousins, who pitched in indy ball last season and has been stellar since making his MLB debut last month. The slider has a CSW over 50% on the year and I can see why. Sure, there’s some camera angle magic happening here, but that shouldn’t detract from a disgusting pitch like this.
Taijuan Walker’s Sinker (3)
Caleb Thielbar’s Curveball (2)
This sinker from Taijuan Walker got a lot of love in the daily voting, and for good reason. But it’s got a tough matchup against Caleb Thielbar’s ridiculously slow curveball which has been one of my favorite pitches all year. It’s incredible how much effort Thielbar puts into this pitch for it to only go 62 MPH. Absurd. Baseball is amazing.
Paul Sewald’s Slider (1)
Logan Gilbert’s Changeup (4)
I have become a Paul Sewald stan in the last few weeks thanks large in part to the pitch above. He’s been on a bit of a reclamation tour out in Seattle where his slider is causing big time problems for opposing hitters. There is even talk of him sliding into the closer’s role. That would be nice. This slider to strike out Bo Bichette made the YouTube announcers audibly gasp, and it’s a legitimate candidate for the crown this month. Sewald’s opponent (and teammate), Logan Gilbert, has turned it on recently and is starting to finally round into form after some rocky starts to begin his big league career. His success has largely been thanks to his changeup, which is sporting a fantastic 36.8% CSW so far this season. Get used to seeing more of these.
Rich Hill’s Curveball (3)
Framber Valdez’s Sinker (2)
Mr. Reliable around these parts is Rich Hill, as we always know we can grab a slow curve or two from his starts for use in Nastiest Pitches. His ability to come at batters in an arm slot both over the top and from the side has to be uber confusing, and when you’re not expecting it you get exactly what you see out of Rafael Devers here. His opponent this month, Framber Valdez, is probably more known for his curveball, but this filthy sinker sure ate Alex Verdugo up. The pitch starts right on the inside of the plate and doesn’t dart into the batter’s box until the very last second. Chef’s kiss
Aroldis Chapman’s Splitter (1)
Nabil Crismatt’s Changeup (4)
This Aroldis Chapman splitter had a spin rate of less than 700. The way the pitch tumbles towards the plate at 89 MPH while being able to drop as much as it did is absurd, and the slo mo camera angle is just so sweet. On the other side, Nabil Crismatt is a reliever that not too many have heard of, but his changeup has popped up here and there a handful of times for our purposes. This one falls right off the plate and makes professional hitter Dominic Smith look like a little leaguer. That’s nasty.
Shane McClanahan’s Curveball (3)
Blake Treinen’s Slider (2)
Our final matchup this month is between two Nastiest Pitches mainstays this year. Shane McClanahan won April’s tournament with his 101 MPH sinker, while Blake Treinen’s slider has also made an appearance in all three tournaments. They both just keep dealing straight up filth and it’s beautiful to watch.
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 Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)