MLB pitchers are getting nastier with each passing year.
Touching 100 mph used to be an accomplishment, a rarity in the nineties and early 2000s.
Now, it’s considered common: 104 is the new 100, to be honest.
But MLB hitters are prepared and trained to hit high velocity if the pitch has little to no movement and poor location, in the fat part of the zone.
To really thrive, pitchers need to have good command, and their offerings need some horizontal or vertical movement to fool hitters.
When MLB hitters see 100 mph with sharp, sudden horizontal movement, they often look like Little Leaguers.
There is just no way to square up that pitch consistently.
Clase’s Cutter Is In A Tier Of Its Own
This chart, provided by the good folks at Codify Baseball, helps us gain some perspective about Clase’s cutter.
“That is Emmanuel Clase’s cutter circled in the chart. No one else in MLB is throwing a pitch anywhere near that fast with that kind of movement because of course they aren’t,” they tweeted, with the useful chart.
That is Emmanuel Clase's cutter circled in the chart. 😮
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) October 3, 2022
Clase’s cutter is the only pitch of his kind, touching 100 mph and showing important horizontal movement (called break) for a pitch of that speed.
It’s like seeing a power slider, only with a bit less break but much, much faster.
There is no way to make hard, loud contact on that pitch.
It’s definitely not a coincidence that Clase has an incredible 1.38 ERA in 71.2 frames this year.
Oh, and he is just 24 years old: he is not stopping anytime soon.
What an incredible player.