Former New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is 34 and had an uneven season in 2022.
However, he remains in top shape and is eager to secure a multi-year deal from one of the five MLB clubs that have shown interest in him.
Chapman has 315 career saves and wants to keep increasing that number.
His market hasn’t probably developed the way he would have wanted, but it seems to be picking up.
In fact, he had a bullpen session in front of Miami Marlins scouts and, by all accounts, he was impressive.
“Here’s today’s Aroldis Chapman bullpen session in front of Marlins scouts. His fastball was impressive and they measured many other things, including spin rate, extension, pitch height, vertical and horizontal break, etcetera,” analyst Alfre Alvarez tweeted, with a video.
Here’s today’s Aroldis Chapman bullpen session in front of Marlins scouts. His fastball was impressive and they measured many other things, including spin rate, extension, pitch height, vertical and horizontal break, etcetera. https://t.co/1wpuMfTkUg
— Alfre Alvarez 🇨🇺 (@AlfreAlvarez3) January 18, 2023
Chapman looked to be in tip-top shape and his fastball looked as explosive as ever.
The question with Chapman is not so much velocity as much as control and command.
Since 2021, he has had a hard time showing consistent fastball command, and that ends up haunting him.
When you see Chapman throwing more sliders than usual, it’s because he doesn’t trust his fastball to land in the strike zone.
Unfortunately, no conventional machines can measure command: that will be up to the scouts that were in attendance.
Chapman should have no problem landing a deal.
Will he return to his best days in which he could be counted on to finish with an ERA below 3.00 and challenge for the saves lead?
That’s an interesting storyline for the 2023 campaign.
Editor’s Note: Soon after the writing of this article, news broke that Chapman had signed with the Kansas City Royals.