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Entries in MLB debut (2)


Cole's Fastball Lethal in MLB Debut

With three near-triple-digit fastballs that stung Russell Martin's hand and Gregor Blanco's ego, Gerrit Cole announced his arrival as baseball's new velocity king. The first overall pick in the 2011 draft shut down the Giants during his MLB debut Tuesday night, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings pitched and even driving in a pair of runs off Tim Lincecum. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage wanted Cole to take a simple approach, and the 22-year-old did by pumping fastball after fastball. The results? Simply dominant. Here's more on Cole's lethal fastball.

  • Cole had little need for his secondary stuff, throwing 65 fastballs out of 81 total pitches (80.2%). His heater averaged 96.1 MPH and topped out at 99.4 MPH. For comparison's sake, Stephen Strasburg (average fastball speed of 95.4 MPH) throws the hardest among qualified starting pitchers. Cole's nearly 100 MPH pitch to Gregor Blanco in the first inning was the fastest thrown by a starter in the majors this season, just beating out Justin Verlander, Wily Peralta (99.3 MPH), Strasburg (99.1 MPH) and Matt Harvey (99 MPH).
  • He retained that fastball zip deep into his start. Cole threw his fastball at an average speed of 97.2 MPH in the first inning, 96.1 MPH in the second, 95.6 in the third, 95.3 MPH in the fourth, jumped back up to 96.7 MPH in the fifth and then sat at 95.4 MPH in the sixth and 96.3 MPH in the seventh. His last fastball of the night was 97 MPH.
  • When you've got a fastball like Cole's, why nibble? He threw 45 of his 65 fastballs (69.2%) over the plate. Cole also pounded hitters at the knees, throwing nearly half (47.7%) of his gas in the lower third of the strike zone.

Cole's fastball location on June 11, 2013

  • Giants hitters missed seven of the 34 fastballs (20.6%) that they swung at, comfortably above the 14.7% MLB average for starting pitchers.

Manny Machado's MLB Debut

Manny Machado, the wunderkind recently ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the game by Baseball America, made his MLB debut last night at home against the Royals. Machado finished the night 2-for-4 with a triple, becoming the first 20-year-old to have a multi-hit game in his first big league game since Giancarlo Stanton in 2010. Here's a quick breakdown of how pitchers attacked Machado:

Machado's 1st AB

Royals lefty Will Smith started Machado off with a curveball that Machado took for a strike. After taking a fastball just off the outside corner, Machado grounded out on a middle-of-the-plate curve.

Machado's 2nd AB

Machado showed his youth -- and pure hitting ability -- in this AB.  He took an 88 MPH fastball down the middle for strike one, and then whiffed at curveball at the shoe tops. But Machado adjusted, drilling an outside curve to the right field gap for a sliding triple.

Machado's 3rd AB

Machado took a big hack at a borderline changeup from Smith and came up empty, then fouled off a fastball to fall behind 0-and-2. He took a high-and-tight fastball for a ball, then hit a squibber on an inside slider that rolled away from Smith for an infield single.

Machado's 4th AB

Machado took a 95 MPH from Jeremy Jeffress for strike one, checked his swing on a low-and-away slider to even the count and then flied out on a high-and-inside fastball.

While Machado is awfully young, the O's promoting him might not be as big of a rush job as it first appears.  He showed a mature plate approach at Double-A Bowie with a 48/70 K/BB ratio in 459 plate appearances, and his .266/.352/.438 line looks better once you consider that the Eastern League average is just .260/.331/.391 in 2012. He'll have some rough moments, as any 20-year-old facing a two-rung promotion to the majors would. But itt'l be fun seeing just what type of hitter Machado becomes as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 185 pound frame.