Via MLB Trade rumors comes word that a 21 year-old Cuban pitcher with a 100 m.p.h. fastball has defected (source, in Spanish, here). His name is Aroldis Chapman -- a guy who, if he harnesses his stuff and makes the bigs, will likely go by the name "A-Chap" -- and he pitched for Cuba in the WBC. FanGraphs' R.J. Anderson broke his stuff down during the tournament:
The 21-year-old left-hander will be remembered for his velocity readings as much as anything since he threw more than 70% fastballs and recorded an average velocity of 93 miles per hour. On his 12th pitch of the afternoon Chapman hit triple digits with a staggering 100.2 miles per hour. As the game's announcers noted -- in between giving us updates on Chapman's LiveJournal mood -- Chapman has apparently hit 102 miles per hour in Cuban competition.
If you're wondering why I'm not discussing Chapman's off-speed stuff much, that's because he didn't throw much of it it. Chapman's slider seems to have potential with excellent bend. It's simply a matter of harnessing control and command of the pitch. Something that may or may not happen.
I think Crash Davis said it best: "Christ, you don't need a quadrophonic Blaupunkt! What you need is a curveball! In the show, everyone can hit heat."
Whether Mr. Chapman makes the show, then, will likely depend on whether he can find that command and control Anderson was talking about. Not that someone won't give him a couple of million before then banking that he can.