Closer Aroldis Chapman is regarded as one of the best in the game. Over his 13 year career, Chapman has recorded 315 saves, placing him 24th on the all-time list.
Chapman has also often been cited as having one of the hardest throws ever in baseball. Chapman is originally from Cuba and signed with the Cincinnati Reds as an international free agent in 2010. By 2012, his ability to throw hard for short spurts earned him a spot as the regular closer for the Reds.
Chapman had an ERA of just over 2.00 to accompany 146 saves in seven seasons with the Reds. He spent a brief time with the Chicago Cubs in 2016 before joining the New York Yankees, where he was prior to his recent signing with the Kansas City Royals.
“After parts of seven seasons in New York, Aroldis Chapman heads to Kansas City” – Talkin’ Baseball
Chapman threw a 105 mph pitch against the San Diego Padres in September 2010, his first season in the major leagues. The lightning bolt came just a season after Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants closed out a game with a 102 mph pitch.
Chapman was eventually recognized in the Guinness World Records for the fastest pitch to ever be recorded. At 105.1 mph, the pitch must have seemed more like a white flash than any discernable ball-shaped entity.
However, there have been some off-field issues that have shed a much less-favorable light on Chapman’s career. Chapman was arrested in Miami in October 2015 after his then-girlfriend claimed that he “choked” her and pushed her against a wall before firing eight gunshots into his garage.
“Yankees LHP Aroldis Chapman suspended 30 games without pay under MLB’s domestic violence policy. He will not appeal.” – MLB
Chapman was subsequently investigated by the MLB and handed down a 30-game suspension that he served over the first month of the 2016 season. That year, Chapman went on to win the World Series with the Chicago Cubs – their first in 108 years.
Aroldis Chapman seeks to reinvent himself on the Kansas City Royals
Chapman’s one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Kansas City Royals offers him a chance to rebound after a regrettable 2022 season. Chapman had the highest ERA and lowest number of saves ever in his career last year. Hopefully for him, he can leave the poor numbers behind him and pitch like he used to in 2023.
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