UPDATE (11:10 PM): This post was supposed to be a farewell to Aroldis Chapman. Multiple reports early on Monday indicated that it was a done deal that Chapman was traded to the Dodgers. We have now learned that Chapman is not going to be traded anytime soon, as he is currently under investigation by the MLB.

UPDATE (3:30 PM): The Chapman to the Dodgers deal might not actually happen. Reds beat writer Mark Sheldon just said the deal is not done yet, and there may be another team involved. We aren’t sure if that means this would be a multiple team deal with the Dodgers, or if the Reds are still shopping him to other teams. Stay tuned.

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This morning news broke that the Reds traded the guy who throws harder than anyone else in Major League history to the Los Angels Dodgers. The move appears to be a smart one for the Reds moving forward on the rebuilding process. The Reds will have little need for a closer with one year left on his contract while they are rebuilding. That being said, the Reds truly lost the most dominant pitcher that they have ever had. Let’s look back on the incredible six seasons that Aroldis Chapman provided.

When Aroldis Chapman first entered the big leagues in 2010, it was an absolute spectacle to see. The fascination naturally died down to a degree after six seasons, but nonetheless when Aroldis Chapman entered the playing field, everyone is the stands stopped what they were doing to play close attention. Chapman’s first outing with the Reds was absolutely electrifying. It only took eight pitches to retire the three Brewers hitters.

Different circumstances lead Aroldis Chapman to settle into the closers role for the Reds in May 2012. Chapman took that role and absolutely dominated it. On August 23rd, 2013, he threw the fastest pitch ever recorded, a 106 MPH fastball to Andrew McCutchen. He was absolutely electric.

In 2015, new technology called Statcast started tracking every pitch thrown and recording it. According to Statcast, Chapman threw all of the 62 fastest pitches in the MLB in 2015. Chapman was so dominant on their leaderboard they they had to create a “Chapman Filter” so you could see the other hard throwers in baseball.

Chapman pitched a total of 319.0 innings with the Reds over six seasons. There are many different Reds pitchers whose cumulative numbers far outweigh Chapman’s. However, there is no pitcher who ever came close to matching the level of dominance that Chapman provided.

In his six seasons with the Reds, Chapman was one of the best pitchers in baseball. His ranks among all pitchers with 300+ IP between 2010-15: 1.97 FIP (2nd), 2.17 ERA (4th), 15.40 K/9 (1st), 0.48 HR/9 (7th). His ERA and FIP were better than his now teammate Clayton Kershaw. Chapman pitched literally a 1,000 innings less than Kershaw, but that is the level of dominance Chapman gave when he pitched.

Chapman has been to this point in his career the best strikeout pitcher in MLB history, and it isn’t even close. Chapman’s career 15.40 K/9 is the best in MLB history of anyone with 300+ IP. Next on the list is Craig Kimbrel at 14.55, and the next is Chapman’s new teammate Kenley Jensen at 13.98. There is no one else within three strikeouts less per nine innings than Chapman.

Many of us will often wonder what Chapman could have done as a starter. Maybe he would have blown his arm out. Or maybe he would have been the next Randy Johnson. We will never know if Chapman as a starter would have made the difference in the 2012 NLDS or the 2013 wild-card game. What we do however know is that Chapman was incredible, and a pitcher that will never be forgotten by Reds fans.

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Also see:

How dominant is Aroldis Chapman’s fastball velocity?: Nick Doran (6/17/2015)

A better way to use the Cuban Missile: Nick Kirby (3/26/15)

Chapman’s off-speed pitches: Slip slidin’ away: Steve Mancuso (8/22/2014)

Aroldis Chapman’s historic season: Steve Mancuso (7/30/2014)

Aroldis Chapman at 200 innings: Michael Maffie (6/6/14)

A darker side of Chapmania: Steve Mancuso (6/18/2013)

VIDEO: Aroldis Chapman: Sport Science

VIDEO: [email protected]: Chapman gets Baez to fall after big swing

VIDEO: [email protected]: Chapman fans side using 103-104 mph pitches

2 Responses

  1. Michael_Øk

    Well said, he was truly something spectacular. I wish him nothing but the best in LA.

  2. bred

    Besides the heat, one of my favorite moments were the post game somersaults to home plate.