ATLANTA – Earlier this season, when Cardinals assistant Ryan Helsley threw the Majors’ fastest pitch at the time – 103.1 mph against quarterback D – he thought it was only a matter of time until teammate Jordan Hicks finally overtook him.
“There were one or two in that racket that I did,” Hicks said of trying to throw more for Ozuna to score out. “When I really back off, sometimes I throw less [mph]. So I just wanted to locate the low pitch for him, and I did.”
Playing the first and two-and-a-half seasons of his career, Hicks threw 105 mph in 2018 against the Phillies — a field that came close to connecting Aroldis Chapman’s 105.1 mph against the Orioles in 2016, the fastest in MLB history During the Statcast era (since 2015). On May 31, 2019, Hicks nearly completed the feat again by throwing 104.3 mph on his last throw of the night.
Hicks said he liked to have the fastest throwing character in three different seasons of Major League Soccer, in 2018, 19 and 22. From his point of view, he said, he always had the quickest title on the field because no one had topped a distance of 104.3 MPH since 2019 since he threw it out.
“No one beat my last one, so I still feel like I still hold the title, in my eyes,” Hicks joked. “If you were to go season after season, I think I would get it three times. Aroldis took first even though we both went to 105 [mph]. When I reach 106 one day, then I will be able to claim the real title, but he still gets it for now.”
Back in the bulls after an onset period and a month on the roster with a forearm tendon strain, Hicks scrapes again. In Saturday’s Philadelphia defeat, Hicks threw 18 of his 28 throws at over 100 mph.
On Thursday against the Braves, Hicks hit three hits and only allowed one hit in two rounds of action. Of the 34 courses, 27 were at 100 mph or more. He had the 24 fastest in the game when he came out, with the top five clocking 103.8 mph, 103 mph, 102.9 mph, 102.8 mph and 102.7 mph, according to Statcast.
“I felt good tonight,” Hicks said, but he failed to make his 29-pitch high of 100mph or better in a game. “I felt really satisfied [Saturday against the Phillies], and I could have engaged the next day, but the two extra days of this time really helped me feel on the arm tonight. But I don’t want to spend all this time [without] set up again.”