Please enjoy this video of Ray Black, who has thrown a fastball 104 danged miles per hour in the Arizona Fall League, and I don't care if it was a hot gun. It's hot now.
The last time a Giants pitcher threw 101 mph in the majors was Erik Cordier. The last time a Giants pitcher threw 102 mph was ... no, I'm going to make you guess. The answer is at the end. In the AFL Fall Stars Game, Black threw only 101 mph. Maybe there's something wrong with him.
The hardest thrower in the Minor Leagues didn't hit 104 mph like he did earlier in the AFL season, but he did pop a 101-mph fastball and averaged 99.4 mph with seven heaters, including two others than registered 100 on the radar. Black often has trouble harnessing his fastball but didn't in this game, throwing five of seven for strikes in a perfect eight-pitch inning. If the Giants' No. 19 prospect can continue to find the strike zone and stay healthy, he could make an impact in San Francisco in the very near future.
Wheeeee. Cut4 also has praise for his stirrups. As should we all.
In six AFL innings, Black struck out 10 and walked five. Still a work in progress. He could be hurt next year, he could continue to struggle with his control, or he could be the closer by June. Baseball hasn't woken up yet, but when it does, it'll start drinking before it even gets out of bed.
Still, look at that fastball. I think my favorite part of it is that it's fast.
Trivia answer: Brian Wilson, 2009. I don't remember it either.