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Game #27 Preview: Blue Jays @ Royals

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Ed Zurga

Quite a pitching matchup in Kansas City tonight with Drew Hutchison going up against the incredible Yordano Ventura. The right-handed Dominican has burst onto the scene this year blowing people away with his 100 mph heat and nearly unhittable stuff. The 22-year-old signed with Kansas City in 2008 for only $28,000 and has worked his way up the system fairly fast to make his major league debut as a September call-up last season. In four starts this season, the 5'11' fireballer has allowed just five earned runs over 25.0 innings as well as 27 strikeouts (that's a 26.2% K%!). I haven't watched as much of Ventura as I would have liked, but it's been an absolute pleasure when I do get the chance.

Yordano Ventura throws HARD and his changeup sometimes comes in even faster than Mark Buehrle's fastball. His repertoire features a fastball, sinker, cutter alongside a curveball and changeup. He's basically the same pitcher against both left-handed and right-handed hitters, throwing his changeup 18% and 14% of the time respectively, getting 35.62% whiffs/swing with it. His fastballs don't differ in movement too much, but the velocity that they're thrown with makes up for the lack of deception:

Chart__5__medium

via FanGraphs

It's probably a good time to look at some GIFs. (Just click on the links to watch them, so it doesn't kill mobile users)

Here's a 102 mph Ventura fastball that has no movement at all:

Ventura-102_medium

via cdn0.sbnation.com

Once you see a few of those fastballs it gets a little harder to time up his wicked changeup:

Yordano-ventura-changeup_medium

via baseballprof.baseballprofesso1.netdna-cdn.com

Rounding up his pitches is the nasty curveball:

Yordano-ventura-curveball_medium

via baseballprof.baseballprofesso1.netdna-cdn.com

Hopeful Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes SS
  2. Melky Cabrera LF
  3. Jose Bautista RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion 1B
  5. Juan Francisco DH
  6. Dioner Navarro C
  7. Colby Rasmus CF
  8. Brett Lawrie 3B
  9. Jonathan Diaz 2B

Find The Link

Find the link between Yordano Ventura and the Blue Jays starting right fielder from 1995 to 1999.

Should be a fun one to watch this evening. I'm hoping for a pitcher's duel with one of the Blue Jays sluggers hitting a Ventura fastball 450 feet into the stands for a 1-0 win.