Jordan Hicks returned from a month-long absence for a “right forearm flexor strain” last week and immediately started throwing gas. The 25-year-old St. Louis Cardinals pitcher is one of the hardest throwers in the MLB.
Hicks, who has consistently dealt with injuries, including Tommy John surgery, throughout his five-year big league career, has served in both a starter and relief role this season. He was shut down in late May but returned to the bump earlier this month.
Since getting back to toeing the rubber, he has been throwing straight heat and nasty cheddar. In four appearances in July, Hicks has not allowed a run or a hit, gave up just one run and struck out four in five full innings of relief.
Last week, against the Braves, he threw the fastest pitch of the year thus far. His 103.8mph two-seam fastball had a ridiculous 17 inches of run. Marcell Ozuna fouled the pitch off for strike two, but struck out on a wicked 102.8mph sinker on the next pitch.
Jordan Hicks, 103.8 MPH Two Seamer…with 17 inches of run. 😯 pic.twitter.com/WZESNFlKDb
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 8, 2022
Not only was Hicks’ 104mph(ish) cheese the fastest pitch of 2022, it was the fastest pitch anyone has thrown since 2019. He is only one of two MLB pitchers to hit 105mph on the gun, doing so as a rookie in 2018.
On Sunday, Hicks was back on the mound for an inning of relief in a 4-3 win over Philadelphia. He, as is per usual, was throwing fireballs.
A behind-the-plate look at Hicks’ 101mph offering to J.T. Realmuto is absolutely mind-boggling.
How Major League hitters are able to get their bat on the ball against pitches of such insane speeds is truly unfathomable— even though Realmuto couldn’t. Try to keep up!