GIF of the week: Marcus Stroman’s fastball

September 2

Despite his 3.88 ERA (3.08 FIP) for the season, Marcus Stroman has been a welcome addition to the Toronto Blue Jays staff. Since getting his first start on May 31, he’s featuring a 7.81 strikeouts per nine, an elite 2.31 walks per nine, matched with a solid 3.28 ERA (2.92 FIP). Batters are hitting only .234 against him as a starter, a by-product of his impressive 52.3 percent groundball rate this season.

On Wednesday night, the Boston Red Sox faced the 23-year-old phenom, and, well, Stroman did this:


 

We’ve seen a lot of pitches this year, but it’s a challenge to find a better one than this heater to Mookie Betts. It’s a 93-mph, two-seam fastball that starts well off the plate – just look at Navarro’s initial target – before riding heavily to clip the outside corner at Betts’s knees. It’s the perfect 0-2 pitch, where the batter gives up instantly, only to head back to the dugout moments later.

As exhibited above, the 5-foot-9 rookie has made his mark with his 93.6-mph fastball, which has accumulated a staggering 10 Runs Above Average as a starter, topping all rookie pitchers. He has made his mark in a competitive AL East, and should be a staple of the Blue Jays’ rotation for years to come.

Nick Pollack writes for Pitcher GIFs and can found making an excessive amount of GIFs on Twitter @PitcherGIFs.

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