How Giants Rank Among Minor League Pitchers Who Threw 100 Mph in 2018

From afar, the Giants seem to be behind the curve of baseball's power versus power mentality. 

However, the numbers -- and the Giants talent in their farm system -- say otherwise. 

We may have already seen peak velocity in baseball as a whole. Sure, someone will come in and break the radar gun every season, but leaguewide, triple-digit flamethrowers are trending downward. According to Baseball America, the number of major league pitchers to throw at least 100 mph decreased from 40 in 2017 to 36 in 2018.

And the numbers in the minor leagues tell an even bigger story. There were only 63 pitchers down on the farm to hit the 100 mph mark; way down from 81 the year before. 

For every soft-tosser like Ty Blach, there's Ray Black, who happens to be one of three Giants to throw upwards of 100 mph as a minor league pitcher last season. There were seven MLB franchises that didn't have a single minor leaguer surpass 100 mph. San Francisco has three -- the same number as the Dodgers, who perennially have a great farm system.

Here's a look at each Giant to top 100 mph in the minors during 2018. 

Ray Black

At 28 years old, Black finally became healthy and was able to show off his fastball for the Giants. He dominated in the minor leagues (18 K/9 in Double-A, 16.13 K/9 in Triple-A), and though his ERA rose to 6.17 in his 26 appearances for the Giants, his fastball certainly followed him. 

Black pitched 23.1 innings for the Giants in 2018 and struck out 33 batters, good for 12.73 K/9. He also hit 100 mph on the radar gun 11 times in the 407 pitches he tossed for the big league club -- the eighth most in the majors -- despite such a small sample size. 

Out of 27 players to throw a pitch for the Giants in 2018, including Pablo Sandoval and Chase d'Arnaud, Black led the team by averaging 97.9 mph on his fastball

Melvin Adon

Adon easily has the best fastball, not only on the radar gun, of any Giants prospect. Black was called up quickly last year after showing he was healthy, and the 24-year-old Adon can do the same in 2019 after he was added to the 40-man roster in November.

Though he's been used as a starter in the minors, Adon dominated as a reliever in the Arizona Fall League. He struck out 21 batters in 12.1 innings and of the four earned runs he allowed, three came in his final 1.2 innings pitched. 

"The thing that's so impressive with him, it's just so easy. It just comes out really easy. You watch him, and it looks like he's just flippin' it in there and it comes out at 100," former Giants reliever Aaron Fultz said on Adon

Camilo Doval

Only 21 years old, Doval was named a Giants All-Star for his 2018 season. Coming out of the bullpen 44 times for the Augusta GreenJackets, Doval struck out 78 batters in 53 innings, good for 13.25 K/9. 

The only downside: Doval also threw 15 wild pitches. Don't mind that though, at his age, the potential is worth a few Rick Vaughn references.

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