Today, Statcast released its measures of position player arm strength – basically, it is evaluating fielder throws on plays where they are actually trying to throw hard – and there’s a familiar face near the top of the leaderboard.
At 96.5 mph, Christopher Morel has the fourth highest average velocity for his on-field throws. (None of the three players ahead of him – Ronald Acuña Jr., Nate Eaton, and Aristides Aquino – have nearly as many throws this year, either.)
If you look solely at Morel’s infield throws, no player in baseball has thrown the ball harder than Morel … except Oneil Cruz, obviously. And as for maximum velocity, Morel’s 102.3 mph throw earlier this year from the outfield was the second fastest, behind a Nate Eaton throw at 103.3 mph (I guess I’m going to have to figure out who that guy is).
Elsewhere on the Cubs, Nelson Velazquez shows up 29th overall, and Seiya Suzuki is 60th. Strictly among infielders, I was definitely curious to see where Nico Hoerner landed – 34th on the infield at 85.4 mph. Among only shortstops, it’s 18th, though that includes at least six guys ahead of him who are not regulars at the position.
Ian Happ (84.8 mph) is the low man in the Cubs outfield, but that’s not really below average (and I suspect that’s especially true in left field). Nick Madrigal brings up the rear among semi-regular Cubs infielders (78.7 mph, which appears to be very low even for second basemen).
Oh, and if you were curious: at shortstop, Carlos Correa ranks 9th (4th among regulars), Trea Turner is 29th (roughly 19th among regulars), Xander Bogaerts is 38th, and Dansby Swanson is 55th.
You can play around with the whole leaderboard here at Statcast, and you can read about how they tried to make the measurements useful (when, for example, consider the fact that many throws are not INTENDED to be thrown all that hard).