The baseball world in Japan has been shaken to its core by a pitch so fast it stands among the fastest in the world – and it was done during a high school game.
The pitch, thrown during a televised semifinal match between Ichinoseki Gakuin and Hanamaki Higashi, has focused all the attention professional baseball onto young Shohei Otani, the pitcher for Hanamaki Higashi High School.
Otani’s throw, although exceptional, was hardly a fluke as he was already producing amazingly high speed fastballs starting with a fifth inning 156km/h 97mph pitch. He managed to top that in the sixth inning with a 159km/h 98mph scorcher only to surpass himself again immediately afterwards with his 160km/h 99mph pitch.
For comparison, the fastest recorded pitch in MLB belongs to Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds. His fastball measures between 167 and 170km/h 103-105mph.
He may have gone further except the game called after Hanamaki Higashi had a 9-1 lead in the 7th inning. One thing is for certain, Shohei Otani has a bright future in pro-baseball if he chooses. The teenager’s throwing arm isn’t even fully developed yet.