Minnesota Twins rookie pitcher Jhoan Duran has lit up the radar guns this season. He is known for his firey fastball that hovers around 101-103 mph. Duran is also known for his nasty offspeed pitches that are often faster than most pitcher's fastballs. However, this was taken to a new level when Jhoan Duran threw a splitter at 100 miles per hour.
This is the first time in recorded history that a true off-speed pitch has been recorded at triple digit speed. Duran's splitter has consistently sat in the high 90s but has never broken 100 until now. Most pitchers' off-speed pitches are not even close to triple digits, with the closest being Jacob deGrom's slider at around 94 mph.
His breaking pitch is so fast it seems impossible to hit. In the past few years, the velocity of pitches has increased drastically. However, no one thought a triple-digit breaking ball was possible.
It is safe to say that Duran's high speeds have worked for him and the Minnesota Twins this year. Through 48 appearances this season, Duran has just a 1.91 ERA. He also has 73 strikeouts in 56.2 innings pitched and a 2.1 WAR on the year.
Jhoan Duran has established himself as one of the league's top relievers at just 24 years old. If he keeps it up, he will inevitably be moved to the closer role for the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins are currently in a wild playoff race in the American League Central. They are fighting with the Cleveland Guardians and the Chicago White Sox for first in the division.
Do the Minnesota Twins still have a shot in the AL Central?
The Twins have turned a lot of heads this season because of their young and successful squad. Last season saw the team win just 73 games and place last in their division. This year, however, has been much different, with them fighting for the division lead.
Minnesota currently has a 66-61 record, which is good enough to be 1.5 games back. The Cleveland Guardians currently hold the first place spot, but there is still a lot of baseball to be played in these final weeks.
In order to reach the playoffs this year, the Minnesota Twins need to win the division. They are currently three games back in the AL Wild Card, where the competition is stronger. If Minnesota were to reach the postseason, it would be their third time doing so in four seasons.