I mentioned Sunday that the most important and impressive part of the win against the Angels was the apparent return of Jonathan Broxton’s velocity on his fastball.
I am not the only person who noticed and are willing to admit a bit of excitement about this fact.
J.P Breen on Fan Graphs:
The early results indicate that Broxton has turned a corner and should produce results closer to the strong 2006-2009 seasons, rather than the lackluster 2010-2011 seasons. The swinging strikes had been on the decline in each of the past two years, but he generated six swings-and-misses on Sunday on only fourteen pitches. While that 42.86% SwStr% is certainly not sustainable throughout the course of the season, it serves as a positive harbinger for subsequent performances as the season wears on.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect to Broxton’s inning of work on Sunday was the rebound in velocity. His once overpowering fastball had decreased in velocity over the past couple of seasons, which ultimately played a significant role in his lessened effectiveness, but pitch f/x registered his average fastball velocity back at 2008-2009 levels.
Year MPH 2008 96.3 2009 97.8 2010 95.3 2011 94.1 Yesterday (Sunday) 97.02
Not only did Broxton throw his fastball significantly harder on Sunday than he has in previous years, but his slider was also ridiculous. The average velocity of his slider against the Los Angeles Angels was 90.04 MPH. The career high average for Broxton’s slider was in 2009, when he averaged 88.6 MPH over the course of the season. More importantly, he threw his slider five times and threw five strikes — three of them of the swinging variety.