After throwing two innings against his former team on Tuesday, Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish was pleased with his velocity. He clocked 95 mph on several fastballs as he struck out four and walked two while giving up one run.
“Because I lost some weight in the offseason, I was worried about my velocity, but it was right up there,” Darvish said through his interpreter after his spring debut. “I’m glad it’s 95 mph.”
“As we get closer to the season opening, I’ll think about that,” Darvish said.
He maintains whether he was tipping or not, he didn’t execute and got beat by a good team.
Darvish was then asked why he lost all that weight during the winter.
“Because of what happened in the World Series,” he responded.
He’s slated to pitch for the Cubs in Game 3 opening week, against the Marlins.
Writing about the best players in baseball over the next half-decade comes down to equal parts math and guesswork. Whenever you’re supposed to look forward, it can be instructive to look back. Here are the top 10 players since 2013:
Out of that group, eight players were terrific in 2012. But with Kluber and Donaldson there was very little warning. Both were late bloomers, with Kluber learning a sinker in Triple-A and Donaldson overhauling his swing. There’s simply nothing I can do to be able to predict random breakouts such as those. The same would apply to someone such as J.D. Martinez. Sometimes we don’t get indicators, aside from a player being in the majors or the high minors in the first place.
So going forward, I’m trying to think about the best probabilities. I’m not going to pick a non-prospect in Triple-A at random. Instead, we’re going with players who have already shown they’re good, emphasizing two things: youth and being a position player. Youth because we’re focusing on value from 2018 through 2022, and baseball players just don’t age very well. Being a position player because as a general rule, don’t trust pitcher health. There is one pitcher included in the top 10, but I couldn’t bring myself to add another. There’s just too much risk, and just about every pitcher’s body is a ticking time bomb.