There were 15 teams at the Baseball USA complex in Houston today to watch Aroldis Chapman throw. By all accounts, he was impressive.
His fastball sat at 92-94 mph and topped out at 97 according to one scout in attendance. Chapman also showed a slider and changeup.
Two general managers — Mike Rizzo of the Nationals and Ed Wade of the Astros — attended the workout. The Angels, Cubs, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers, Royals, Reds and Yankees also were on hand.
International scouting director Craig Shipley watched for the Red Sox.
“I think it’s important that he demonstrated that he’s ready, that he’s in shape, that he’s throwing free and easy and that’s what he did,” agent Randy Hendricks told reporters at the workout. “A lot of life on his pitches, threw real well. Not all-out which is what we told the teams he would not do, but sufficient I think to let everybody know he’s ready for prime time.”
Chapman is going to command a deal of at least $15 million. Obviously he’ll have plenty of offers. Most of the scouts I’ve spoken to seem to think he’ll need at least a few months in the minors before he’s ready for prime time.
The Red Sox obviously would be looking at Chapman for the long term. But once they have the inevitable rotation need during the season, it sure would be interesting to have a 21-year-old kid with a big fastball to call up.