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40 in 40: Andres Muñoz

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San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Hey kid, you wanna build a closer? Come on in.

We’ve got all the best gadgets and gizmos, top of the line. You want heat? You got it. Triple-digits. You remember the song they made for the last guy who threw this hard?

It’s about to be time for sequel. Take a look at this gasoline, top shelf, genuine article.

Baseball Savant

Zoom Zoom. Whoosh. Ratatat Cat, swing and miss with the bat. You think there’s fastballs hotter than that out there? Not on your life, not at this price, kid. Okay, yeah, so there’s some scuffs and scrapes, nothing you can’t buff out with some shoeshine and elbow grease. So he hasn’t thrown more than 26.1 innings in a season other than 2019, when he threw 58.2 and got shut down, with elbow issues and had Tommy John surgery, what’s it to you? The Teej rehab is going well and he should be up and running mid-summer, don’t you fret.

But enough about that nastiness, let’s get into something really disgusting. This slider, kid, you’re gonna like the way these hitters look, I guarantee it.

That squat set, the sharp angularity in the motion, the max effort explosion into a low release with late bite and upper-80s velo? It might look like a knockoff of another high-leverage guy you saw ‘round here recently, but this is original stuff. Sure, that Austin Adams fella had one of the best slide-pieces in the league and it looked pretty on the big screen, but this khukri cuts past bats almost as nicely as Adams’ scimitar. Hitters are whiffing 27.5% of the time this slider is thrown, and 46.3% of the time when they swing they get nothin’ but air. Disgusting. Ya don’t like it or love it, ya gotta have it.

Now I know what you’re saying, 30.9% strikeout rate in 2019 in 2019 with 23.0 innings, you know he’s coming off injury but still, what’s the catch? Yeah sure, you dig in between the couch cushions you might find an 11.3% walk rate that pushed that ERA/FIP up to 3.91/3.17, what are ya, scared of a little fun? This is Andres Muñoz, kid. He’s struck out everyone at every level and made ‘em feel bad while doing it. He’s not the Slim Reaper y’all used to have back there, he’s not bringing the Fang back, he’s the Fullback and he’s bringing a lead block at 101 mph to knock you, your little friends, and Bryce Harper on the side the doctor slapped ya.

MLB

He’s the total package, muscle-bound and made-to-order, shipping out your way sometime this July or August. So whaddya think, kid? Are ya buying?