Dodgers top prospect joins elite company with insane fastball at Single-A

Los Angeles Dodgers v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Dodgers v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

Since the Statcast era began in 2015, we've been able to keep track of everything from pitch velocity, spin rates, usage, and so on, to bat speed, swing length, and "competitive swings" (the latter three debuted this season). Everything a player does on the field can and will be tracked and logged.

For the Dodgers, Shohei Ohtani has already shattered multiple team hard-hit records since 2015 in less than 50 games, the longest of 13 (through Tuesday's game) traveling 464 feet and the hardest-hit leaving the park at almost 119 MPH.

But down in the minors, a Dodgers prospect in Single-A is getting himself onto leaderboards as well. Reynaldo Yean, an international signing in 2021 at just 17 years old, is a reliever who's thrown just under 12 innings so far for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes this year.

On May 15, Yean came in to close out a 5-2 game against the Angels' A-ball affiliate and served up a fastball that tracked on stadium radar at 104 MPH (seen here, as long as you don't blink). That velocity was corroborated by TrackMan data, and Yean became one of only seven pitchers who have thrown that hard in the Statcast era. The other six include elite MLB fireballers Jhoan Duran, Ryan Helsley, and Camilo Doval.

Dodgers prospect Reynaldo Yean threw one of the fastest pitches in the Statcast era

Yean is unranked in MLB Pipeline's top 30, but FanGraphs ranked him the Dodgers' No. 20 prospect at the beginning of this season, with a future value of 40+. They gave his fastball a 70/70, slider 55/70, and command 30/35, and cited his ridiculous strikeout rates. In 2022, he pitched 24 1/3 innings and struck out 41 batters; in 2023, he topped himself by striking out 44 in 1/3 fewer innings. This season, he already has 20 Ks over less than 12 innings, so he could break his own record again.

These are closer-esque numbers Yean is putting up, and while Evan Phillips has been brutally efficient for the Dodgers because of his command rather than his velocity (his fastball usually sits at 96 MPH), adding a fireballer in a couple years' team to pick up some late innings could be huge for the Dodgers.

Yean still needs to work on his control and needs to avoid completely blowing out his arm in the minors while throwing 104 MPH, but if he can improve and stay healthy over the next few seasons, he could be a huge asset to the Dodgers bullpen.