Jordan Hicks (baseball)

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Jordan Hicks
Jhicksprofile cardinals2018.jpg
Hicks with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 49
Pitcher
Born: (1996-09-06) September 6, 1996 (age 23)
Houston, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
March 29, 2018, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
(through 2019 season)
Win–loss record5–6
Earned run average3.47
Strikeouts101
Saves20
Teams

Jordan McKinley Hicks (born September 6, 1996) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2015 MLB draft, and he made his MLB debut with them in 2018. He is one of the hardest throwers in the major leagues, having been clocked as throwing as hard as 105 miles per hour.

Amateur career[edit]

Hicks attended Klein Oak High School in Klein, Texas, before transferring to Cypress Creek High School in Houston, Texas, for his senior year.[1] He signed with Tulane University to play college baseball.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

Hicks was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft[3] out of Cypress Creek High School, and he signed with them for $600,000,[4] forgoing his commitment to Tulane. He made his professional debut in 2016 with the Johnson City Cardinals of the Rookie Appalachian League and was promoted to the State College Spikes of the Class A Short Season New York–Penn League during the season. In 12 starts between the two teams, he was 6–2 with a 2.97 ERA.

Hicks started 2017 with the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League, where he was named to the Midwest League All-Star game.[5] He was promoted to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in July, with whom he was 0-1 with one save and a 1.00 ERA, and 32 strikeouts in 27 innings.[6] Hicks finished 2017 with a combined 8–3 record and a 2.74 ERA in 22 games (19 starts) between the two clubs.[7] After the season, the Cardinals assigned Hicks to the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League (AFL),[8] where he was selected to the Fall Stars Game. He finished the AFL season with nine appearances, an 0–2 record, and a 6.32 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15.2 innings, along with hitting up to 102.6 mph.

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

2018[edit]

Hicks was a non-roster invitee to 2018 spring training.[9] He made their Opening Day roster[10] despite not having ever pitched above Class A-Advanced. He made his major league debut against the New York Mets and produced the highest average fastball velocity of the day at 100.4 miles per hour (161.6 km/h).[11] He pitched one scoreless inning in which he earned his first strikeout against Jay Bruce. On April 21, Hicks earned his first major league win when he pitched the final ​2 13 innings—all scoreless—versus the Cincinnati Reds to help seal a 4–3 victory.[12]

On May 20, Hicks threw the fastest pitch in MLB history, at 105.1 mph. He shares this record with Aroldis Chapman.[13][14] His four-seam fastball and sinker had the second- and third-highest average speeds of any MLB pitcher's pitches in 2018, at 100.5 mph and 100.4 mph.[14] He continued to garner attention throughout the season as one of the hardest throwing pitchers in MLB.[15] Hicks finished his 2018 rookie campaign with a 3-4 record with six saves, a 3.59 ERA, and a 1.34 WHIP, striking out 70 batters in ​77 23 relief innings.[16]

2019[edit]

Hicks began the 2019 season at St. Louis's closer.[17] On June 22, 2019, Hicks was removed from a game with elbow irritation and discomfort, and was originally diagnosed with triceps tendinitis.[18] On June 24, it was revealed he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.[19] On June 25, 2019, Hicks opted to have Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow, putting him out for the rest of the 2019.[20] He officially underwent the surgery on June 26.

In 2019, his four-seam fastball was on average the fastest in major league baseball, at 100.9 mph.[21] His average pitch velocity was the highest in MLB, at 101.1 mph.[22] He threw the fastest pitch of the season, at 104.3 mph.[23]

In 2019 he was 2-2 with 14 saves and a 3.14 ERA, as he struck out 31 batters in 28.1 innings.[24]

Pitching style[edit]

Hicks is one of the hardest throwers in the major leagues, and has been clocked as throwing as hard as 105 miles per hour.[25] At the start of his professional baseball career, his pitch velocity was inconsistent and he had various mechanical issues. While pitching in an All-Star game, Hicks decided to throw as hard as he could, and reached 100 miles per hour twice. His velocity and overall mechanics began improving, and he continued pitching in the Arizona Fall League after the 2017 season ended, where he regularly threw 100 miles per hour and above.[26]

Personal[edit]

Hicks was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was a junior in high school.[27]

Hicks grew up a Houston Astros fan.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OPPORTUNITY SEEKER: JORDAN HICKS". The Dynasty Guru. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Tulane baseball haul on early signing day is nine players". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "BASEBALL: Cy Creek's Hicks drafted by Cardinals".
  4. ^ "2015 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker". MLB.com. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  5. ^ "Chiefs' Hicks dials up 99 mph, Trosclair steals 2 bases to help West win MWL All-Star Game". Journal Star.
  6. ^ "Harrison Bader & Jordan Hicks Earn Cardinals Minor League Honors for July – Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News – Franklin County News". August 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "Jordan Hicks". MiLB.com. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Goold, Derrick (September 1, 2017). "Elite prospects Alcantara, Hicks among eight young Cards headed to AFL". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "Cardinals invite 23 non-roster players to Spring Training". Viva El Birdos. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Cardinals Release Official 2018 Opening Day Roster". KMOX-AM. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Edwards, John (March 29, 2018). "Cardinals' Jordan Hicks makes historic, hard-throwing debut vs. Mets". The Sporting News. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  12. ^ Trezza, Joe (April 21, 2018). "Yadi's go-ahead homer pushes Cards to win". MLB.com. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "Statcast". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Statcast". Major League Baseball.
  15. ^ "Jordan Hicks has cemented himself as the hardest-throwing pitcher in baseball". September 8, 2018.
  16. ^ Schaeffer, Brenden. "St. Louis Cardinals 2018 player grades: Bullpen". KMOV.com.
  17. ^ "Jordan Hicks working on slider as competition for St. Louis Cardinals closer continues". KMOX-AM. March 4, 2019.
  18. ^ Goold, Derrick. "Cardinals call diagnosis 'favorable' after closer Hicks leaves game with irritation, cramping near elbow". stltoday.com.
  19. ^ "Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks has torn UCL". MLB.com. June 24, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  20. ^ "Cardinals closer Hicks to have TJ surgery". MLB.com. June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  21. ^ "Statcast Pitch Arsenals Leaderboard | baseballsavant.com". Baseballsavant.mlb.com. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  22. ^ "Statcast | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. May 24, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  23. ^ "Statcast | MLB.com". M.mlb.com. May 24, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ Lupica, Mike (May 21, 2018). "Hicks brings the heat back to St. Louis". MLB.com. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  26. ^ Matz, Eddie (May 6, 2019). "106 or bust? How Jordan Hicks learned he could throw faster than anyone on Earth". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  27. ^ Hochman, Benjamin. "Hochman: 'Diabetic Phenom' — that's Cardinals rookie Jordan Hicks". stltoday.com.
  28. ^ "106 or bust? How Jordan Hicks learned he could throw faster than anyone else on Earth". ESPN.com. May 6, 2019.

External links[edit]