It's no secret that the Pirates consider fastball velocity a key component of pitching in the major leagues.  According to Fangraphs, the Pirates are tied for first in all of MLB in fastball velocity since the start of the 2014 season.  They've also gone to some lengths to accumulate a collection of hard-throwing pitchers in the minors.  They haven't just drafted them, but have picked up live arms wherever possible, often with the idea of trying to turn around a pitcher who throws hard but hasn't mastered the other aspects of pitching, typically including the strike zone.

In spending a few days at Pirate City this March, I was struck more than anything else with the sheer number of pitchers who were sitting in the mid-90s or higher.  It seemed like there were noticeably more even than l...

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