SEATTLE (AP) — Jacob Misiorowski’s first pitch was 101 mph at the top of the strike zone. And from there the Milwaukee prospect just kept throwing faster.
A 21-year-old right-hander with just 10 months of professional experience was the most impressive of the 17 young pitchers in Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Futures Game. He reached 100 mph with 10 of 18 pitches and topped out at 102.4 mph while striking out the side in a one-hit fourth.
“It’s what I do. It’s what I throw,” the 6-foot-7 pitcher said with a wide smile after the National League’s 5-0 win Saturday, both pleased with and embarrassed at the attention.
His senior season at Grain Valley High School in Grain Valley, Missouri, was canceled because of the coronavirus in 2020. Originally intending to go to Oklahoma State, he instead went to Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri, pitched in two games in 2021 and then became a redshirt.
After he went 10-0 with 136 strikeouts in 76 innings for the National Junior College Athletic Association team last year, Milwaukee took him with the 63rd pick in the amateur draft. He signed for a $2.35 million bonus, more than double the $1,131,500 slot value.
Misiorowski began his professional career with two starts for Class A Carolina last September and went 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings in nine starts for the Mudcats this year. He earned a promotion to High-A Wisconsin on June 6 and is 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts with his new club, striking out 24 in 19 2/3 innings.
“Pound the zone and throw the ball as hard as I can,” he said.
Misiorowski thinks his average velocity is 97-98 mph. He’s not exactly sure.
“You can’t turn around and look at the number that’s being flashed up there,” he said.
With his mom, dad, girlfriend and some family friends on hand to watch at T-Mobile Park, Misiorowski struck out Oakland’s Lawrence Butler on a curveball that just missed the inside corner. After starting Detroit’s Colt Keith with a 102.4 mph pitch that was outside, Misiorowski gave up a flared single to right on a curve.
Oakland’s Tyler Soderstrom, the 26th overall pick in 2020, swung past three straight pitches, and Detroit’s Justyn-Henry Malloy also struck out swinging.
“Everyone throws hard now. 102’s definitely a little harder than most guys,” Soderstrom said. “He threw the lights out.”
Misiorowski questioned MLB Statcast, which said he threw four fastballs, five curves, seven sinkers and two cutters.
“It’s fastball, curveball, slider and a changeup,” he said.
Still growing into his body, Misiorowski is at an age where pitchers can get stronger and throw harder.
“He’ll probably maintain around 102,” Soderstrom said. “It’s kind of hard to throw harder than that. He’s going to have a big career, for sure.”
Players can quickly move from the Futures Game to the big leagues. Elly De La Cruz, Corbin Carroll, Gunnar Henderson, Francisco Álvarez, Anthony Volpe and Jordan Walker were among the players in last year’s game at Dodger Stadium.
“You realize that they’re right there where you’re at, so you could get there, too,” Misiorowski said.