Minnesota Twins: Analysing Glen Perkins' Sudden Velocity Gain

Matt BuschCorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 13: Glen Perkins #15 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning of their game on April 13, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Royals defeated the Twins 10-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

When Glen Perkins was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the 2004 MLB Entry Draft out of the University of Minnesota, Perkins fit the mold of pitcher that the Twins have hoarded for years: A consistent strike-throwing college pitcher who can pitch to contact, but will never dominate a hitter with overpowering "stuff." 

Since taking over a bullpen role the second half of 2010, Perkins has seen a jump in velocity from his previous average fastball that sat anywhere between 88-91 mph.

This jump started last year, when Perkins would consistently throw gas on average over 90 mph and topping out at a 93 mph average.

This trend continued in 2011, but Perkins seems to have found yet another gear as his velocity has continued to be on an upward trend, including averages of over 96 mph in recent appearances.

Perkins credits this sudden surge in velocity to finally being healthy and getting past shoulder injuries the past few seasons.

This hiccup upward in fastball velocity has helped Perkins post a 0.87 ERA, along with a 1.11 WHIP over 20.2 innings this season.

Perkins has found great success with his slider this season, helping him post a career best 8.15 K/9 ratio. The slider has gotten swinging strikes at a 21 percent ratio, which has given Perkins two legit out pitches along with his improved fastball.

The slider has been effective due to hitters having to respect the fastball. If the hitters are looking for the fastball, the slider handcuffs hitters and they are able to do very little with the pitch.

The Twins have needed a pitcher to step up in the bullpen and Perkins has delivered thus far, being promoted to set-up man along with Joe Nathan.