Chapman has struck out 15.4 batters per nine innings pitched in his career, the highest rate in Major League Baseball history with a minimum of 100 innings pitched. He joins Dellin Betances (131 Ks) and Andrew Miller (100 Ks), who were the other two pitchers to strike out at least 100 batters last season alongside Chapman (116 Ks).
From the Elias Sports Bureau: Assuming Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances open the season on the team, the 2016 Yankees will be the first team ever to feature three pitchers who had at least 100 strikeouts in relief the season before.
Yankees relief pitchers ranked first in MLB in strikeout percentage last season at 26.3 percent. Chapman led all pitchers who threw at least 50 innings in 2015 with a strikeout rate of 42 percent. And that was Chapman's lowest strikeout rate since 2011.
Bringing the heat
Chapman's fastball is one of the best in baseball. He threw 337 of the 573 pitches that reached at least 100 miles per hour in MLB last season. Opponents batted .121 against Chapman in at-bats that ended with a fastball that reached 100 miles per hour.
Since his debut in 2010, Chapman has 236 strikeouts on pitches that hit triple digits, 202 more than the next-closest player (Kelvin Herrera). Chapman had 72 of those strikeouts in 2015 alone. Herrera and Arquimedes Caminero tied for second in baseball last year with four strikeouts on 100-mile-per-hour pitches.
Elite career ranks
Chapman has held opponents to a .154 batting average in his career. That is the lowest opponent batting average out of all pitchers who have thrown at least 300 innings over the past six seasons. Opponents have slugged .227 against Chapman during that span, second in MLB behind Craig Kimbrel.
Inside Edge tracks every batted ball in MLB and scouted 9.7 percent of at-bats against Chapman ending with a "hard-hit" ball for his career, the lowest percentage in baseball since 2010. Sonny Gray (10.7 percent) and Jacob deGrom (10.9 percent) are the next-closest pitchers in that group.
Chapman also ranks sixth in saves (146) and ninth in WHIP (1.02) over the past six seasons.
Impact on Yankees
The Yankees may be trying to help a weak rotation by adding to the bullpen. The Yankees were 21st in the majors in innings pitched per game from their starting rotation last season. The team that ranked 24th was the World Series winning Kansas City Royals.