Albertín Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz (born February 28, 1988) is a Cuban professional baseball player who is nicknamed the Cuban Missile or the Cuban Flame Thrower. A pitcher, Chapman plays Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds. He has also played for Holguín in the Cuban National Series. Chapman bats and throws left-handed. He is listed at 6'4" (193 cm) tall and weighing 205 pounds (93 kg).
Chapman pitched for Holguín domestically and internationally for the Cuban national baseball team. He defected from Cuba in 2009 and signed a contract with the Reds in 2010. Chapman made his MLB debut that season. He won the MLB Delivery Man of the Month Award as the best relief pitcher for July 2012, and has been named to three straight National League All-Star teams from 2012 to 2014.
He holds the record for the fastest recorded pitch speed in MLB history at 105 mph (169 km/h), and also reached 106 mph (170.6 km/h) in another game, although this speed is disputed.
On July 11, 2014 he broke the record, previously held by Bruce Sutter, for the most consecutive relief appearances with a strikeout, having struck out at least one batter in 40 consecutive appearances. Chapman's streak began on August 21, 2013, and continued through August 13, 2014 when it reached 49 consecutive games.
By Dean Hanley
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