'Fastest fastball I've seen': London, Ont. teen blowing away competition with high velocity
LONDON, ONT. -- He's one of the hardest young throwers in Canada. Sixteen-year old Carson Lumley from London, Ont. is dominating hitters, and turning heads with this blistering fastball.
"It's probably the fastest fastball I've seen," says teammate Jake Haak, who has faced him in inter-squad games.
His catcher Charlie Bowman says he was initially scared to stand behind the plate with his teammate on the mound, but once he got used to the velocity it became fun to see all the swings and misses.
"The best sound in baseball is the ball hitting the mitt," says Bowman. "It's makes a little hiss coming in with some spin on it, and it's so crisp."
The Major League Baseball average speed for a starting pitcher is 92.3 miles per hour (mph) and Carson is approaching that number.
"Right now my fastball is 91 mph, "says Carson, who pitches for the London Badgers. "By the time I am 18U, so in two years, I'm hoping for 95-96 mph. That's my goal."
Opposing hitters, some even two years older, have trouble touching it.
"I use a four-seam grip," he explains, describing how he throws his pitch. "I put two fingers on top with a thumb on the bottom. I have a three-quarter action and it kind of tails a bit."
He showed that pitch recently at the Prep Baseball Report (PBR) Ontario showcase.
He topped out at 91 mph with his curveball and changeup in the high seventies.
"For his age group, he's the fastest in Ontario and one of the hardest throwers across the country," says Chris Kemlo, Canadian director of scouting for PBR.
"You can project on him that he'll fill out and get stronger. He shows a feel to spin the ball, and a guy throwing 91 mph, there is not a lot of them. He's someone to pay attention to, watch and follow. "
Throwing hard may be genetic. Carson's older brother Mitch threw 93 mph, and his father Mike Lumley says he touched 96 mph while in the Detroit Tigers organization.
His dad says it’s not just the fastball that's catching the attention of scouts. Carson has a good curveball, changeup and is developing a cutter.
"He has about a Major League breaking ball," says Mike, who coaches his son with the Badgers.
"When you start adding that into mix, you are worried about fastball and now a breaking ball is starting at hip or shoulder, looks like fastball and it ends up breaking away from you. Now you have another piece of the puzzle."
The long, lanky right hander has been hitting the weights, and working with plyometric exercise bands in hopes of gaining more velocity.
He dreams about one day touching triple-digits on the radar, but understands he needs to develop in order to make it to the next level.
"I have to mix up pitches to make my fastball faster in a way," Carson says. "I have older guys I am playing, so have to be smart because I can't just blow fastballs by anyone anymore."
Visiting hitters may disagree.
As of Sept. 1, he can start talking seriously with post-secondary schools. As one of the top 2022 graduating arms in the country, he'll have a lot of interest.