MEMPHIS -- A crowd gathered behind home plate on Friday as Team Phenom right-hander Emilio Vasquez toed the rubber for the final inning of the USSSA team's 3-1 victory over the at-large Germantown (Tenn.) Giants.
Fellow players at the NYBC marveled as one youngster relayed the radar-gun readings to the rest of his friends.
Vasquez routinely pounded the zone with his low- to mid-80s fastball from the mound, 50 feet from home plate.
It's easy to see why, even though he also possesses a curveball and changeup, Vasquez admitted with a smile the fastball is his favorite pitch. He sometimes asks how fast his pitches register on the gun.
Team Phenom manager Joe Keller said Vasquez has had his fastball clocked as high as 85 mph, or the equivalent of 104 mph for a Major League pitcher from 60 feet, 6 inches away.
"We've traveled the world, we've traveled everywhere -- there's not a better pitcher in the country at the 12-year-old level," Keller said.