Right-handed reliever Ethan Roberts wore a new pair of Racer Blue Air Jordan 3s when he met the media after being briefed he had made the opening day list, but he might have to offer those kicks to his slider. That’s because his wicked breaking ball had two feet of horizontal motion as it literally swept the entire area for Roberto Perez to swing to complete the 7th inning on Tuesday.

This Ethan Roberts slider topped out at 3000 rpm and had 24 inches of horizontal break. Yeah alert. https://t.co/Syd2jqQHfN

Roberts landed his first catch in MLB for keeping the lead intact with a working inning that shockingly only featured one swinging strike. He was a big one, though, and he showed just how dangerous Roberts can be. Generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, the right-hander throws like a firecracker in a closed fist because he’s modest until he explodes and batters find themselves staring at their useless hands.

Through two appearances in the young season, Roberts generated an average slider spin of 2,991 rpm that would have ranked second in MLB last season behind Kyle Crick (3,295). And with an average horizontal break of 22.1 inchesthat Roberts slider would have ranked ahead of Crick (21.5) for the the most swept in the whole country. In fact, only Chaz Roe (22.8) averaged more horizontal movement in the Statcast era.

I’m sure some of you are sitting in the passenger seat right now looking for a shitty break like a nervous driving instructor and I get it. After all, we’re talking about a total of eight Roberts sliders. But it’s not something new, it’s just that the general public is finally watching. Roberts has been displaying an elite level spin and movement for years, even dating back to his days at Tennessee Tech.

Speaking of which, how about Roberts’ alma mater end Tennessee’s 23-game winning streak in a game played at Smokies Stadium? Roberts knows a thing or two about staging major programs in his home country, like when he set the spinning speed record at Vanderbilt without even trying. For more on this and how he has jet fuel running through his veins, check out his interview with us on The Rant Live.

It’s easy to get excited about two good releases and a few Pitching Ninja highlights, but trust me when I say this isn’t a case of hyping someone up based on a small sample. Roberts was built for this and he will be someone fans will love to see stepping out of the bullpen for years to come.