Top Velocities Ever Recorded

This information is taken from efastball.com. To read the entire article visit efastball.com

The question of which pitcher throws the hardest has been one of the most hotly debated questions in all of sports. For the first time, we now have the missing data required to allow us finally reveal the fastest pitchers ever recorded.

Top Velocities Ever Recorded (*)
Speed(mph) Pitcher Year Throws Lineup Ht/Wt ERA/
SO per 162 games
108.1 FFE
doppler laser radar
Nolan Ryan 1974 RHP Starter 6-2/195 3.19/ 246
107.6 FFE artillery Bob Feller 1946 RHP Starter 6-0/185 3.25/ 167
104.8
3 videos
Joel Zumaya 2006 RHP Reliever 6-3/210 3.15(’09)/
85(’09)
103 radar Mark Wohlers 1995 RHP Closer 6-4/207 3.97/ 71
102.6
3 videos
Jonathan Broxton 2009 RHP Closer 6-4/295 2.92(’09)/ n/a
102.5 FFE
artillery
Steve Dalkowski 1958 LHP Starter 5-11/175 5.57/ n/a
102.2
3 videos
Brian Wilson 2009 RHP Closer 6-1/195 3.73(’09)/ n/a
102 radar Bobby Jenks 2005 RHP Closer 6-3/275 3.21/ n/a
102 radar Randy Johnson 2004 LHP Starter 6-10/225 3.29(’09)/
271 (’09)
102 radar Brad Lidge 2006 RHP Closer 6-5/215 3.56(’09)/
94(’09)
102 radar Matt Lindstrom 2007 RHP Reliever 6-3/220 3.88(’09)/
51(’09)
102 radar Justin Verlander 2007 RHP Starter 6-5/225 3.92(’09)/
192(’09)
102 radar Armando Benitez 2002 RHP Closer 6-4/260 3.13/ 84
102 radar Robb Nen 1997 RHP Closer 6-5/220 2.98/ 83

FFE=50 foot equivalent
Today’s MLB standard uses pitch speed measured at 50 feet from home plate.

(*) Last updated as of: 11/5/2009 – We are combing through the 2007 season records for any addons to this list and will update the list, if needed.

Tim Lincecum Note

Despite reported 101 mph pitches, the highest recorded pitch speed we have during the 2008 and 2009 seasons for Tim Lincecum is 99.3 mph for the 2008 season on 4/24/2008, and 96.8 mph for the 2009 season on 6/29/2009.

2009 Season Fastest Pitchers 100+ (qty 100+ for year)

16 pitchers threw 100+ mph in 2009.

  • 102.7 (138),Joel Zumaya (Tigers), 6/30/2009, Oakland Coliseum
  • 102.6 (39), Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers), 7/3/2009, PETCO Park
  • 102.2 (16), Brian Wilson (Giants), 9/5/2009, Miller Park
  • 101.3 (12), Daniel Bard (Red Sox), 7/30/2009, Fenway Park
  • 101.1 (14), Neftali Feliz (rangers), 8/7/2009, Angel Stadium Anaheim
  • 101.0 (15), Justin Verlander (Tigers), 9/19/2009, Metrodome

10 other pitchers threw 100+ but less than 101 mph. Bobby Parnell 100.9 (3), Henry Rodriguez 100.6 (11), Ubaldo Jimenez 100.6 (14), Juan Morillo 100.3 (1), Matt Lindstrom 100.2 (1), Merkin Valdez 100.2 (1), Kyle Farnsworth 100.2 (4), Fernando Rodney 100.1 (1), Kevin Jepsen 100.0 (1), and Mark Lowe 100.0 (1).

In the 2009 World Series, no 100+ mph pitches were thrown – Joba Chamberlain was fastest at 97.1 on 11/1/2009. In the 2009 postseason, 3 100+ mph pitches were thrown – Jonathan Broxton 101.3 (2), Daniel Bard 100.6 (3), and Ubaldo Jimenez 100.0 (4).

2008 Season Fastest Pitchers 100+ (qty 100+ for year)

10 pitchers threw 100+ mph in 2008.

  • 101.0 (12), Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers), 8/21/2008, Dodger Stadium
  • 101.0 (9), Matt Lindstrom (Marlins), 7/10/2008, Dodger Stadium
  • 101.0 (32), Joel Zumaya (Tigers), 6/20/2008, PETCO Park

7 other pitchers threw 100+ but less than 101 mph. Ervin Santana (2), Ubaldo Jimenez (3), Fernando Rodney (1), Brian Wilson (1), Joba Chamberlain (1), Juan Morillo (3).

In the 2008 World Series, no 100+ mph pitches were thrown.

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7 Comments. Leave new

  • I noticed that during the same game in which Ryan supposedly threw a pitch at 108.1, Mickey Lolich threw one the equivalent of 98.1 mph. After watching some films of Lolich during the ’72 season, I’d question the accuracy of the 108.1 figure for Ryan. I don’t see how Lolich could have been throwing that fast in ’72, let alone in ’74. I’d question the accuracy of the device used.

    Reply
  • Thank you for your comment! If you can like this page at the top. Thanks Heb!

    Reply
  • My bad, indeed he is rather big !

    Thank you for the explanation.

    Reply
  • Mark Wohlers was 6'4 210lbs. That is big in my book! I believe that triple extension must occur before front foot strike but in some cases I do see pitchers who throw hard and who do not get triple extension until just after front foot strike but it happens just after. These pitchers continue to triple extend after front foot strike. Examples of these pitchers would be Roy Oswolt and Brian Wilson but you will find the smaller pitchers get triple extension before front foot strike which tells me that they are more total body. This is why they can throw so hard and be so small. Example, Tim Lincecum.

    Reply
  • So, looking at this article; it appears that if you want to throw 100 miles, you must be tall and heavy.

    Here : http://www.efastball.com/baseball/stats/fastest-p

    There is a picture of Mark Wohlers, who threw 103 mph according to the radar gun, on the picture he has a great hip/shoulder separation, but no triple extension. Is is clearly visible.

    He doesn't seem particularly big, so how is he throwing so hard ?

    Some coach are teaching to keep pushing with the drive leg after the front foot strike, is this efficient ?

    Reply
  • Drew Clements
    July 16, 2010 11:31 am

    I have read that the maximum pressure that a human arm can handle is equivalent to 103 MPH. How did these guys throw up to 5 MPH faster?

    Reply

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