If you have ever wondered which baseball pitchers throw the ball the fastest, modern technology can help fill in some of the blanks.
Pitch tracking became standard in the American pro baseball league the MLB in 2008, enabling analysts to track ball velocity.
Utilized by the MLB, PITCHf/x is a system using three permanently mounted cameras in the stadium to track the speed and location of a pitched baseball from the pitcher’s mound to home plate with an accuracy of better than one mile per hour and one inch.
MLB pitchers who have thrown the fastest 100+ MPH pitches in pro baseball are:
- Nolan Ryan (California Angels, 1974) 108.1 MPH *
- Bob Feller (Cleveland Indians, 1946), 107.6 MPH *
- Aroldis Chapman (Reds), 106 MPH
- Joel Zumaya (Tigers, 2006), 104.8 MPH
- Mark Wohlers (Braves, 1995), 103 MPH
- Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers, 2009), 102.6 MPH
- Brian Wilson (New York Giants, 2009), 102.2 MPH
- Robb Nen (Marlins, 1997), 102 MPH
- Armando Benitez (Mets, 2002), 102 MPH
- Randy Johnson (Arizona Diamondbacks, 2004), 102 MPH
- Bobby Jenks (White Sox, 2005), 102 MPH
- Brad Lidge (Astros, 2006), 102 MPH
- Matt Lindstrom (Marlins, 2007), 102 MPH
- Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers, 2007), 102 MPH
*Note: Doppler laser radar readings were used to measure ball velocity in 1946 & 1974.
The MLB pitchers who have thrown the most 100+ MPH pitches in the entire pitch tracking era (2008-now) are:
- Aroldis Chapman, 3,746
- Jordan Hicks, 1,618
- Emmanuel Clase, 866
- Kelvin Herrera, 757
- Jhoan Duran, 742
- José Alvarado, 543
- Joel Zamaya, 537