All pitchers have their own unique strength that sets them apart from others, but the fastest pitchers to ever grace the diamond were known for their velocity and power. They made it difficult for opposing batters by minimizing the amount of time they have to see the ball.
The fastest pitchers of all-time knew how to work the plate with their fastball and consistently topped the 100mph mark on the radar gun. It’s something every pitcher strives to hit with their fastball on a regular basis and something that can help any pitcher have continued success.
If you’re lucky enough to have a 100+ mph fastball in your arsenal, you’ll definitely have a lot of major league scouts on your radar. Of course, that much speed is only valuable if it’s coupled with command, stamina, consistency, and several other pitch types to fool the batter with.
Who Are the Fastest Pitchers Ever in Baseball?
There’s a long-standing debate over who the fastest pitchers of all-time are. In fact, it’s a question that we may never have a definitive answer to and a large reason why is because the technology tracking pitcher velocity, speed, and power is rather new to the game of baseball.
Today, the MLB uses something called PITCHf/x – a system of three mounted cameras that are installed in every stadium in the league. These cameras help detect pitching speed, location, break, etc. PITCHf/x made its debut during the 2006 playoffs, meaning data is only 16 years old.
Before the PITCHf/x system gained prominence in the MLB, pitch speeds were measured with a radar gun. They weren’t as accurate and weren’t being used properly, which led to inaccurate readings. Despite that, we’re going to take a look at some of the fastest pitchers of all-time.
20. Randy Johnson – 102.0 mph
Randy Johnson is a Hall of Fame starting pitcher that was once credited with a 102.0mph fastball. He made his debut on September 15, 1988 and played his final game on October 4, 2009. He spent a majority of his 22-year career with the Mariners and Diamondbacks.
Johnson finished his career with a 303-166 record, .646 winning percentage, 4,135.1 innings pitched, 3.29 ERA, 100 complete games, 37 shutouts, and 4,875 strikeouts in 618 games played. He was a five-time Cy Young winner, 10-time All-Star, and completed the Triple Crown.
19. Matt Lindstrom – 102.0 mph
Matt Lindstrom is a retired MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 102.0 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on April 4, 2007 and played his final game on September 26, 2014. He played for the Marlins, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Orioles, and Astros.
Lindstrom finished his career with a 17-21 record, .447 winning percentage, 420.2 innings pitched, 3.68 ERA, 51 saves, and 327 strikeouts. While he could throw a mean fastball, he wasn’t nearly consistent enough and had a hard time staying on one roster long-term.
18. Brian Wilson – 102.2 mph
Brian Wilson is a retired MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 102.2 mph fastball. He made his debut on April 23, 2006 and played his final game on September 27, 2014. During his nine-year career, he played for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Wilson finished his career with a 24-25 record, .490 winning percentage, 382.0 innings pitched, 3.30 ERA, 172 saves, and 407 strikeouts in 394 games. He was a three-time All-Star and won the 2010 World Series with the San Francisco Giants. He had six saves that postseason.
17. Steve Dalkowski – 102.5 mph
Steve Dalkowski is a retired minor league baseball player that was once credited with throwing a 102.5 mph fastball. Although his speciality was a speedy fastball, he struggled with control and command – leading the minor leagues in bases on balls on several different occasions.
Dalkowski would end up pitching in the minor leagues for eight seasons, mostly at the AA level within the Baltimore Orioles organization. He never pitched in the MLB, but he will forever be remembered for being one of the fastest pitchers ever and a pioneer of the 100-mph fastball.
16. Jonathan Broxton – 102.6 mph
Jonathan Broxton is a retired MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 102.6 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on July 29, 2005 and played his final game on May 30, 2017. He played for the Dodgers, Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, and Royals during his 13 seasons.
Broxton finished his career with a 43-38 record, .531 winning percentage, 676.0 innings pitched, 3.41 ERA, 118 saves, and 758 strikeouts in 694 games played. He was named to back-to-back All-Star games in 2009 and 2010 with the Dodgers – he had a career-high 36 saves in 2009.
15. Bruce Rondon – 102.8 mph
Bruce Rondon is a relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 102.8 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on April 25, 2013 and played his last game on July 10, 2018. He currently plays in the Mexican League. He spent four years with the Tigers and one with the White Sox.
Rondon finished his major league career with a 10-10 record, .500 winning percentage, 141.1 innings pitched, 5.73 ERA, 8 saves, and 173 strikeouts in 158 games played. He was never able to find his footing in the MLB, despite being one of the fastest pitchers of all-time.
14. Kelvin Herrera – 102.8 mph
Kelvin Herrera is a former relief pitcher that was credited with throwing a 102.8 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on September 21, 2011 and played his last game on July 26, 2020. He spent most of his career with the Royals, but also had stints with Nationals and White Sox.
Herrera finished his major league career with a 27-32 record, .458 winning percentage, 513.2 innings pitched, 3.21 ERA, 61 saves, and 510 strikeouts in 522 games. He was a two-time All-Star in 2015 and 2016, and won the 2015 World Series with the Kansas City Royals.
13. Yordano Ventura – 102.9 mph
Yordano Ventura is a former MLB starting pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 102.9 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on September 17, 2013 and played his final game on September 30, 2016. Ventura tragically died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic in 2017.
Ventura finished his short career with a 38-31 record, .551 winning percentage, 547.2 innings pitched, 3.89 ERA, 2 complete games, and 470 strikeouts in 93 games started. He was Kelvin Herrera’s teammate between 2013 and 2016, and was a member of the 2015 World Series run.
12. Bobby Parnell – 103.0
Bobby Parnell is a retired MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.0 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on September 15, 2008 and played his last game on July 8, 2016. He spent his first eight seasons with the Mets and his final season with the Tigers.
Parnell finished his career with a 20-28 record, .417 winning percentage, 336.2 innings pitched, 3.82 ERA, 37 saves, and 297 strikeouts in 335 games played (8 starts). Between 2012 and 2013, he had 10 wins and 29 saves in what are arguably his two greatest major league seasons.
11. Mark Wohlers – 103.0 mph
Mark Wohlers is a former MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.0 mph fastball. He made his debut on August 17, 1991 and played his final game on September 28, 2002. He mostly played for the Braves, but also had stints with the Reds, Indians, and Yankees.
Wohlers finished his major league career with a 39-29 record, .574 winning percentage, 553.1 innings pitched, 3.97 ERA, 119 saves, and 557 strikeouts in 533 games played. He was named an All-Star for the first and only time in 1996 and won the 1995 World Series with the Braves.
10. Justin Verlander – 103.2 mph
Justin Verlander is a current MLB starting pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.2 mph fastball. He made his major league debut on July 4, 2005 and has played for the Houston Astros since 2017. Prior to 2017, Verlander spent the better half of 13 seasons with the Tigers.
During his 16-year career, Verlander has a 226-129 record, .637 winning percentage, 2,988.0 innings pitched, 3.33 ERA, 26 complete games, 9 shutouts, and 3,013 strikeouts in 454 games started. He’s a former MVP, two-time Cy Young winner, Triple Crown winner, and champion.
9. Bob Turley – 103.2 mph
Bob Turley is a former MLB starting pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.2 mph fastball. He made his debut on September 29, 1951 and played his final game on September 21, 1963. He mostly played for the Yankees, but also played for the Orioles, Red Sox, and Angels.
Turley finished his major league career with a 101-85 record, .543 winning percentage, 1,712.2 innings pitched, 3.64 ERA, 78 complete games, 24 shutouts, and 1,265 strikeouts in 310 games played (237 starts). He’s a three-time All-Star, two-time champion, and 1958 Cy Young winner.
8. Henry Rodriguez – 103.4 mph
Henry Rodriguez is a former MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.4 mph fastball. He made his major league debut on September 21, 2009 and played what would be his last game on May 12, 2014. He played for the Nationals, Athletics, Cubs, and Marlins.
Rodriguez finished his career with a 5-7 record, .417 winning percentage, 150.1 innings pitched, 4.31 ERA, 11 saves, and 151 strikeouts in 150 games. He played his best ball for the Nationals between 2011 and 2013, notching four wins and 11 saves during his time with the franchise.
7. Andrew Cashner – 103.3 mph
Andrew Cashner is a former MLB starting pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.3 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on May 31, 2010 and played his final game on September 28, 2019. He spent time with the Padres, Cubs, Orioles, Red Sox, Rangers, and Marlins.
Cashner finished his major league career with a 57-87 record, .396 winning percentage, 1,196.0 innings pitched, 4.10 ERA, 3 complete games, 3 shutouts, 1 save, and 901 strikeouts in 300 games played (188 starts). He finished with 10 or more wins three times (2013, 2017, 2019).
6. Neftali Feliz – 103.4 mph
Neftali Feliz is a former MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 103.4 mph fastball. He made his debut on August 3, 2009, last played in the MLB in 2021, and currently plays in the Mexican League. He spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
During his 10-year major league career, Feliz has a 21-20 record, .512 winning percentage, 393.1 innings pitched, 3.55 ERA, one complete game, 107 saves, and 366 strikeouts in 362 games played. He’s a one-time All-Star and won the Rookie of the Year award in 2010.
5. Ben Joyce – 104.0 mph
Ben Joyce is a current college baseball relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 104.0 mph fastball. He currently pitches for the University of Tennessee Volunteers and could move up on this list in the coming years. His 104.0 mph fastball was recorded just a month ago.
In fact, he threw a 102mph and 103mph fastball in the pitches leading up to that 104.0mph fastball, meaning he can throw with power consistently. He has a bright future ahead of him if he can remain healthy – he has already recovered from one major injury, let’s hope that’s it.
4. Joel Zumaya – 104.8 mph
Joel Zumaya is a retired MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 104.8 mph fastball. He made his major league debut on April 3, 2006 and played his final MLB game on June 28, 2010. He would end up spending all five seasons of his career with the Detroit Tigers.
Zumaya finished his major league career with a 13-12 record, .520 winning percentage, 209.2 innings pitched, 3.05 ERA, 5 saves, and 210 strikeouts in 171 games played. Injuries plagued his career early on and he eventually required Tommy John surgery, which ended his career.
3. Aroldis Chapman – 106.0 mph
Aroldis Chapman is a current MLB relief pitcher that was once credited with a 106.0 mph fastball. He made his debut on August 31, 2010 with the Cincinnati Reds and currently plays for the New York Yankees – where he has played since 2016. He also had a stint with the Cubs.
During his 12-year career thus far, Chapman has a 40-31 record, .563 winning percentage, 603.2 innings pitched, 306 saves, and 1,002 strikeouts in 624 games played. He’s a seven-time All-Star, won the 2016 World Series with the Cubs, and won Reliever of the Year in 2019.
2. Bob Feller – 107.6 mph
Bob Feller is a Hall of Fame MLB starting pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 107.6 mph fastball. He made his major league debut on July 19, 1936 and played in his final game on September 30, 1956. He spent his entire 18-year career with the Cleveland Indians (Guardians).
Feller finished his career with a 266-162 record, .621 winning percentage, 3,827.0 innings pitched, 3.25 ERA, 279 complete games, 44 shutouts, 22 saves, and 2,581 strikeouts in 570 games played (484 starts). He won the Triple Crown and the 1948 World Series with Cleveland.
1. Nolan Ryan – 108.1 mph
Nolan Ryan is a legendary Hall of Fame MLB starting pitcher that was once credited with throwing a 108.1 mph fastball. He made his MLB debut on September 11, 1966 and played in his final game on September 22, 1993. He played for the Mets, Angels, Astros, and Rangers.
Ryan finished his career with a 324-292 record, .526 winning percentage, 5,386.0 innings pitched, 3.19 ERA, 221 complete games, 61 shutouts, 3 saves, and 5,715 strikeouts in 807 games played (773 starts). He was an eight-time All-Star and won the 1969 World Series.
Preparing for Another Season Full of Fast Pitches
There was a moment just a few weeks ago where MLB fans were unsure if there would be a season this year. Players and owners were negotiating a new CBA deal and the league was in a lockout until the two sides came to a compromise. The regular season was officially saved.
The MLB is currently finishing their Spring Training games, which were delayed, and the regular season is set to begin on April 7th – which is delayed from its original start, but that won’t impact the 162-game season. Teams and fans will have a full schedule to look forward to this year.
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As we enter another MLB season, we’re excited to see what some of the fastest pitchers in the game today have in store for us. That includes Jacob deGrom, Dustin May, Sixto Sanchez, Josh Staumont, Jonathan Hernández, Edwin Diaz, Dylan Cease, and Luis Castillo.
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