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.
Reds Pitched a No Hitter and Still Lost – Here are 15 Other Incredible No Hitter Stories
On May 15, 2022, the Cincinnati Reds pitched an unofficial no hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. What made it unofficial, you ask? Well, it was technically an eight-inning no hitter because the Reds somehow managed to lose the game – despite not allowing a hit in the game.
The game was tied 0-0 in the bottom of the eighth when Reds’ pitcher Hunter Greene threw three-straight walks with one out. With the bases loaded, Pirates’ third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes grounded out, bringing home Rodolfo Castro scored from third base to take a 1-0 lead.
Hunter Greene ended up pitching 7.1 hitless innings, striking out nine batters in the process – but throwing five walks and allowing one run. Art Warren finished the unofficial no hitter with 0.2 innings pitched, walking one batter in the process. Unfortunately, they had no offensive help.
15 Other Incredible No Hitter Stories
The first MLB-recognized no hitter occurred on July 15, 1876 when George Bradley and the Boston Red Caps defeated the Cincinnati Reds 8-0. Since then, there have been a total of 316 official no-hitters recognized by the MLB and the most recent one came on May 10, 2022.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have pitched the most no-hitters with 26, while the Chicago White Sox are the next closest with 20 no-hitters pitched. Likewise, the Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have given up the most no-hitters to opposing pitchers – they each have given up 20.
Of course, that doesn’t include all the incredible no hitter stories like the one mentioned above. Whether it’s throwing a no hitter and losing the game, throwing a no hitter during a game that’s called due to rain, or a no hitter broken up in extra innings – let’s take a closer look at some!
15. Steve Barber and Stu Miller in 1967
On April 30, 1967, Steve Barber and Stu Miller of the Baltimore Orioles pitched nine hitless innings in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Barber threw three walks and a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning before Miller replaced him. The Tigers scored again on a fielder’s choice play.
Barber finished the game with 8.2 innings pitched, 0 hits, 3 strikeouts, 10 walks, and one earned run, while Miller finished with 0.1 innings pitched and 0 hits. They didn’t receive much help from their offense, with the Orioles only getting two hits and one run – they left four men on base.
14. Jim Maloney in 1965
On June 14, 1965, Jim Maloney of the Cincinnati Reds was on fire against the New York Mets. Through 10 innings, he had a no hitter and 17 strikeouts, but he didn’t get any help from his offense – who had six hits through 10 innings, but no runs. Then the 11th inning happened.
Maloney gave up a home run to the first batter of the 11th inning and while he redeemed himself with a strikeout on the next batter, he later gave up a single. Not only did his no hitter come to an end in that inning, but it was a home run that resulted in a 1-0 loss – despite a terrific effort.
13. Harvey Haddix in 1959
On May 26, 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates was pitching a gem against the Milwaukee Braves. Through 12 innings, he had a no hitter with no walks and eight strikeouts, but he wasn’t getting any help from his teammates on offense – they had no runs off 12 total hits.
In the bottom of the 13th, Haddix saw the lead-off batter reach first base on an error. After an intentional walk, Haddix gave up a double to Joe Adcock – which not only ended his no hitter, but ended the game. Haddix was handed the loss, despite a truly tremendous performance.
12. Pud Galvin in 1884
On August 4, 1884, Pud Galvin of the Buffalo Bisons pitched the most lopsided no-hitter ever recognized by the MLB. It was an 18-0 no-hitter win for Galvin and the Bisons, in what was one of the best displays of pitching and hitting prowess in the same game. It was quite the outcome.
Galvin pitched all nine innings, not allowing a hit or walk – though he did see three batters reach base on error. His teammates tallied 22 hits against the Detroit Wolverines, scoring a total of 18 runs. It was Galvin’s second career no-hitter, with the first one coming four years earlier in 1880.
11. Fred Frankhouse in 1937
On August 27, 1937, Fred Frankhouse of the Brooklyn Dodgers was pitching a gem during the first half of a double-header against the Cincinnati Reds. He had a 5-0 lead after 7⅔ innings, but the game was called due to rain – the second game of the double-header was canceled.
Although he finished the game with 7.2 hitless innings pitched, Frankhouse’s no hitter isn’t recognized as an official no hitter because he didn’t pitch the full nine innings. We’ll never know if he would’ve completed it, but the Reds didn’t look like they were going to get a hit if it continued.
10. Rays’ Collective Effort in 2021
On July 7, 2021, five Tampa Bay Rays’ pitchers – Collin McHugh, Josh Flemming, Diego Castillo, Matt Wisler, and Pete Fairbanks – combined for a no-hitter win against the Cleveland Guardians (then-Indians). Despite allowing no hits, it’s not recognized as an official no hitter.
That’s because the game was the second half of a double-header during a season full of COVID-19 restrictions – which means the game was seven innings long. Since the pitchers didn’t combine for nine innings pitched, their no hitter isn’t officially recognized by the MLB.
9. Madison Bumgarner in 2021
On April 25, 2021, Madison Bumgarner of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitched a gem of a game against the Atlanta Braves. He finished the game with 7 innings pitched, 0 hits, 0 walks, and 7 strikeouts. It was almost a perfect game, but Arizona had an error in the second inning.
Much like the Rays’ game above, Bumgarner’s no hitter isn’t officially recognized by the MLB because it was during a double-header – meaning the game wasn’t a full nine innings. The way Bumgarner was pitching, it was very unlikely the Braves would get a hit, but we’ll never know.
8. Jered Weaver and José Arredondo in 2008
On June 28, 2008, Jered Weaver and José Arredondo of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitched an eight-inning no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They only pitched a combined eight innings because their team lost 1-0 due to a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Weaver finished the game with 6 innings pitched, 0 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, and 1 earned run, while Arredondo finished with 2 innings pitched, 0 hits, and 3 strikeouts. Their team managed to get five hits, but didn’t manage to turn those hits into runs – leaving a total of nine men on base.
7. Matt Young in 1992
On April 12, 1992, Matt Young of the Boston Red Sox pitched an eight-inning no hitter against the Cleveland Guardians (then-Indians). Young pitched eight innings with 0 hits, 6 strikeouts, 7 walks, and two earned runs. While it was an impressive no hitter, his team eventually lost 2-1.
The Guardians scored their first run in the first inning off a Red Sox error. The second run came in the third inning after three walks and a stolen base. Boston scored a run in the top of the fourth inning, but that was the only run they scored – despite getting 9 hits, they left 11 men on base.
6. Silver King in 1890
On June 21, 1890, Silver King of the Chicago Pirates pitched an eight-inning no hitter against the Brooklyn Ward’s Wonders. Despite a terrific performance, his teammates didn’t provide any help and since the Pirates lost the game, King’s no hitter goes down as an unofficial no hitter.
It was close, too. The Ward’s Wonders defeated the Pirates 1-0. The lone run came as a result of an error by shortstop ‘Dell’ Darling – it was an easy groundout, but the error saw the batter advance to second base. From there, a sacrifice groundout and sacrifice fly brought him home.
5. Andy Hawkins in 1990
On July 1, 1990, Andy Hawkins of the New York Yankees pitched a mind-boggling no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. Despite pitching eight scoreless innings and striking out three batters, Hawkins and his Yankees lost to the White Sox 4-0 – which is what’s so mind-boggling.
Everything was going good until the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, the Yankees suffered an error, stolen base, and two-straight walks to load the bases for Chicago. Two errors later, the Yankees were down 4-0 and didn’t have the offense to tie the game in the ninth inning.
4. Joe Musgrove in 2021
On April 9, 2021, Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres threw the only official no hitter in franchise history – one of only four teams with a single no-hitter, the other three are listed below. Musgrove earned the win after nine hitless innings and 10 strikeouts – he threw 112 pitches.
In fact, Musgrove’s no-hitter was about as close to a perfect game as you can get. The Texas Rangers only had one batter reach base and it was when Joey Gallo was hit by one of his pitches. Luckily it didn’t lead to any runs and the Padres walked away with a 2-0 no-hitter win.
3. Matt Garza in 2010
On July 26, 2010, Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays threw the only official no hitter in Rays’ history in a 5-0 victory against the Detroit Tigers. There was a point when Garza was fighting for the win, but the Rays scored four runs in the sixth inning to give him some wiggle room.
Of course, he didn’t need that wiggle room. Garza finished the game with nine hitless innings pitched, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts – that one walk is what ruined his perfect game. Garza improved to 11-5 on the year and finished that season 15-10. He retired in 2017 with 96 wins.
2. Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010
On April 17, 2010, Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies threw the only official no hitter in Rockies’ franchise history in a 4-0 victory against the Atlanta Braves. Jimenez finished the game with nine hitless innings, 6 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 128 pitches (72 strikes, 56 balls).
Jimenez received the help he needed, with the Rockies finishing the game with four runs off nine hits – though they were just 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The Rockies’ scored one run in the first inning and three more runs in the fourth inning – Jimenez had one of those RBIs.
1. Dave Stieb in 1990
On September 2, 1990, Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays threw the only official no hitter in Blue Jays’ franchise history in a 3-0 victory against the Cleveland Guardians (then-Indians). He finished the game with nine hitless innings, 4 walks, and 9 strikeouts off 123 total pitches.
The no hitter victory saw Stieb’s record improve to 17-5 – he finished the season with an 18-6 record and came fifth in Cy Young voting. It was the most wins he ever had in one season and the last of 10 seasons with double-digit wins in his career. He retired in 1998 with 176 wins.
When Will We See the Next No Hitter?
A no hitter can happen at any moment and recent history shows it’s happening at a rapid pace. For example, there were a total of nine no-hitters between April 21, 2016 and September 1, 2019, but a total of 16 no-hitters between August 25, 2020 and the latest one on May 15, 2022.
And let’s not forget that incredible run in 2021 where we saw four no-hitters thrown in the same month – on May 5, May 7, May 18, and May 19. That’s not including the two that occurred in April and the one that occurred in June. Little streaks like that can and will happen eventually.
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While it can happen at any moment, we really have no idea when it’ll happen next – and that’s what makes it so exciting and interesting. When do you think the next no hitter will happen? Will we see another one this year? Or will we have to wait until next season before seeing it again?
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