The Top 10 Fastest Pitchers in MLB History
The top 10 fastest pitchers in MLB history are a group of pitchers who consistently brought heat to the mound. They also struck fear into the hearts of batters. These pitchers were known for throwing pitches at extremely high velocities, often reaching triple digits on the radar gun. Here is a look at the top 10 fastest pitchers in MLB history:
- Aroldis Chapman (2010- ) Many regard Chapman as the fastest pitcher in MLB history, with a recorded speed of 105.1 mph. Chapman has consistently been at the top of the leaderboards for the fastest pitch speed. Essentially, his fastball is unhittable. Americans are happy that Chapman decided to defect to the United States from Cuba!
- Nolan Ryan (1966-1993) Ryan is a legendary pitcher who played in the MLB for 27 seasons. Known for his incredible fastball, Ryan could reach speeds of 100.9 mph. Notably, Ryan is the all-time leader in strikeouts, with a total of 5,714 over his career. On the other hand, Ryan is also the all-time walks leader among pitchers.
- Joel Zumaya (2006-2010) Zumaya was a relief pitcher for the Tigers, known for his incredible fastball, which reached 104.8 mph. He was a key member of the Tigers’ bullpen during their 2006 World Series run. As a result, Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez said Zumaya threw the fastest pitch he ever caught.
- Roger Clemens (1984-2007) Clemens was a dominant pitcher throughout his 24-year career. His fastball reached speeds of 98.6 mph, and he wasn’t afraid to intimidate batters. As a result, Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards. Clemens also accumulated many fans– and haters.
- Mark Wohlers (1991-2002) Wohlers was a relief pitcher for the Braves, with a fastball clocked at 98.1 mph. Consequently, he was a vital member of the Braves’ bullpen during their 1990s dominance.
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- Randy Johnson (1988-2009) “The Big Unit” was a dominant pitcher throughout his 22-year career. At 97.4 mph, his fastball was made even more intimidating by his 6′ 10″ frame and nasty disposition. In a 2001 spring training game, Johnson struck a dove that flew into his pitch’s path. Umpires ruled the pitch dead, as well as the bird.
- Mariano Rivera (1995-2013) Rivera is considered one of the greatest closers in MLB history and is known for his devastating cut fastball, which he could throw at speeds up to 97.2 mph. He played for the Yankees for most of his career and helped lead them to five World Series championships. Rivera truly earned his nickname of “The Sandman”!
- Jeff Samardzija (2008-2020) Samardzija was known to throw at speeds up to 97.0 mph. He has played for several teams, including the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants. The fear he instilled in opposing batters probably earned him the nickname of “The Shark.”
- Bob Feller (1936-1956) Feller was a dominant pitcher during the 1930s and 1940s. He was known for throwing at speeds up to 98.6 mph. Statisticians didn’t use radar guns then; some have argued that Feller reached 107 mph using modern measuring methods. Feller’s fastball even outraced a speeding Harley-Davidson to a target 60 feet away! A classic baseball story.
- Steve Dalkowski – Dalkowski was a minor-league pitcher who never made it to the MLB. However, many consider Dalkowski one of the fastest pitchers in history. Some claim he could throw at 110 mph! For this reason, I’ve included him on this list, despite never playing in the Major Leagues.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, the top 10 fastest pitchers in MLB history are a group of pitchers who consistently brought heat to the mound and struck fear into the hearts of batters. For this reason, no batter relished facing these guys!
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