The Ten Hardest Throwers In Baseball
Let’s face it, throwing hard is sexy. Every guy wants to do it, and every girl wants to see it. Blowing fastballs past hitters and beating your chest afterwards is almost primal, and god dammit it’s fun to watch.
These are the 10 hardest throwers in the game today, with the fastest pitch that left their hand in 2013 in parenthesis.
1. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Cincinnati Reds (104.0 MPH)
He’s sorely missed this year after taking a line drive to the face late in Spring Training, but the game’s primary heat-bringer should return to the mound by June 1st. Mark your calendar’s folks.
2. Bruce Rondon, RP, Detroit Tigers (102.8 MPH)
Sadly out for the season after elbow surgery, Rondon is a big-bodied guy that was the closer in waiting in Detroit before faltering last season. Consistently in triple digits with his fastball before the injury, a new elbow could be a scary thing for opposing hitters in 2015.
3. Henry Rodriguez, RP, Oakland Athletics (102.3 MPH)
An ugly 6.2 BB/9 and injuries have derailed his career, but man can this guy light up a radar gun. Now with the A’s, Rodriguez would be the hardest thrower in the American League with Rondon out if he makes it back to the big club in 2014.
4. Kelvin Herrera, RP, Kansas City Royals (101.5 MPH)
After sporting a 10.2 K/9 in 2013 as the Royals set-up man and just 24-years-old, Herrera has a long future ahead of him filled with late swings and fans pointing at the jumbo-tron. Must be nice.
5. Trevor Rosenthal, RP, St. Louis Cardinals (101.4 MPH)
Rosenthal doesn’t just throw hard, he dominates. Just 23-years-old, the Cardinals’ closer is coming off a 2.63 ERA and a 12.9 K/9 in 2013.
6. Carlos Martinez, RP, St. Louis Cardinals (101.3 MPH)
Two flamethrowers in the same bullpen. Must be fun to be holding the keys to that sweet ride, eh, Matheny?
7. Gerrit Cole, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates (101.0 MPH)
The 2011 1st overall pick breezed through the minor leagues and has Cy Young-upside following his 3.22 ERA in 117+ innings last season and has a devastating slider–hitters managed just a .119 average against in 2013–to go along with his big-time fastball.
8. Nate Jones, RP, Chicago White Sox (100.8 MPH)
Although he was pushed from the closer’s role early in the season and is currently on the DL with a hip injury, Jones’ fastball sits in the upper 90′s and closer stuff is apparent.
9. Fernando Rodney, RP, Seattle Mariners (100.7 MPH)
The new Mariners’ closer combines a triple-digit fastball with one of the game’s most devastating changeups that is–on average–15 mph slower.
Cashner defies physics throwing 96-98 throughout his entire starts, and Holland possesses some of the nastiest stuff in the league as the Royals’ closer. The scary thing? As hard as these guys throw, they have plus movement as well.
Follow OPSN Lead Writer Shawn Ferris on Twitter @RealShawnFerris for more MLB news, updates, and analysis.