Fastballs are the most basic and the most common type of pitch that pitchers throw. As the name suggests, its main quality is speed, so it has a relatively straight path compared to other pitch types which we will learn about later in this chapter.
When Are Fastballs Thrown?
Fastballs are usually the first pitch a pitcher throws to a batter in any at-bat. This helps the pitcher gauge the batter's reaction time as well as determine the strikezone for the batter (if the pitcher throws a straight fastball in what he thinks is the batter's strikezone but the umpire calls it a baseball, the pitcher will have to adjust for the rest of the at-bat).
Fastball Speed (MLB)
In Major League Baseball, fastballs nearly always reach velocities of 90 miles per hour or above. The speed of the pitch is measured by a device called a radar gun. After each pitch, the radar gun reading is usually displayed on screens around the stadium.