Which MLB Baseball Pitchers Have The Best Fastballs?
A fastball is a fundamental pitch for most good pitchers around the world. It’s the first pitch that you learn how to throw as a young pitcher, and it’s a key part of most pitchers’ arsenals. Fastballs are meant, obviously, to be the fastest pitch that a pitcher can throw, and they have hardly any movement to them. Of course, some pitchers throw a better fastball than others. The pitchers listed below are the best fastball-throwers in Major League Baseball as of the 2023 season.
Gerrit Cole has consistently been one of the best pitchers for the better part of a decade now, and much of that success is thanks to his fastball. Many experts in the sport consider him to be among the very best. Cole relies heavily on his four-seam fastball to blow past batters thanks to a velocity that approaches 100 mph regularly. In fact, as Cole has aged, his fastball has gotten even faster, and he doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. When it comes to riding a pitch to the height of success in baseball, Gerrit Cole and his fastball are tough to beat.
When he’s on his game, Jacob deGrom is almost one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. His pitches are practically unbeatable, and his fastball is the foundation to it all. Without it, he wouldn’t be able to rely on his blazing slider to strike batters out. While deGrom often uses his fastball as a set-up pitch before striking batters out with his slider, it’s still an incredibly important part of his arsenal. Not to mention, deGrom has one of the fastest fastballs for a starting pitcher, averaging a lethal 99 mph. Since he throws the pitch over 50% of the time, hitters need to be prepared for some serious heat, and frankly, most aren’t up to the task.
Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves is one of the most exciting young pitching talents in all of the Majors. In 2022, Strider held his ERA to 2.67 which was largely thanks to his excellent fastball. Strider leans heavily on his four-seam fastball, which he throws at an average of 97 miles per hour. Perhaps more remarkably, Strider throws the pitch over 60% of the time, so even though batters often might know what’s coming, they’re still powerless to hit it. Hardly any pitchers in Major League Baseball can say the same.
Aside from starting pitchers who have to keep their velocity up over a much larger workload of innings, relief pitchers are known for having the fastest fastballs in baseball. Among relief pitchers, some of those with the best fastball include Edwin Diaz of the New York Mets, Emmanuel Clase of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Ryan Helsley with the St. Louis Cardinals. These pitchers all have fastballs that can top 100 mph. With a lighter inning workload than starting pitchers, relievers can throw their fastball nearly as hard as they want without much of a drop-off in velocity.