What is the Fastest Pitch in MLB History?
Pitching speed is one of the most important tools in a baseball pitcher’s arsenal. The ability to throw the ball at a high velocity can be the difference between getting an out and allowing a hit. In the Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the fastest pitch of all-time belongs to Aroldis Chapman, who clocked in at 105.1 miles per hour (mph) on September 24, 2010.
How Fast is 105.1 mph?
105.1 mph is extremely fast, even for the best pitchers in the world. To put this record into perspective, it would take a very athletic person just over two seconds to run 100 meters at this speed. When Chapman’s pitch was released, it was traveling at a speed of 164 feet per second, or a little over 500 feet in just three seconds.
Aroldis Chapman’s Record Pitch
Aroldis Chapman is a left-handed pitcher from Cuba who debuted in the MLB with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010. On September 24, 2010, he threw a fastball to San Diego Padres batter Tony Gwynn Jr. that was clocked in at 105.1 mph. This broke the previous record of 103.9 mph, which was set by Mark Wohlers in 1995.
The Pitchers Behind the Fastest Pitch
In addition to Aroldis Chapman and Mark Wohlers, there are several other pitchers who have thrown pitches over 100 mph in the MLB. While none of these have broken Chapman’s record, they have still managed to make their mark on the league. Here is a list of the fastest pitches ever thrown in the MLB, ranked from fastest to slowest:
- Aroldis Chapman – 105.1 mph
- Mark Wohlers – 103.9 mph
- Nolan Ryan – 100.9 mph
- Randy Johnson – 100.4 mph
- Rob Dibble – 100.4 mph
- Joel Zumaya – 100.2 mph
- Brian Wilson – 100.0 mph
- Justin Verlander – 99.7 mph
- Roger Clemens – 99.2 mph
- J.R. Richard – 99.1 mph
Fastest Pitch Ever Thrown in High School
Outside of the MLB, the fastest pitch ever thrown in a high school game belongs to Matthew Thompson, a senior from a high school in Houston, Texas. On April 25, 2019, he threw a fastball that was clocked in at 104.8 mph. This broke the record for the fastest pitch in a high school game by 2 mph.
Fastest Pitch Ever Recorded
The fastest pitch ever recorded was thrown by Nathan Kilkenny, an Australian baseball player, in a game in 2012. His pitch was clocked in at an unbelievable 162.2 mph. While this is the fastest pitch ever recorded, it is not recognized as an official MLB record.
How is Pitch Speed Measured?
Pitch speed is measured using a tool called a radar gun. This device uses radio waves to measure the speed of a moving object, such as a baseball pitch. Radar guns are typically used by MLB teams and stadiums to measure pitch speed for statistical purposes.
How is Pitch Speed Increased?
Pitchers can increase their pitch speed by focusing on strengthening their arm muscles, improving their throwing mechanics, and proper conditioning and exercises. Throwing with proper mechanics will allow the pitcher to maximize the power of their pitch. Additionally, specific exercises such as weighted baseballs and plyometric drills can help a pitcher increase their speed.
The fastest pitch in MLB history belongs to Aroldis Chapman, who threw a fastball clocked in at 105.1 mph on September 24, 2010. This record has yet to be broken by another MLB pitcher and is a testament to Chapman’s skill and power. Outside of the MLB, the fastest pitch ever recorded was thrown by Australian baseball player Nathan Kilkenny in 2012 and clocked in at 162.2 mph. Pitch speed is measured using a radar gun and can be increased by focusing on strengthening arm muscles, improving throwing mechanics, and proper conditioning and exercises.