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Michael Pineda, Justin Verlander are 2011’s hardest throwers

May 18, 2011, 8:00 PM EDT

Michael Pineda AP

Another leaderboard today.  This one, taken from Fangraphs.com, looks at the top fastballs for this year’s starting pitchers.

1. Michael Pineda (Mariners) – 95.8 mph
2. Justin Verlander (Tigers) – 95.0
3. David Price (Rays) – 94.9
4. Alexi Ogando (Rangers) – 94.2
5. Edwin Jackson (White Sox) – 93.8
6. Josh Johnson (Marlins) – 93.8
7. Edinson Volquez (Reds) – 93.8
8. Kyle Drabek (Blue Jays) – 93.4
9. Daniel Hudson (Diamondbacks) – 93.4
10. Felix Hernandez (Mariners) – 93.4
11. Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) – 93.2
12. Derek Holland (Rangers) – 93.2
13. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) – 93.1
14. Matt Garza (Cubs) – 93.0
15. Tim Lincecum (Giants) – 93.0
16. Tyler Chatwood (Angels) – 92.9
17. Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies) – 92.8
18. CC Sabathia (Yankees) – 92.8
19. Josh Beckett (Red Sox) – 92.7
20. Matt Harrison (Rangers) – 92.6

No one should be very surprised by the top names on this list. Verlander, Price, Jackson and Johnson were all in the top six last year as well. Missing, though, is last year’s No. 1, Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez doesn’t qualify anyway after spending time on the DL last month, but he’s all of the way down to 92.8 mph this year after averaging 96.1 mph with his fastball each of the previous two years. For what it’s worth, he has been closer to 94 mph better lately. His worst starts came while he was dealing with a cut on his thumb last month.

One nice surprise is Lincecum’s return to the list. He averaged 94 mph with his fastball when he first entered the league, but he was down to 92.4 in 2009 and 91.3 last year before getting back up to 93.0 so far this season.

Here’s a look at the bottom five:

1. Livan Hernandez (Nationals) – 83.8 mph
2. R.A. Dickey (Mets) – 84.0
3. Jeff Francis (Royals) – 85.4
4. Mark Buehrle (White Sox) – 85.4
5. Bruce Chen (Royals) – 85.9

  1. nixonotis - May 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    I’m surprised Bartolo Colon didn’t sneak onto this list. I figured he’d be around 93 mph.

    • Detroit Michael - May 19, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      Colon is at 91.8 mph according to Fangraphs.

      However, it seems to have increased after the first 4 starts of the year:
      http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=375&position=P&pitch=FA

  2. hasbeen5 - May 19, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    What is Bronson Arroyo dialing up these days? I thought he might make the bottom 5.

  3. natstowngreg - May 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    I don’t trust radar guns enough to trust fine distinctions among pitchers. Most of these guys are pretty much the same. More interesting is a significant change (ex., Ubaldo Jimenez).

    What I really want to know, though, is whether Livan has the slowest pitch (non-Tim Wakefield knuckleball category). His change-up off his change-up registers at 59-62 MPH on the Nats Park radar gun (R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball is faster). It’s fun to watch sluggers flail away at it.

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