What is the fastest pitch ever? History of fastest pitches in MLB, fastest pitch in 2024

What is the fastest pitch ever? History of fastest pitches in MLB, fastest pitch in 2024

fastest pitch ever, fastest pitch in MLB history
Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

What is the fastest pitch in MLB? Aroldis Chapman can light up the radar gun like few others, while Jacob deGrom throws heat that no starting pitcher can match. But how do these flamethrowers stack up in MLB history.

There are few things more impressive in sports than witnessing a pitcher light up the radar gun. The ability to load up and fire a ball at 100-plus mph gets fans excited, makes hitters feel intimidated and leaves teams fantasizing about the possibilities of what that electric arm can do.

Let’s examine the fastest pitch ever, during the 2024 season and look at the all-time history.

Fastest pitch ever

  1. Aroldis Chapman – 105.8 mph – Sep. 24, 2010
  2. Aroldis Chapman – 105.7 mph – July 18, 2016
  3. Aroldis Chapman – 105.4 mpg – July 18, 2016
  4. Aroldis Chapman – 105.2 mph – July 22, 2016
  5. Aroldis Chapman – 105.1 mph – Aug. 2, 2016
  6. Aroldis Chapman – 105.1 mph – July 22, 2016
  7. Aroldis Chapman – 105.1 mph – July 18, 2016
  8. Jordan Hicks – 105 mph – May 20, 2018
  9. Aroldis Chapman – 105 mph – July 23, 2016
  10. Jordan Hicks – 105 mph – May 20, 2018

Further below you can provide in-depth answers about increasing pitch velocity, the fastest pitch ever thrown and the fastest MLB pitch in 2023.

Related: What is OPS?

What is the fastest pitch in history?

The fastest pitch in history was a 105.8 mph fastball, thrown by relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman on Sept. 24, 10. Chapman also holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest baseball pitch ever recorded.

Related: MLB predictions 2024

Fastest pitch in 2024

  1. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates – 104.0 mph – June 6
  2. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.9 mph – June 8
  3. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates – 103.8 mph – June 6
  4. Mason Miller, RP, Oakland A’s – 103.7 mph – April 11
  5. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.6 mph – June 8
  6. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.6 mph – June 11
  7. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates – 103.5 mph – June 7
  8. Mason Miller, RP, Oakland A’s – 103.4 mph – May 14
  9. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.4 mph – June 11
  10. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates – 103.4 mph – June 6
  11. Mason Miller, RP, Oakland A’s – 103.3 mph – April 11
  12. Mason Miller, RP, Oakland A’s – 103.3 mph – April 22
  13. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.3 mph – June 6
  14. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.2 mph – June 11
  15. Mason Miller, RP, Oakland A’s – 103.2 mph – May 14
  16. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.2 mph – June 6
  17. Jhoan Duran, RP, Minnesota Twins – 103.1 mph – May 28
  18. Ben Joyce, RP, Los Angeles Angels – 103.1 mph – June 8 & 11

What is the fastest pitch thrown this season?

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman threw a 104 mph pitch on June 6, the fastest MLB pitch in 2024. On the same day, Chapman also threw the second fastest pitch in MLB this season at 103.8 mph.

June 6 proved to be a monumental day for pitching velocity, with more than five pitches thrown over 103 mph (Baseball Savant).

Four pitchers have thrown a pitch 103 mph this season. Aroldis Chapman is the only MLB player to hit 104 mph in 2024.

Fastest pitch in 2023

Minnesota Twins closer Jhoan Duran threw the fastest pitch in MBL this season. The fastest pitch thrown this season was a 104.8 mph fastball, thrown by Duran against the Seattle Mariners on July 19. Duran has thrown the 10 fastest pitches in baseball this season, hitting 104 double-digit times.

Fastest MLB pitches in 2023

  1. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104.8 mph – July 19 vs SEA
  2. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104.6 mph – May 24 vs SF
  3. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104.6 mph -June 2 vs CLE
  4. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104.5 mph -June 2 vs CLE
  5. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104.4 mph – May 24 vs SF
  6. Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 104.3 mph – June 19 vs WAS
  7. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104.1 mph – July 19 vs SEA
  8. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104 mph – July 19 vs SEA
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104 mph – July 19 vs SEA
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 104 mph – May 24 vs SF
  9. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.9 mph – May 24 vs SF
  10. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.8 mph – May 24 vs SF
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.8 mph – June 2 vs CLE
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.8 mph – March 30 vs TOR
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.8 mph – June 18 vs NYM
    • Aroldis Chapman, Kansas City Royals – 103.8 mph – May 16 vs SDP
  11. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.7 mph – June 14 vs MIL
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.7 mph – June 18 vs NYM
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.7 mph – June 18 vs NYM
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.7 mph – June 19 vs WAS
  12. Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.6 mph – March 30 vs TOR
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.6 mph – May 29 vs HOU
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.6 mph – June 2 vs CLE
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.6 mph – June 2 vs CLE
  13. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.5 mph – May 15 vs LAD
    • Aroldis Chapman, Kansas City Royals – 103.5 mph – May 13 vs MIL
    • Aroldis Chapman, Kansas City Royals – 103.5 mph – April 4 vs TOR
    • Aroldis Chapman, Kansas City Royals – 103.5 mph – June 17 vs LAA
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.5 mph – June 17 vs DET
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.5 mph – June 18 vs NYM
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.5 mph – June 18 vs NYM
  14. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.4 mph – April 29 vs KC
    • Aroldis Chapman, Kansas City Royals – 103.4 mph – May 13 vs MIL
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.4 mph – May 28 vs CLE
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.4 mph – May 28 vs CLE
    • Felix Bautista, Baltimore Orioles – 103.4 mph – June 25 vs SEA
    • Aroldis Chapman, Texas Rangers – 103.4 mph – July 23 vs LAD
  15. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.3 mph – April 11 vs CWS
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.3 mph – April 29 vs LAD
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.3 mph – May 28 vs CLE
    • Felix Bautista, Baltimore Orioles – 103.3 mph – June 28 vs CIN
    • Abner Uribe, Milwaukee Brewers – 103.3 mph – Aug. 23 vs MIN
  16. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.2 mph – April 11 vs CWS
    • Ben Joyce, Los Angeles Angels – 103.2 mph – June 3 vs HOU
    • Ben Joyce, Los Angeles Angels – 103.2 mph – June 3 vs HOU
    • Camilio Doval, San Francisco Giants – 103.2 mph vs BAL
    • Jordan Hicks, Toronto Blue Jays – 103.2 mph vs CIN
  17. Gregory Santos, Chicago White Sox – 103.1 mph – April 22 vs TBR
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.1 mph – April 26 vs SF
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.1 mph – May 28 vs CLE
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.1 mph – April 26 vs SFG
    • Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 103.1 mph – April 29 vs KC
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.1 mph – April 29 vs LAD
    • Ryan Helsley, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.1 mph – May 12 vs BOS
    • Ben Joyce, Los Angeles Angels – 103.1 mph – June 3 vs HOU
    • Aroldis Chapman, Kansas City Royals – 103.1 mph – June 9 vs BAL
  18. Camilo Doval, San Francisco Giants – 103 mph – April 30 vs SD
    • Ben Joyce, Los Angeles Angels – 103 mph – June 3 vs HOU
    • Ben Joyce, Los Angeles Angels – 103 mph – June 7 vs CHC
    • Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals – 103 mph – June 7 vs TEX
    • Jordan Hicks, Toronto Blue Jays – 103 mph vs CIN

Fastest fastball average in MLB 2023

Courtesy of Baseball Savant, here are the pitchers with the fastest average fastball velocity this year, with data collected through the first month of the season.

  1. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins – 101.8 mph average
  2. Jordan Hicks, Toronto Blue Jays – 100.3 mph average
  3. Felix Bautista, Baltimore Orioles – 99.5 mph average
  4. Bobby Miller, Los Angeles Dodgers – 99.1 mph average
  5. Carlos Hernández, Kansas City Royals – 99.1 mph average
  6. Aroldis Chapman, Texas Rangers – 99.0 mph average
  7. Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland Guardians – 98.5 mph average
  8. Shintaro Fujinami, New York Mets – 98.4 mph average
  9. Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds – 98.3 mph average
  10. Reynaldo Lopez, Atlanta Braves – 98.2 mph average

Related: 2024 MLB Award predictions

What is the fastest pitch ever thrown in history?

On Sept. 24, 2010, Chapman made MLB history. Then a rookie relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, the fireballer unleashed a fastball clocked at 105.1 mph by PITCH/fx. MLB later bumped that up to 105.8 mph.

  • Fastest pitch ever in MLB: Aroldis Chapman, 105.8 mph

Technology plays an instrumental role in the rapid velocity of fastballs and the tracking speed. Major League Baseball implemented the PITCH/FX system in 2006, allowing it to more accurately track the movement and speed of pitches, and the software kept improving over the years.

Related: World Series odds 2024

While many MLB statistics date back to the 1900s, data specific to movement and speed only comes from modern technology. As a result, Aroldis Chapman is credited with throwing the fastest pitch in MLB history.

Chapman did it again the following year, a wild pitch that nearly hit All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen in the face.

History repeated itself a few years later, this time with the Yankees. Closing the game in the 9th inning, Chapman unleashed a 105.1 mph fastball against the Baltimore Orioles.

Aroldis Chapman’s fastball is widely regarded as the fastest pitch in MLB today. In fact, even after more than 575 career innings and countless pitches hitting 100-plus mph, he also holds the title this season.

Average MLB fastball velocity in 2022

MLB: Wild Card-San Diego Padres at New York Mets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the fastest pitchers in 2022 clocked over 103 mph, with multiple relievers and even a few starters hitting 102 mph with relative ease. Unsurprisingly, MLB set a record for the highest average fastball velocity ever in 2022.

  • MLB fastball velocity 2022 (average): 95.6 miles per hour

As detailed by Jeff Passan of ESPN, pitchers delivered blistering heat on the mound this season. Back in 2008, MLB recorded only three instances of pitchers in the playoffs who threw fastballs 100 mph or faster. In 2022, there were 164 pitchers hitting triple digits with their fastball.

Related: MLB stadium rankings

It’s all part of the revolution, movement and spin is paramount for off-speed pitches and velocity is treasured on fastballs. As we detail further below with data on the fastest MLB pitches in 2022, the numbers reflect how baseball changed.

Are pitchers throwing harder?

With technology becoming a greater resource for pitchers and more emphasis being placed on velocity, we are seeing players throwing harder than ever. As the graph below shows from Jeff Leach, the average fastball speed in MLB has skyrocketed since 2002 and it will likely exceed 95 mph next season.

For examples on this, we examine the fastest pitch from the MLB season, by each pitch type.

Fastest pitch in 2022

On September 22, St. Louis Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley threw the fastest pitch in MLB this season with a 104 mph fastball against San Diego Padres slugger Josh Bell. The 104 mph pitch struck out Bell looking, sealing the final out of the eighth inning. It also just surpassed Helsley’s teammate for the title of fastest MLB pitch in 2022.

Related: Best batting average ever

Here are the fastest pitches thrown thus far in 2022. We’ll update the tracker, velocity via Baseball Savant, every few weeks.

  1. Jordan Hicks, RP, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.7 mph on Aug. 19
  2. Jordan Hicks, RP, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.4 mph (twice) on July 2
  3. Jhoan Duran, RP, Minnesota Twins – 103.3 mph on Aug. 29
  4. Jhoan Duran, RP, Minnesota Twins103.3 mph on May 14
  5. Jordan Hicks, RP, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.2 mpg on Aug. 11
  6. Jordan Hicks, RP, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.2 mph on July 12
  7. Jhoan Duran, RP, Minnesota Twins – 103.1 mph on Aug. 19
  8. Jordan Hicks, RP, St. Louis Cardinals – 103.1 mph on July 12
  9. Felix Bautista, RP, Baltimore Orioles – 103.1 mph on Aug. 23
  10. Jhoan Duran, RP, Minnesota Twins103.1 mph on May 14

Check out a breakdown on the fastest pitch in 2021 further below.

Nolan Ryan and the history of velocity

fastest pitch ever, Nolan Ryan
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Fastball velocities have ticked up over time. Between pitchers tweaking their mechanics and throwing with greater effort thanks to lower pitch counts, the radar gun is hitting triple digits like never before. FanGraphs detailed in Apri how the average fastball velocity jumped from 91.7 mph in 2008 to 93.7 mph this season.

The measurement of fastball velocity has also changed in recent decades, as Baseball America explained in detail. MLB changed the point at which it tracked the baseball coming in. With a pitch losing velocity as it leaves a pitcher’s hand and gets closer to the plate, the specific moment the baseball is clocked matters.

It’s why Nolan Ryan isn’t officially credited for throwing the fastest pitch. When the Hall of Famer was unleashing heat from 1966-1993, his fastball was being tracked closer to the plate. He was still credited with hitting 100 mph multiple times, topping out at 100.9 mph.

The documentary Fastball examined velocities and how different speeds might look if modern technology was used. It ultimately suggested Ryan hit 108mph. But Pitching Ninja later broke down why it’s difficult to determine the accuracy of that suggestion and he compared Ryan’s fastest recorded pitch to Hicks and Chapman frame-by-frame.

We might begin to see teams place less emphasis on velocity. MLB could explore rules to reduce the number of pitchers allowed on a roster, resulting in starters going longer into games and thus using less max effort on individual pitches. With that said, there will still be plenty of arms who will blow past 100 mph.

Fastest pitch ever FAQ

Can you throw 110 MPH?

Scientists do not believe as of now the human body is capable of throwing a baseball 110 mph. While there are instances of MLB pitchers throwing a ball clocked at 110 mph. that happened with balls that weigh significantly less than the average baseball.

What is Randy Johnson’s fastest pitch?

At the peak of his career, Randy Johnson threw a 102 mph fastball. It was one of the fastest pitches ever at the time and he lit up the radar gun like no other in his era. However, 102 mph is now hit several times a month by a handful of relief pitchers and even a few starting pitchers.

How fast was Roger Clemens fastball?

While Roger Clemens is one of the hardest throwing pitchers in MLB history, his fastball peaked at 98 mph and typically sat around 92-96 mph towards the latter half of his career. By today’s standards, that’s average fastball velocity for a front-line starting pitcher.

What is the fastest pitch in history?

Aroldis Chapman’s 105. 8 mph fastball is the fastest pitch recorded in baseball history. On that same day, Chapman threw a 105.4 mph pitch, the third-fastest pitch ever.

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