How Fast Was The Fastest Baseball Pitch?

The answer might surprise you. The fastest baseball pitch was clocked at 105.1 miles per hour. But that’s not the only thing that makes this record so impressive.


The following is a list of the top 10 fastest recorded pitches in Major League Baseball history. The pitching speeds listed are the highest verified speeds ever recorded by the PITCHf/x system, which has been tracking MLB pitching speeds since 2007.

1. Aroldis Chapman – 105.1 MPH
2. Joel Zumaya – 102.9 MPH
3. Jordan Walden – 102.6 MPH
4. Arquimedes Caminero – 102.4 MPH
5. Mark Melancon – 102.2 MPH
6. Craig Kimbrel – 101.9 MPH
7. Hector Neris – 101.7 MPH
8. Kenley Jansen – 101.3 MPH
9. Trevor Rosenthal – 100.9 MPH
10 Roberto Osuna – 100 Maux

Aroldis Chapman’s Record-Setting Pitch

On September 24, 2010, Aroldis Chapman, then a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, threw a fastball that was clocked at 105.1 miles per hour. This is believed to be the fastest pitch ever thrown in Major League Baseball.

The Evolution of Fastest Pitches

At the turn of the 20th century, the fastest pitchers topped out in the mid-80s. One hundred years later, the best flamethrowers can hit speeds of 105 mph and above. So, how did we get here? And just how fast was the fastest baseball pitch ever recorded?

The answer to the latter question is complicated by a number of factors. First and foremost, there is no standardized method for measuring pitch speed. While today’s pitchers are routinely clocked with high-tech radar guns, that technology was not available for much of baseball history. For older games, we have to rely on eyewitness accounts and hand-held stopwatches.

Even when radar guns became commonplace in MLB stadiums, there was (and still is) a wide variance in how those readings are reported. Some teams report the “official” speed of a pitch as recorded by their in-house radar gun, while others will go with the more widely accepted reading from MLB’s official Statcast system. And then there are those rare occasions when different media outlets will report conflicting speeds for the same pitch.

Why Do Pitchers Throw So Fast?

There are a number of reasons why pitchers throw so fast. One is simply that it’sEffective. A fastball is more difficult to hit than a slower pitch, and so by throwing one, a pitcher increase his chances of getting the batter out.

Another reason is that it’s exciting. Fastballs are thrilling to watch, and so by throwing one, a pitcher can get the crowd pumped up and behind him.

Finally, it’s worth noting that fastballs are much easier to control than slower pitches. This is important because it means that pitchers can more easily locate their pitches where they want them – in the strike zone – and thus avoid walks (which are very costly).

How Does Pitch Velocity Affect Performance?

The answer to this question may surprise you. It turns out that the velocity of a pitch does not have a large impact on performance. In fact, the impact of velocity on performance is so small that it is not even worth considering when making decisions about pitch selection.

So, if velocity doesn’t matter, what does? The answer is spin rate. The higher the spin rate, the more effective a pitch will be. This is because spin rate determines the amount of movement that a pitch will have. A pitch with high spin rate will move more than a pitch with low spin rate.

This explains why some pitchers who do not throw particularly hard can still be very effective. They are able to generate high spin rates, which results in pitches that move a lot and are difficult to hit.


In conclusion, the fastest baseball pitch ever recorded was 161 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour). This was achieved by Aroldis Chapman, a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, in 2010. The previous record holder was Joel Zumaya, who pitched for the Detroit Tigers, and reached 158 kilometers per hour (98 miles per hour) in 2005.

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