How Fast The Average Pitcher Pitches By Age
Do you ever wonder how fast you should be throwing? If you happen to be one of those people, read on to learn more about where your velocity falls in your age group!
How Velocity Can Impact You At A Young Age
Before we get into where velocity falls in each age group, let’s take a look at how velocity can impact you at a young age. Velocity is an extremely key facet of pitching that should not be left unnoticed.
A lot of pitchers attempt to attain a high velocity, and the reality is that college and MLB scouts look very closely at a pitcher’s fastball velocity. Coaches as young as the Little League age appear to put a ton of importance on fastball velocity and how hard a pitcher can throw.
Pitch velocity is most strongly related to age, height, separation of the hips and shoulders, and stride length. As you get older and grow more, naturally you get stronger and therefore throw at a higher speed than you did when you were younger.
Also, a lot of pitching coaches talk about hip and shoulder separation and how it connects to stride length. Hip and shoulder separation is basically hip and pelvis rotation taking place through a stable trunk (lumbar spine; lower part of the back) and a mobile t-spine. The hips have to be able to move enough to rotate the pelvis while both feet are placed on the ground; the trunk has to be almost solid enough to hold secure up against the torque that is then being produced between the pelvis and the t-spine, and the t-spine has to have great rotational strength to hold this stance.
Furthermore, strength through the hips and t-spine lets you have sufficient trunk tilt and stride length. Needless to say, there are no effective amount of any of these mechanical characteristics, but it still rings true that without having the necessary mobility, no amount of these mechanics can be accomplished no matter how old you are.
10 Years Old And Younger
The average fastball velocity for pitchers 10 years old and younger is between 40-50 mph. The average change-up speed for this age group is about 10 mph slower, making the velocity between 30-40 mph.
11 And 12-Year-Olds
Pitchers in this age range are playing in the Majors division in Little League. The average fastball is between 50-60 mph. Although at this age the players may begin to reach puberty, and for that reason, it is not unusual to see a pitcher throwing around 70 mph. The changeup velocity at this age is generally between 40-50 mph.
13 And 14-Year-Olds
The pitchers in the 13 and 14-year-old age range can be deeply involved in travel baseball or wrapping up their Little League experience. An average fastball from this age range is anywhere from 55 mph (on the low side) to 75 mph. A pitcher throwing 75 mph is better than most people for this age, and their fastball is at a high school quality. An average changeup for this age is approximately around the 50-60 mph mark.
A high school pitcher can be anywhere from 14 to 18 years of age. This plays a part in figuring out an average fastball velocity, but, keep in mind that the majority of high schools have a Freshmen, Sophomore, and Varsity program to split up the big age gap. Fo the most part, an average varsity high school fastball is between 75-85 mph, even though a lot of good Varsity pitchers will be finding out that they can pitch in the higher 80s and low 90 range. The Freshmen pitchers will generally be throwing at a similar speed to the 13 and 14-year-olds, and the Sophomores will be situated somewhere in the middle. A good changeup for a high school pitcher is a -10 to -15 mph drop, so anywhere from 60-75 mph is usual.
College And Further On
As soon as a pitcher finishes high school, they have most likely attained their highest fastball velocity, even though a few small gains are certainly achievable. The average fastball for these senior-level pitchers is 90 mph, but there will always be a few guys who can light up the radar gun close to 100 mph. At the lower levels of college baseball, there will still be guys in the low to mid-80s. Changeups for this group have to be at around a 15 mph drop, causing the velocity to be close to the higher 70s.
If your fastball velocity is not up to standard with your age range, do not lose your confidence! Likely, you are still growing, and your velocity might keep on shooting up. These numbers are just a rough calculation, and there are no set rules regarding how hard you have to throw. So with all that being said, keep working diligently at your game, and just use these numbers as a recommendation.