MLB Fastballs Continue Getting Faster
Throwing programs to increase velocity are vital to pitchers who want to make it big. The average fastball in Major League Baseball has increased nearly 4 miles per hour in the past 20 years. A 95 mph fastball has become the standard.
In order to make it to the big leagues, pitchers need to innovate their training when it comes to throwing heat. Velocity is the game now, and throwing programs to increase velocity is vital to staying in the game. As pitchers keep pushing themselves toward excellence, fastballs keep getting faster. Catching a glimpse at a 100 mph ball is not as rare as it used to be.
Velocity is the main driver of baseball these days. Increasing velocity has become an obsession for players and coaches. If a pitcher can throw a decent fastball, they have the power in a game. Coming up, we will dive deeper into the top two reasons why velocity-focused throwing programs are important:
- Average fastball velocity keeps increasing
- Velocity is currently the main driver of baseball
Fastballs Aren’t Slowing Down Anytime Soon
As pitchers work to improve their throws, they are making sure the fastball truly lives up to its name. There’s no going backward in baseball.Take New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom for example. Every game deGrom plays in, you can count on seeing him dish out a handful of three-digit-mph pitches.
So far during the 2021 season, deGrom has achieved an average fastball velocity of 99.1 mph, the second-highest in the MLB (as of early June). Recently, he threw 10 straight triple-digit heaters to open the May 31 Mets game at the Arizona Diamondbacks. With this game, he became the first pitcher in pitch-tracking history (since 2008) to average over 100 mph for his fastball in an MLB game, according to MLB.com’s Andrew Simon.
Furthermore, deGrom’s fastballs are likely not slowing down anytime soon. But, deGrom wasn’t always throwing a 100-mph fastball, and he certainly wasn’t when he first stepped onto an MLB field. From 2016 up to now, deGrom has increased his average fastball velocity by more than 5 mph. That’s an increase of approximately 1 mph per year!
Although deGrom has contributed part of this drastic increase in velocity to a shift in his mindset due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it also couldn’t have been possible without training. Aside from the Superman-like abilities of Jacob deGrom, increasing fastball velocity has been a greater trend in the MLB for years. At the start of the 2021 season, the average fastball velocity was higher than it had ever been in April before. Mid-April, the MLB average fastball velocity was 92.7 mph, which was the average fastball velocity in June 2019, according to FanGraphs.
Fastball velocities typically peak mid-season then plateau for the rest of the season. At the very beginning of this year’s season, pitchers were already out-throwing their peak average velocity from the last normal season in 2019 (we can all conclude that 2020 didn’t count, right?)
Velocity has been identified as a need now. A pitcher must be able to throw a decent fastball and be constantly improving their velocity or they’re not gonna cut it. The standard for fastballs keeps getting higher and higher. In the world of baseball where blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fastballs are customary, throwing programs to increase velocity are crucial to a pitcher’s development.
Velocity Is Driving Baseball
As pitchers, who are the central figures of the game, obsess over velocity, baseball becomes a game of velocity. With such an emphasis on speed, pitchers hold most of the power on the field.The faster a pitcher can throw a fastball, the harder it makes the hitter’s job. To put it in perspective, WIRED Magazine says it takes less than 400 milliseconds for a 100-mph fastball to get to home plate. Swinging the bat takes about 150 milliseconds. That means that the batter has less than a quarter of a second to spot the pitch and plan their swing.
As pitchers increase their average fastball velocity, they force batters to hone in on their swinging skills. The faster the pitch, the quicker a hitter must decide whether to swing and where and when to swing. Although 100-mph fastballs have become more popular, they are still pretty rare, which means that they are also rarely thrown during hitters’ practices. Batters are not likely to practice with many three-digit-mph fastballs at batting practice. This lack of practice for batters gives pitchers with fast fastballs an advantage.
On top of that, unless you have Jacob deGrom leading batting practices, hitters mostly don’t have the resources to practice with fastballs over 100 mph. Until technology and batting programs catch up, pitching will continue to lead the sport. Baseball’s obsession with velocity has altered how the sport is played. For example, in the 2018 MLB season, for the first time, there were more strikeouts than hits.
As a pitcher, you want to hold onto this power to strike out players and even change the game itself. Investing in a throwing program to increase velocity will help you get there.
Why Ryan Weiss?
Why choose Ryan Weiss’ throwing program?
For starters, Ryan Weiss has professional experience in increasing his fastball velocity. So far in 2021, he’s averaged 94 mph with his fastball and topped out at 97 mph. In 2019, his average fastball velocity was 91 mph.
Adding 3 mph to his average heater within 2 years was no easy feat. Weiss knows how to put in the work to see improvements and the numbers show it. He’s experienced in facing challenges head-on and rising above adversity. Enrolling in Ryan Weiss’ 3-month throwing program will give you a diverse training program to help increase your velocity and consistency. Plus -- he builds the program custom to you and based on your areas that need improvement.
The throwing program will cover:
Understanding your specific weaknesses
Building a throwing schedule
The anatomy of throwing
Important keywords to understand
Ryan Weiss’ throwing program will help guide you towards success and reach the high standard for fastballs the MLB has now set. Fastballs will keep getting faster, so you better catch up with them!
Be sure to check out Ryan Weiss's coaching program and his other training programs.