Hundreds of pitchers have touched 100 mph or more; others have shown top curveballs, and some have excelled on the strength of their changeups.
No one had Maddux’s control and command of the strike zone.
He could place the ball wherever he wanted, and that allowed him to succeed and carve out a Hall of Fame career without elite fastball velocity.
He has more starts with no walks than anybody else in the history of MLB.
“Greg Maddux had 236 starts in which he didn’t walk a single batter. It’s the all-time record and it’s not even close. Greg Maddux, 236; Robin Roberts, 168; Pete Alexander, 167; Christy Mathewson, 161; David Wells, 149; Babe Adams, 147; Jim Kaat, 144,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Greg Maddux had 236 starts in which he didn't walk a single batter. It's the all-time record and it's not even close.
Greg Maddux, 236
Robin Roberts, 168
Pete Alexander, 167
Christy Mathewson, 161
David Wells, 149
Babe Adams, 147
Jim Kaat, 144
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) January 4, 2023
He made 740 starts in his MLB career, and he didn’t give away any bases on balls in 236 of them.
That’s a really impressive achievement, as the second-ranked pitcher in the stat category checked in at 168.
With his impeccable command, Maddux was able to finish his career with an impressive 3.16 ERA and 116.7 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR.
He won 355 games and lost just 227.
His peak, from 1992 to 1998, was absolutely impressive, and his worst season during that timeframe saw him finish with a 2.72 ERA.
He was a true beast of the mound and showed that while velocity is important, command is also crucial to consistently get outs at the MLB level.
That record of his will probably never be broken.