In MLB, high velocity is correlated to pitching success: that’s not a secret because a faster pitch will give the batter less time to react and put a good swing on it.
As long as these pitches are not thrown middle-middle, 100-mph+ offerings will likely help pitchers get more outs and, yes, more strikeouts too.
According to MLB stats expert Sarah Langs, the 2022 postseason has seen a record number of pitches at 100 mph or more, and we haven’t even played the World Series yet.
“There have been 160 pitches thrown this postseason at 100.0+ mph: that’s the most in a single postseason under pitch tracking (2008), surpassing 2016 (158). 1.6% of pitches have been 100.0+ mph, which would be the highest rate in that span, surpassing 1.5% in ’16,” she tweeted.
there have been 160 pitches thrown this postseason at 100.0+ mph
that's the most in a single postseason under pitch tracking (2008), surpassing 2016 (158)
1.6% of pitches have been 100.0+ mph, which would be the highest rate in that span, surpassing 1.5% in '16
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 24, 2022
With the World Series boasting two hard-throwing teams, it’s safe to say that 1.6% of pitches at 100 mph or more is safe.
A High-Octane World Series
The Philadelphia Phillies have Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, and other high-octane pitchers, while the Houston Astros have Justin Verlander, Ryne Stanek, Bryan Abreu, and others capable of approaching or reaching the vaunted century mark.
Analytics and a better understanding of pitching mechanics have enabled pitchers to unlock more and more velocity year after year.
That explains why New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, for example, throws harder each year even though he is on the wrong side of 30.
We are in the 100-mph fastball era, in which throwing a pitch that fast is customary.
15 or 20 years ago, however, it was a rarity and was considered a huge asset.
Nowadays, it’s more like a necessity: pitchers know that they need velo to consistently retire hitters.
It’s not the only way, but it’s definitely the safest.