Not too long ago, the hardest throwers in the sport were reserved for bullpen roles. Fast forward to the 2018 season and that is no longer the case. Some of the hardest throwers in baseball have taken on starting roles on the mound and found incredible success. Below is a list featuring the hardest throwing starting pitchers along with their statistics thus far in 2018.
1. Luis Severino, New York Yankees (97.8 mph – Four Seam Fastball)
The Yankee ace has emerged in 2018 as one of the elite pitchers in baseball. Severino’s 97.8 mile per hour fastball has certainly helped him on his way to a 10.4 k/9 in 2018. Leading the Major Leagues with 14 wins, the 24 year old Luis Severino is certainly one of the favorites to win the American League Cy Young Award.
2. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets (97.6 mph – Four Seam Fastball)
Although Noah Syndergaard averaged a 98.6 mile per hour fastball in 2017, he remains one of the hardest throwing starting pitchers in 2018 with a 97.6 mile per hour four-seam fastball. Syndergaard has posted a 10.6 k/9 and was well on his way to another all-star season before suffering a finger injury. It will be interesting to see how Syndergaard bounces back from this injury in the second half of the season.
3. Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves (96.9 mph – Two Seam Fastball)
After a shaky 2017 season, hard throwing Mike Foltynewicz has been lighting up the radar gun and putting up elite numbers in 2018. A 96.9 mile per hour two-seam fastball has helped guide ‘Folty’ to an impressive 2.37 ERA and 10.8 k/9. The 26 year old has been vital to the first place Braves success thus far in 2018 and will need to continue to perform at a high level if they hope to make a deep playoff run.
4. Nathan Eovaldi, Tampa Bay Rays (96.9 mph – Four Seam Fastball)
Nathan Eovaldi has yet to put together a solid MLB season. Over the course of his last few starts however, Eovaldi has logged a couple dominant performances. For a few years now he has been near the top of the list of hardest throwing pitchers in the league. Eovaldi will remain a name to keep an eye on as the 28 year old will seemingly continue to earn opportunities due to his elite stuff.
5. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (96.7 mph – Four Seam Fastball)
Shohei Ohtani is a 23 year old phenom from Japan who, prior to his season ending UCL injury, was lighting up the radar gun on top of performing exceptionally at the plate. His 96.7 mile per hour average fastball has helped him stifle opposing hitters and put up strong strikeout numbers (11.2 k/9). His UCL injury has raised concerns over whether or not the two way star will have a future on the mound or focus solely on hitting.