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A Fast Fastball Isn't Enough Anymore

December 7, 2018

A Fast Fastball Isn't Enough Anymore

Baseball is a game where hitters and pitchers are constantly neck-on-neck with each other to find higher ground and keep it static there. In the past, the successes of either to find an edge over each other have been measured more in decades than in years.  If you are into online betting with borgata live betting, you would know though that the fastball pitches today aren’t like how it was ten years back.

If we talk about this decade, it is the pitchers who have been able to have it in their side, at least partly. And they have achieved so by throwing baseballs at a very high speed. However, things are changing now that the hitters have had the higher ground in the past few seasons. It is for us to see whether the factor working behind it was the ball itself or something else. But what we know for sure is that those super fast pitches seem to be working out well for the hitters.


How Are Fastball Pitches Becoming Different?


Pitches nowadays are increasingly becoming 95-plus mph, and the hitters of the present date seem to be adapting to them marvellously. If we were to believe ESPN’s stats, 110,529 fastballs thrown at a pace of 95 mph or faster have been directed towards hitters. That is a leap of 124 percent from just seven years back when in 2011 hitters didn’t see as many fastballs. But that isn’t doing much for the returns as expeditious heaters become the norm.

Back in 2017, there was a hike of 80 points in plate appearances which were called on a 95-plus mph fastball wherein the batters’ percentage against them stood at 734.  This is to say that the hitters have adapted to fastballs of 95-plus mph by on-base slugging percentage higher than what it  was just two years back in 2016.

However, this development is but one-sided. To think that these cheetah-like hitters cannot handle slow-pace balls would be a mistake as MLB players are faring well on slower fastballs as well. Two thousand seventeen saw their performance to be outstanding for 95-plus mph paced fastballs midrange fastballs as well as fastballs under 92. It seems like hitters have been on an absolute roll no matter which paced fastball it is.

According to wOBA, J.D. Martinez, who now belongs to the Red Sox is the reigning king of hitting these fireballs. Close to follow is The Clubs’ Anthony Rizzo among active players on wOBA’s list. Despite all of this, some pitchers still believe that these fast fastballs still offset a few hitters.


While the fans wondered why the Rays gave up on Corey Dickerson during this spring, the fact that in 2016 and 2017, the then-Pirate experienced one of the biggest drops in production with his OPS falling by 475 points against fastballs at a pace of 94 and down says enough. This, followed by Trevor Story and Chris Carter’s performances show that even though fast fastballs may not be the best ruling tactic for pitchers, it surely does have some residual effect on players.