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Thread: how fast do MLB infielders throw?

  1. #1

    how fast do MLB infielders throw?

    Has anyone ever seen data on this? How hard do they throw (if they really go for it in a tight play)?

    I'm not talking about how hard they "could throw" from a mound but how hard they throw on real plays to first base. looks pretty damn hard to me.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  2. #2
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    Wilson Valdez has a good arm from the infield. When he took the mound his fastball "sat" between 86-89.
    See ball, hit ball.

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    Since they can move towards first base and get quite a bit of momentum, I would think that a SS with a great arm (like Tulowitzki) easily throws 95+. It wouldn't surprise me if he could hit 105. For the average SS, I'd say 80 to 90.

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    Wade Boggs . . . . .fastball was clocked at 74 mph.

    http://www.oddball-mall.com/knuckleball/quotes.htm

  5. #5
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    Not sure about any MLB player, but you can go to "Perfect Game" Showcase results (pick the "National" events rather than "Regional" ones) and if you click through some of the IF players' results, you'll find the timed infield throws from some of the best HS kids in the nation.

    Many/most will be 86+ and up. Here's one 2012 "grad" at 94 mph from short . . . pretty amazing stuff from some of these youngsters.
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

  6. #6
    Beltre must have crazy velocity. That guy can throw a bullet flat footed without stride.
    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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    I can assure you Tulowitzki isn't throwing 105 over to first base. Called in to pitch Tiger utility player Don Kelly's fastball was clocked at 86.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieBrinkman'sGlove View Post
    I can assure you Tulowitzki isn't throwing 105 over to first base. Called in to pitch Tiger utility player Don Kelly's fastball was clocked at 86.
    That doesn't mean much. Does he have a cannon like Tulowitzki? He likely wasn't trying to throw as hard as he could. Plus, he was throwing from a mound. If you wanted to throw the fastest, would you pitch from a mound, or get a running start and throw from somewhere else on the field? I would think that throwing from the field could add 8-10 mph.

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    I attended Mississipi State's baseball camp a couple of times back around 1990/91. There was a SS there from Texas (we all called him "Tex"), who wasn't very big, but had a rifle for an arm - I'm talking jaw-dropping, on-a-string type throws from the 6 hole. Finally, some of the MSU coaches put a gun on him: 90-92 mph to first base.

    They asked if he had ever pitched, and he hadn't. They put him on the mound, and he couldn't duplicate it. Mid- to upper 80's was all he could muster while pitching.

    I will say that you don't see arms like his (in the field) every day. Tex threw harder than most Div 1 and MiLB infielders that I have seen. However, I think he would have been pretty average among the MLB's best. Based on that, I'd guess that the best MLBer's hit the mid 90's.

    On the other hand, the thing that I notice on MLB infielders is how quickly they RELEASE the ball. Most of those guys don't throw much harder than even some low-level college players. Where they are extraordinary is how little time it takes between when the ball hits their glove until it is on the way to first base.

  10. #10
    I would say a good percentage of MLB infielders on the right side (SS, 3b) have 90 mph+ if they need it.

  11. #11
    I seem to remember a comment on the back of a Derek Jeter baseball card from when he was still a prospect in the minor leagues stating that he could throw "90+ mph fastballs to first base", or something like that. It's not really that amazing when you consider the multi-step running start

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Switch_Hitter_29 View Post
    I would say a good percentage of MLB infielders on the right side (SS, 3b) have 90 mph+ if they need it.
    Left side. And I think we would all be surprised at how low the number actually is in the MLB.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ndd View Post
    Left side. And I think we would all be surprised at how low the number actually is in the MLB.
    I would think so too. Usually if a position player pitches an inning in an extra inning game he will throw 80s or sometimes even high 70s and he is usually one of the better arms on the field in his team.

    I'm sure that there are position players who can throw 90+ but I would asume that the average is closer to 80 than to 90. If you throw 85 as an infielder you have a great arm.

    Most guys that can throw 90+ are made to pitch.

    Good arms are rare, the average MLB fastball is only 91 or so. You have to hit really well to be not put on the mound with a good arm (well even then you will pitch in HS because in HS the pitcher hits and still can be put in the field if he doesn't pitch).

    Of course if you are a hamilton or griffey type of prospect would likely be made a position player despite the arm but I'm sure even a guy like mauer or jeter would have never become a position player if he could throw 95. pitching is just the key in baseball and it's hard to not become a pitcher if you can throw a little.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

  14. #14
    Thanks for the correction. However, 90 mph is pretty standard for the left side at the MLB level. A 90 mph arm would be a plus tool for an infielder. Plus plus, well above avg, or an "80" tool would probably be in the 95 range. Avg would probably be mid 80's. Fringe or below average would be 80-83.

    When you equate this to pitching remember, its much easier to maintain velocity from a crow hop, and when a position player pitches, they're trying to throw strikes, not gas people up.

    If you want to get an idea, look at perfect game profiles of current MLB players. You will see plenty of 90 mph throws from infielders.

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    I just did a Tulowitzki 4-6-3 double play. Reasonable numbers put him around 80-85 mph on the turn. Clean feed, not a plus runner, 75-80 ft in 19-20 frames of 30 fps video. (118 ft/second - 126 ft/sec) Not an exact science, but reasonable. Chop off another frame and it could be 88. Definitely not 105.

    http://www.kylesconverter.com/speed-...miles-per-hour


    We have a D1 SS who has been as high as 92 off the mound. We have a 3B going to a D1 next year who can break 90 and have a SS going to a good D2 next year who's max velocity was 86 last time we tested. I played with a kid in summer ball after my freshman year of college who was 96-97 from RF. Couldn't locate it on the mound but relays were interesting. Talk about some float...

    The D1 SS was/is top tier defensively, the 3B has a plus bat and the D2 SS is a good all-around athlete. All have logged innings on the mound and all have good reasons not to be there full-time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    I just did a Tulowitzki 4-6-3 double play. Reasonable numbers put him around 80-85 mph on the turn. Clean feed, not a plus runner, 75-80 ft in 19-20 frames of 30 fps video. (118 ft/second - 126 ft/sec) Not an exact science, but reasonable. Chop off another frame and it could be 88. Definitely not 105.
    When I said "it wouldn't surprise me if he could hit 105", I didn't mean 105 on an ordinary play, and I certainly didn't mean 105 on a double play. Ideally, it would be a play where he charges a ball a little to his left (and thus has to move towards 1st base) and then throws it as hard as he can after a "running start", like a hard-charging center-fielder trying to throw a runner out at the plate. Infielders rarely do this.

    Tulowitzki made a throw recently that was quite eye-popping to me. If he can't throw 100 mph (on an ideal throw), I'd be shocked.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Tewks View Post
    I just did a Tulowitzki 4-6-3 double play. Reasonable numbers put him around 80-85 mph on the turn. Clean feed, not a plus runner, 75-80 ft in 19-20 frames of 30 fps video. (118 ft/second - 126 ft/sec) Not an exact science, but reasonable. Chop off another frame and it could be 88. Definitely not 105.

    http://www.kylesconverter.com/speed-...miles-per-hour


    We have a D1 SS who has been as high as 92 off the mound. We have a 3B going to a D1 next year who can break 90 and have a SS going to a good D2 next year who's max velocity was 86 last time we tested. I played with a kid in summer ball after my freshman year of college who was 96-97 from RF. Couldn't locate it on the mound but relays were interesting. Talk about some float...

    The D1 SS was/is top tier defensively, the 3B has a plus bat and the D2 SS is a good all-around athlete. All have logged innings on the mound and all have good reasons not to be there full-time.
    If you're getting velocity by calculating distance over time on video you are getting average velocity. Radar gun velocity is right out of the hand. The ball slows down the entire time its in the air due to resistance. A pitchers fastball slows down by about 10 mph from the time it leaves his hand till it reaches the plate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch_Hitter_29 View Post
    If you're getting velocity by calculating distance over time on video you are getting average velocity. Radar gun velocity is right out of the hand. The ball slows down the entire time its in the air due to resistance. A pitchers fastball slows down by about 10 mph from the time it leaves his hand till it reaches the plate.
    Good point. Kyle's converter doesn't have the roll feature on it. Avg 85... Out of hand estimation... 92-93?

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