The 2009 100+ MPH Class

According to, these pitchers all threw over 100 mph in 2009:

102.7 (138), Joel Zumaya (Tigers), 6/30/2009, Oakland Coliseum

102.6 (39), Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers), 7/3/2009, PETCO Park

102.2 (16), Brian Wilson (Giants), 9/5/2009, Miller Park

101.3 (12), Daniel Bard (Red Sox), 7/30/2009, Fenway Park

101.1 (14), Neftali Feliz (Rangers), 8/7/2009, Angel Stadium Anaheim

101.0 (15), Justin Verlander (Tigers), 9/19/2009, Metrodome

Out of the six on the 101-plus list, three (Zumaya, Wilson, and Feliz) had Tommy John surgery in 2012.

Only Verlander still throws 100+.

In Broxton’s last appearance on September 4, 2012, he was throwing 97.1 mph.

Daniel Bard is a completely different pitcher than he was in 2009. His fastball has topped out at 93.9 in 2012, and that was a home run pitch he gave up on September 1.

This story written in June 2011 showed that Bard was hitting 98 mph last season.

In 2009, Bard averaged 99.69, and topped out at 101.3.

Three years later he is down to an average of 92.41, with that home run being his fastest pitch.

Across the board, many power pitchers of today throw at a lower velocity than they did a few years ago.

Was it the PED’s used a short time ago, or did the arm wear down? Or is it a flaw in their pitching motion?

Verlander is still able to throw over 100 in the eighth or ninth inning, as a starter, while the rest of the old 100 mph group pitched as relievers.

By far, he is the Nolan Ryan of this baseball generation.

Each time he pitches we truly are seeing what Walter Johnson once said about Smoky Joe Wood in 1912. “Ain’t no man alive that throws harder than (Justin Verlander)”.

About Rick Swanson 91 Articles
Rick Swanson has been an online feature writer for numerous websites since 2005. He was also a speaker at Boston SABR meetings from 2007-2009. Rick has created three statistics for baseball.... Reaction over Range: A new way to measure defense. Divide reaction time of any play, by the range distance. Umpire Strikezone Score: Take the total number of correct pitches called, divided by the total number of pitches called. Power Pitching: Add WHIP plus ERA and subtract the number of strikeouts per inning. Rick's current title is Consultant, Red Sox and Fenway Park History. In 2007, he was nominated for President of Red Sox Nation by Red Sox team president, Larry Lucchino. You can email Rick here: rickswanson AT cox DOT net


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