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High School Pitching Velocity

 
August 7, 2006 5:05 PM

I need some feedback here. What would be considered a good average fastball for a 15 year old to throw? I am not talking the phenom studs, I am talking about the good serviceable pitchers. The 2nd and 3rd guys in the rotation. Not only the 15s but also the 16s 17s and 18s.
 
 
 
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August 7, 2006 6:05 PM

15 yrs- 65-70
16 yrs- 70-75
17 yrs- 80
18 yrs- mid 80's

That would be the average IMO. Now the studs would be 5-10 mph more probably.
 
 
 
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August 7, 2006 7:25 PM

Not to sound rude, but in my opinion, Bustamove is way off. I would think it would be more like..

15 yrs-70
16 yrs-74
17 yrs-77
18 yrs-80

I know you're going to look at this and say you can't give one exact number but just give or take a couple mph and that's average or maybe slightly above average.
 
 
 
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August 7, 2006 8:10 PM

nd, If I'm way off then how come our numbers are almost similar?
 
 
 
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August 7, 2006 8:20 PM

quote:
Originally posted by PoteetHSbaseballfan:
I need some feedback here. What would be considered a good average fastball for a 15 year old to throw? I am not talking the phenom studs, I am talking about the good serviceable pitchers. The 2nd and 3rd guys in the rotation. Not only the 15s but also the 16s 17s and 18s.


A good one would be one that the hitters swing and miss at.

Those are the best kind. IMO.

Wink
 
Last edited by itsinthegame August 7, 2006 8:20 PM
 
 
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August 7, 2006 10:35 PM

ND, I have nothing to base this on, but I'd agree with your assessment.

Mid 80s is probably a bit swift. There are plenty of guys doing it, but IMO there are more throwing in the lower 80s.
 
 
 
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August 8, 2006 1:25 AM

high school average id say is like 75-78 for varsity. 65-75 for jv and 60-75 for frosh soph
 
 
 
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August 8, 2006 10:21 AM

Bustamove, I agree, you're not way off. Sorry, my mistake. I think your velocity for an 18 year old is way off though. 85 is not average, more like 80. I'm 16 and throw mid 70's, although I don't pitch anymore. This was considered average/slightly above average. I've seen varsity games where the pitcher was clocked in the low 80's and he seemed to be throwing with above average velocity compared to other kids I've seen.
 
 
 
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August 8, 2006 3:56 PM

Maybe our high school league is a strong league, however, we have three pitcherson our high school team who throw mid 80's to low 90's. We also have a number of other pitchers in our league who throw mid 80's and above. These readings are by college and pro scouts.
 
 
 
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August 8, 2006 4:45 PM

I believe you. Some leagues are stronger than others, though. You may be in a 6-A league, others in single A.

Peak MPH's on our team last spring ran top to bottom as follows:

1. 92-So.
2. 85-Jr.
3. 83-So./lefty
4. 80-Jr.
5. 78-Fr./lefty

We had another 87-88 guy, junior last year, but he transferred. Next spring we'll have to face him. At other schools, we regularly see one guy who hits 91, another who hits 89, another who hits 88. But once you get past each team's top guy, it drops off quite a bit. You'll see lots of guys who top out around 82, and others who throw junk junk and more junk and couldn't care less about the RADAR guns! So overall, I think Busta's numbers are about right for what we see.
 
Last edited by Midlo Dad August 8, 2006 4:45 PM
 
 
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August 8, 2006 6:06 PM

Its great to see an occasional "blazer" out on the mound in high school. But they are usually few and far between.

I tend to watch how fast the ball comes back the other way when evaluating the effectiveness of a pitcher.

It is impressive when you see a high school kid hit 90 mph - unless of course - the ball leaves the park at 110 mph.

Wink
 
 
 
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August 8, 2006 9:54 PM

Guys gotta remember its not what league your in..it's the average. Our league is also way above average. We have guys hitting 90 and plenty in the 80's.
 
 
 
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August 9, 2006 4:47 PM

I think where you are plays a HUGE role in pitching velocity. My school's not in a great league, but it's not a bad one either. All 3 starting pitchers were around 80, give or take a couple mph. There were a couple kids I saw play that threw a little harder, but not much. There were also kids that didn't throw as hard.
 
 
 
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August 12, 2006 10:19 AM

quote:
Not to sound rude, but in my opinion, Bustamove is way off. I would think it would be more like..

15 yrs-70
16 yrs-74
17 yrs-77
18 yrs-80


That IS about right... maybe even high This topic comes up all the time. Everyone forgets the huge numbers of awful baseball programs and small rural or private schools. I've seen high 50s in freshmen games and upper 60s in varsity, even at large succesful programs. The upper 60s guy was VERY effective, btw.

Many pitchers are slow, but they tend to pitch less often than the 80+ mph guys. So are you talking about the average top out speed a batter will face, or the top out speed of all the pitchers including those rotting on the bench?

Mid-80s. No way. Most teams we see have NO ONE who can hit 85. And it seems that just about every team has one fairly worthless fastballer who can't throw strikes.

I should add that I've seen some pretty speedy pitchers who show their max speed only a few times in a game, relying instead on movement and deception.
 
 
 
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August 12, 2006 11:07 AM

I just scoped some 14YOs on a travel team and they maxed at 64mph.
 
 
 
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August 12, 2006 11:40 AM

For the last few years we have been the second best small school (1A) in Maryland. Last year we had a senior throwing upper 80's a Junior throwing mid 80's a two Seniors throwing mid 80's and two Juniors throwing upper 70's maybe 80.

I am going to be a Junior this year and I top out around 75 and I am one of the slower ones.
 
 
 
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August 12, 2006 5:14 PM

quote:
15 yrs-70
16 yrs-74
17 yrs-77
18 yrs-80


I'll throw in my estimates:
15 yrs-68
16 yrs-73
17 yrs-77
18 yrs-79

Perfect Game insists that most kids nearly top out around age 17 with very little speed increase afterward.

Some of the increase is due to slower kids dropping out of the sport,

And some of the best pitchers may lose speed their senior year due to wear and tear of pitching 50+ innings.
 
 
 
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August 14, 2006 8:27 AM

here is my sons velocity from age 10 (he was above avg)


10-56mph
11-63mph
12-68mph
13-74mph
14-80mph
15-84mph frosh
16-87mph soph
his goal is to hit 90 as a jr.
we are a 3a school no one else on the team can break 80 most schools around here the top pitchers throw mid to low 80s at best everone else upper 70s.
 
 
 
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August 14, 2006 8:41 AM

ghoti, ur son is right around what i throw, I am 16 (rising JR) and I throw 86, I went to a local showcase for some of the small schools in the area and most kids were around 79-80 and they were rising seniors (17 yrs old) and the coach said there were 2 or 3 kids throwing 85+ and it was only JRs and SRs at the showcase.
 
 
 
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August 14, 2006 8:42 AM

ghoti, thats some very interesting numbers you post there. I say that because I just turned 15 a month ago, and while I haven't been able to get clocked since I turned 15 (also a football player and I've been preparing for season), my numbers from 10-14 pretty much match your son's. While on occasion I hit a little higher (83-84 a few times), for example 80-81 is where I usually topped out (although I would obviously break 80 a few times) in most workouts when I was 14. When I was 13, while I dont remember the exact number, I was throwing in the low-mid 70s. And when I was 12 I was throwing just slightely slower than your son (I seem to remember 65). So I wonder if that means that your son and I will end up throwing with simular velocities?
 
 
 
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August 14, 2006 9:42 AM

maybe, oh my sons name is andrew too. the 68 at 12 was in fallball actually most of these velos were late as in close to his next birthday. but thats still his age at the time
 
 
 
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September 11, 2006 8:03 PM

This is not a crack just a different point of view. You should be glad you don't live in Texas. Mainly Houston. Those averages would be very low for this area. There a numerous kids from 15 and up throwing 90 plus mph and have been a number of seniors over the last 5 years that have been close to or at 100mph. I used to live in Illinois and the averages there were much more like what you have listed.

Just don't quit working on it.
 
 
 
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September 11, 2006 8:08 PM

quote:
Originally posted by mymomtaughtme:
There a numerous kids from 15 and up throwing 90 plus mph and have been a number of seniors over the last 5 years that have been close to or at 100mph.


I do live in Texas. Reasonably familiar with Houston select clubs. Especially the big three. And there aren't any 15U's throwing 90 that I've heard of - unless you believer their dad's estimate instead of the gun. Precious few seniors in the high 90's.
 
 
 
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September 11, 2006 8:34 PM

Don't get hung up on the 15. I have known of a couple first hand. And they didn't stay there consistently but they did touch it now and then. They were more like mid to upper 80's. But there have been more at 16 and 17 who throw that hard from around the metro area. And I am not referring to just one calendar year or recruiting class. I use my own gun. I don't rely on others opnions of velocity. I would say that mid 80's is more average for the hard throwers in the 16 year old group around here but once you get to 17 and 18 your in a whole different class of ability.
 
Last edited by mymomtaughtme September 11, 2006 8:34 PM
 
 
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September 12, 2006 9:33 AM

Select, maybe. However at the last Heat tryout I attended, there were not many 17U's (trying out for this fall, the rising juniors) in the mid-80's, much less upper 80's.

The original question was:
"I need some feedback here. What would be considered a good average fastball for a 15 year old to throw? I am not talking the phenom studs, I am talking about the good serviceable pitchers. The 2nd and 3rd guys in the rotation. Not only the 15s but also the 16s 17s and 18s."

The answers that have been provided to that specific question have been pretty good. Your numbers are not for an average 15YO.
 
 
 
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January 21, 2007 6:48 PM

I know several players from the Heat and Kyle Chapman that are 16 or 17 throwing from the upper 80's to low 90's.

Having played a little bit on the Columbia Angels, I know they have some good pitching.
 
 
 
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January 23, 2007 6:07 AM

bump
 
 
 
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January 24, 2007 11:32 PM

Hunter Cervenka was a 15 y.o. kid from Texas.. threw 91 on the Stalker. And he went to the PG National Showcase.

There are so many fish stories about velocity. The fact is, if you're 85+ before your 17th birthday you are one rare bird.

I just got back from a college camp.. my own 16 y.o. clocked in at 84. One of the dads I talked to claimed his kid threw 89. I heard the coach murmur "78". I'm not saying these hard throwers don't exist, but most dads and players don't know what a 90 MPH fastball even looks like.
 
Last edited by Bum January 24, 2007 11:34 PM
 
 
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January 25, 2007 12:41 AM

We are very lucky to be able to see so many hard throwers and outstanding pitchers. When ever these average velocity for different age groups come up I can't help but wonder... How would anyone know?

You get major league average by averaging out major leaguers. How do you average out 15 to 18 years old when a gun is usually never present and there are more than 50,000 pitchers at those ages?

Sorry, but when I keep hearing the stories about kids throwing 50-60 mph, why do they have a radar gun on them?

I do understand that some areas will be much different than others, but I fail to understand the importance of knowing the average. Why do we want to know what the slowest velocity at any age is?

We see a couple hundred high school age kids touch 90 or better every year. It's still a treat every time I see it, because it is rare!. We see several thousands each year who don't!
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 1:19 AM

PG, I got a good tongue-lashing the last time I did a post about average velocities. I agree.. I don't want my kid to be "average". I tell my two boys: "In baseball, you're either a rising star or you're out." That's not intended to be harsh. But the reality is only the very best make it to the top, and if my boy wants to make it there he needs to emulate the very best, not the "average".

By the way, my prayers go out to Brent Warren and his family. Brent is a fine pitcher from Cedar Rapids, Iowa who recently had surgery for a heart defect. With God's grace someday he may pitch again.
 
Last edited by Bum January 25, 2007 1:21 AM
 
 
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January 25, 2007 6:40 AM

Here is a great post by Fungo that was posted a while back. I believe this is under the "Editorials" tab on this site.

So your son has hit 87 on the ole radar gun but he can’t quite hit the magical 90. It’s no BIG DEAL!! Sit down and tell him there is not much difference between 87 and 90.
Boy do you have your work cut out for you. There is no way you can convince him or anyone else there is no difference. Ninety is the only word in the English language that has been etched in stone!

The bureau of standards in Fort Collins, Colorado has "90" emblazoned into the granite floor in the center of the rotunda of the visitor’s center. They consider ninety to be the cornerstone of life. Ninety is part of our heritage. Ninety is the king of standards, The measuring rod of life. History will not allow us to substitute 87 for 90. Never has. Never will.

Who can you blame for this terrible travesty?

Not anyone on the HSBBW or even in baseball. It goes much deeper than that. I can tell you this, once he hits 90+ on the radar gun, your life changes, you become....... it’s hard to explain.

Why is it such a part of our life?


If I live to be ninety years old

My heart was beating ninety miles an hour

It is really hot outside must be ninety degrees

Ninety miles and hour down a one-way street. (Bob Dylan / Down in the Groove album)

He was going ninety to nothing

Are you a 90 pound weakling? (Charles Atlas bodybuilder)

That dude passed me going 90 miles an hour (Bubba explaining to Alabama highway patrol)

A wreck at ninety miles an hour (Lyrics from Stonewall Jackson’s BJ the DJ song)

She is so pert and petite. I would guess no more than 90 pounds!

That pitcher can throw 87 mile per hour. Sorry......almost there
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 7:04 AM

I'd say nd943 and micdsguy are close to what we saw from the bigger schools in our area. That seems like a pretty good average with some slower and some faster.
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 10:24 AM

I have to admit I've gotten swept up in the talk about hard throwers at times. But we forget that there are scores of pitchers who succeed, particularly in high school, without throwing hard, or even because they throw SLOWER than most.

A high school kid who throws mid 80's is probably going to be able to get it by a lot of hitters, but not all of them. Upper 80's, most of them, still not all. 90's, probably all of them.

A kid who throws low/mid 70's can also be successful. This is the guy you never want to face because he messes up your timing so bad, you don't hit for the next three games. You go up there dreaming of hitting it to the moon and you pop out or dribble something that barely reaches an infielder.

If you "average" the heat guy with the finesse guy, you get low 80's. So I guess you could say the "average" high school pitcher throws in the low 80's. But if I had three guys to choose from, "average" is the last guy I'd send out there. These guys tend to look a lot like batting practice, unless they've got something else going for them like a nasty curve, sinker, spot control, etc. The high schooler who relies mostly on 80-82 fastballs gets tatooed.
 
Last edited by Midlo Dad January 25, 2007 3:29 PM
 
 
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January 25, 2007 10:40 AM

quote:
I'd say nd943 and micdsguy are close to what we saw from the bigger schools in our area.

Yes, and many schools--small rural schools, intercity schools, tiny private ones--have no one who can approach 80. Notice the post a few days ago from the Brooklyn 17-year old who was in the 56-57 mph range.

Better question is what it takes to be all-conference (era around 1.50 to 3.30] in a pretty strong conference? Many do it with 80 mph. 84 will get you there easily if you some other pitching tools. In fact, some All-Staters are around 80...but they have superb control, from my experience.
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 11:29 AM

I just have to ask the same question I’ve been asking for well over 10 years.
With all these beasts throwing the ball at 90+ as 15-18YOs, why isn’t every single pitcher in professional ball throwing 90+, regardless of which hand they throw with, and why isn’t every pitcher on a ML roster throwing 95+, since they’re the best of the best?
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 11:58 AM

quote:
Originally posted by micdsguy:
Better question is what it takes to be all-conference (era around 1.50 to 3.30) in a pretty strong conference? Many do it with 80 mph. 84 will get you there easily if you some other pitching tools. In fact, some All-Staters are around 80...but they have superb control, from my experience.


The answer to the question is, never use an ERA alone to judge P’s success, especially one in HS. Way too many coaches and SKs trying to “help” players by “adjusting” the book, and way too many poorly kept books. LOL

At any level, the success of a pitcher is dependent on his/her skills, but its much more dependent on the skills of other players, both on their team and on the opponent’s.

Give a P with weak to average abilities the best defense in the league and he’s gonna have a heck of a lot of success in HS or any other level. In lieu of the great defense, playing weaker teams will also give a P a lot of success. Or, how about putting together a lineup that scores 10 earned runs a game? Heck, even a P with an ERA of 8.5 should be able to win a lot of games in that scenario.

But your point that a P’s command, and I would add ability to make the ball move, can and does make many of them very successful, is definitely a valid one!
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 12:02 PM

Midlo Dad,

No, the average HS pitcher is NOT mid-80's. 80 or less. My guess is 78. Mid 80's and you dominate.
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 12:40 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Midlo Dad:
A kid who throws low/mid 70's can also be successful. This is the guy you never want to face because he messes up your timing so bad, you don't hit for the next three games. You go up there dreaming of hitting it to the moon and you pop out or dribble something that barely reaches an infielder.




Ain't that the truth...
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 3:28 PM

Bum, sorry, meant to say "low" 80's. I'm going to edit my post above to fix that mistake, but not before acknowledging you on it.

I agree mid 80's is too high for "average". But I think high 70's is too low.

Though my experience is limited to mostly AAA and decent private schools around here. Maybe in smaller school conferences or in other areas where they play less (cold climes?) you see velocity develop less, or less depth on rosters.

I'll tell you one thing, you go out and face any team in our region with a 78 mph fastball, you'd better have some nasty lefty movement or something else to offer. Otherwise your ERA will get into the 10+ range.

Our high school team has 6 pitchers who all throw north of 80, and 4 other guys who could, but who never get to pitch because they're too far down the depth chart.
 
 
 
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January 25, 2007 4:54 PM

I spent the summer with our high school coach's radar gun to some pretty high powered events. One observation is most people give the TOP speed a kid throws when answering the question of "how hard do they throw." It really varies. I've seen many times a kid hits 90 a few times in his first inning of work, and then never hits it again. Or... he goes into the stretch and drops 4 mph - and that is pretty common. What I would look at is what speed does he hit most often. In our neck of the woods, cold damp weather, mid-80's on a consistant basis is pretty dang hard. When it gets warmer, the numbers tend up some. We are at a large high school and lefties who hit 80 consistently are a rare bird. The two on our staff last year, and they did very well threw 74-76. Stud hitters can't hit 59 mph curve balls coming from a lefty either.
 
 
 
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