Intro Topic: The Best Fastballs from Each of the 30 Farm Systems
Baseball is not only a game of strategy but also an art form. The way a pitcher throws a fastball is a thing of beauty that is sure to capture the attention of all baseball enthusiasts. While pitching is more than just throwing hard, there is no denying that many pitchers have dominated with their impressive fastball. In this blog post, we will explore the best fastballs from each of the 30 farm systems. So, if you are a fan of the game, read on to find out which prospect made it to our list and why they deserve to be on it.
Starting with the Baltimore Orioles, we have Grayson Rodriguez, a right-handed pitcher who can make a case for being baseball’s best pitching prospect. He commands a mid-90s fastball that can reach triple digits and features late life. Luis Perales of the Boston Red Sox hits 95 mph with his heater and currently operates in the mid-90s, topping out at 99 with riding action up in the zone. While Luis Gil of the New York Yankees, who had Tommy John surgery last May, has a fastball that stood out not only for its velocity but also its high spin rates, carry, and extension in his delivery that allowed it to get on hitters quickly.
Moving on, Taj Bradley of the Tampa Bay Rays certainly has the heat, with a 94-96 mph fastball, and can typically spot the ball where he wants to all quadrants of the zone, cementing his chances to be at least a mid-rotaton starter. Yosver Zulueta of the Toronto Blue Jays has a heater that flirts with triple-digits and could even play up more if and when he makes the full-time move to the ‘pen. Daniel Espino of the Cleveland Guardians owns the best fastball on our Top 100 Prospects list with a 95-98 mph four-seamer and nasty armside run, averaging 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings as a pro.
Elvis Alvarado of the Detroit Tigers is a former outfielder who converted to the mound full-time in 2018 and has touched 98.4 this spring, maxing out at 100.8 mph at Single-A last season. While Steven Cruz of the Kansas City Royals, the hulking 6-foot-7 hurler, throws a missile that comes in at 96-100 mph, with its ride up in the zone helping him further blow it by hitters. Connor Prielipp of the Minnesota Twins has a wipeout slider that is his best pitch, setting it up with a 92-95 mph fastball that plays better than its velocity thanks to his deception and ability to move it around the strike zone.
Franklin German of the Chicago White Sox has seen his fastball go from the low 90s as a college starter at North Florida to parking at 96-98 mph and peaking at 100 since Boston made him a full-time reliever in late 2021. Ben Joyce of the Los Angeles Angels, a third-round pick in July, went straight to Double-A and posted a 2.08 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings after missing all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Miguel Ulloa of the Houston Astros reminds club officials of Cristian Javier at a similar stage of their careers because of his ability to dominate hitters with his heater alone, working at 93-95 mph and reaching 98 with tremendous carry.
Last but not least, Luis Medina of the Oakland Athletics has one of the most electric arms in the Minors, with his fastball sitting at 95-98 mph and reaching 103 with natural cut, but has little track record of harnessing it. And finally, Bryce Miller of the Seattle Mariners was a starter for just the last of his three seasons at Texas A&M but excelled in that role during his first full pro season in 2021, logging a 3.16 ERA with a .195 opponent average and 163 strikeouts in 133.2/3 innings while advancing to Double-A.
In conclusion, all of these young prospects possess impressive fastballs that have caught the attention of many, and we can’t wait to see where their careers in the big leagues take them. So, stay tuned, baseball fans, because the future is looking bright.