Hardest-Throwing 2014 Free Agents

Last offseason, the hardest-throwing free agent based on 2012 velocity data from FanGraphs was reliever Brandon League.  With an average fastball velocity of 95.2 miles per hour, League signed what most considered an above-market three-year, $22.5MM deal with the Dodgers that also has a vesting option for 2016 based on games finished.  League was followed by free agent relievers Matt Lindstrom (94.8), Jonathan Broxton (94.7), and Mark Lowe (93.9).  As you might expect, flame-throwing free agent starters were harder to come by.  Edwin Jackson (93.5), Francisco Liriano (93.0), and Jeremy Guthrie (92.8) led that group.  Which 2014 free agents can boast of the best velocity so far this season?

Relievers

  1. Joel Hanrahan – 96.9
  2. Fernando Rodney – 95.6
  3. Matt Lindstrom – 94.5 (club option)
  4. Jesse Crain – 94.3
  5. Joba Chamberlain – 94.0
  6. Matt Thornton – 93.8 (club option)
  7. Boone Logan – 93.3
  8. Matt Albers – 93.1
  9. Grant Balfour – 93.0
  10. Jose Valverde – 92.9

Starters

    1.  Josh Johnson – 92.6
    2.  A.J. Burnett – 92.4
    3.  Jason Hammel and Edinson Volquez – 92.3
    5.  Phil Hughes – 92.0
    6.  Ervin Santana – 91.7
    7.  Gavin Floyd – 91.5
    8.  Mike Pelfrey – 91.3
    9.  Scott Kazmir – 91.2
  10.  Ubaldo Jimenez – 91.2

Average velocity for all qualified starting pitchers this year is 90.4 miles per hour, exactly what you'll find from 2014 free agent Hiroki Kuroda.


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