Hardest-Throwing 2014 Free Agents

Earlier in the season, Tim Dierkes looked at the hardest throwers in this year's free agent class. A lot has changed since that list, and with just over a month of the season remaining, the current numbers should serve as a good indicator as to who the market's top flamethrowers will be. Using the 2014 Free Agent Leaderboards that I created using Fangraphs, here's an updated look at the hardest-throwing starters and relievers…

Starting Pitchers

  1. Josh Johnson and Matt Garza— 92.8 mph
  2. Jason Hammel — 92.7 mph
  3. Jon Lester — 92.6 mph ($13MM club option)
  4. Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana and A.J. Burnett — 92.4 mph
  5. Edinson Volquez and Scott Kazmir — 92.3 mph
  6. Mike Pelfrey — 92.2 mph
  7. James Shields — 92.1 mph ($12MM club option)
  8. Roberto Hernandez — 91.6 mph
  9. Ubaldo Jimenez and Roy Oswalt — 91.5 mph
  10. Hiroki Kuroda — 91.3 mph

Relief Pitchers

  1. Fernando Rodney — 96.3 mph
  2. Matt Lindstrom — 95.0 mph ($4MM club option)
  3. Joba Chamberlain — 94.8 mph
  4. Jesse Crain — 94.5 mph
  5. Matt Thornton — 94.2 mph
  6. Joaquin Benoit and Chad Qualls — 94.0 mph
  7. Boone Logan — 93.6 mph
  8. Grant Balfour, Jose Veras and Matt Albers — 93.4 mph ($3.25MM club option for Veras)
  9. Carlos Marmol and Manny Parra — 93.3 mph
  10. Mark Lowe — 92.9 mph

I didn't include Joel Hanrahan's 96.6 mph heater with the relievers, as it remains to be seen when he will be able to pitch in 2014 following Tommy John and flexor tendon surgeries. Major League starters are currently averaging 91.2 mph on their fastballs, while relievers average 92.5 mph.

For those who are interested, I also updated the list of free agents with the highest ground-ball rates last week. Pitchers who appear on both lists are Burnett, Hernandez, Volquez, Kuroda, Santana, Qualls, Lindstrom and Rodney.

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