CORRECTION: The Actual Top Velocities Among AFL Pitchers

Yesterday, the author published in these pages a pair of leaderboards featuring — care of PITCHf/x data from MLB Farm — featuring the top Arizona Fall League velocities among both the entire population of pitchers and then among that population who’d made half their appearances in a starting capacity.

As I noted in that post, the numbers appeared to skew lower than one might otherwise expect. And, as one particularly intrepid reader observed, there actually is a curious error present in the tables when one attempts to view the velocities for all pitch types at once.

What follows is an amended version for each of the aforementioned leaderboards. As in that first post, FF continues to denote a four-seam fastball; FT, a two-seamer. Count denotes the number of the relevant pitch type to have been recorded by PITCHf/x cameras.

Below the leaderboards are three additional observations of limited merit.


Top Velocities Among AFL Pitchers
Here are the top average velocities among those Arizona Fall League pitchers.

# Name Org Throws Role Pitch Count Vel.
1 Enrique Burgos ARI R RP FF 6 96.9
2 Nefi Ogando PHI R RP FF 70 96.1
3 Jimmie Sherfy ARI R RP FF 23 96.1
4 Brian Ellington MIA R RP FF 46 95.8
5 Taijuan Walker SEA R SP FF 79 95.4
6 Kaleb Fleck ARI R RP FF 18 95.1
7 Zachary Jones MIN R RP FF 25 95.0
8 Samuel Tuivailala STL R RP FF 43 94.8
9 Vincent Velasquez HOU R SP FF 24 94.4
10 Mark Appel HOU R SP FF 34 94.1


Top Velocities Among AFL Pitchers (Starters Only)
Here the top average velocities, among only those AFL pitchers who’ve recorded at least half their appearances in a starting capacity.

# Name Org Throws Role Pitch Count Vel.
1 Taijuan Walker SEA R SP FF 79 95.4
2 Vincent Velasquez HOU R SP FF 24 94.4
3 Mark Appel HOU R SP FF 34 94.1
4 Francellis Montas CWS R SP FF 45 93.8
5 Archie Bradley ARI R SP FF 41 93.7
6 Nick Howard CIN R SP FF 101 93.6
7 Kyle Zimmer KC R SP FF 51 93.4
8 Jaime Schultz TB R SP FF 220 93.2
9 Tyler Glasnow PIT R SP FF 14 93.2
10 Miguel Almonte KC R SP FF 66 93.2


Observations of Limited Merit
• A comparison between the data here and that available for the Arizona Fall League at Brooks Baseball reveals a general consensus between the two, although discrepancies do also exist. Brooks reports Enrique Burgos‘s fastball velocity at about 98 mph, for example, while it’s listed here as just shy of 97 mph. Meanwhile, Taijuan Walker’s fastball is listed at 96.2 mph at Brooks and just 95.4 mph here. Overall, however, the numbers are generally within 1 mph of each other.

• While many of the same names (Nefi Ogando, Brian Ellington, Kaleb Fleck) appear among the pitchers listed above as in that original, even more error-riddled post, a notable addition here is the aforementioned right-hander Burgos. In his organizational rankings for the D-backs, Kiley McDaniel cited Burgos’s average velocity as 95-98 mph — and, indeed, he was sitting in that upper portion of that range when I myself saw him pitch on Monday.

• Among those starting pitchers who’ve exhibited excellent velocity in Arizona but have received less attention in prospect-related literature, Tampa Bay’s Jaime Schultz is probably most notable. Selected in the 14th round of the 2013 draft out of High Point University, Schultz recorded strikeout and walk rates of 31.6% and 11.7%, respectively, between Class- and High-A ball this year.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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9 years ago

Discrepancy with Brooks is they have the release point at 50 ft instead of 55 ft, or something like that, which increase the velocity calculations

9 years ago
Reply to  pft

It’s the opposite. Pitchf/x measures the speed of a pitch at a distance of 50 feet from the front of home plate. Brooks Baseball shifts its reported values, including the speed of the pitch, to a release distance of 55 feet.

Pitch speed is intended to measure arm speed, and therefore measuring the speed of the pitch as close as possible to the actual point of release is a more accurate indicator of arm speed; and that’s why Brooks Baseball calculates the pitch speed at 55 feet rather than 50 feet from home plate. Pitch speed, whether measured by Pitchf/x or a radar gun, has never intended to be a calculation of average velocity of the pitch.