CORRECTION: Top AFL Velocities, According to PITCHf/x

This past Thursday, the author endeavored to publish here a pair of leaderboards featuring the top average velocities — as recorded by PITCHf/x — among pitchers currently participating in the Arizona Fall League. What the post ultimately served to document, however, was less a collection of hard-throwing prospects and more the author’s own (and already well-documented) incompetence.

Having failed to communicate with MLB Farm’s Daren Willman before publishing that dispatch, what became clear immediately — by way largely of the enthusiastic comments left by readers — was that the data was incomplete. As a result, certain pitchers who’d definitely appeared in a stadium equipped with PITCHf/x cameras were omitted.

I’ve spoken with Willman in the meantime, however, and — after certain generous efforts on his part — it would appear as though the data is currently as robust at it ever will be. That having been established, what follows is an updated pair of leaderboards featuring the top velocities among those AFL pitchers — both overall and also among starters only — who’ve appeared at either of the two PITCHf/x-equipped stadiums. Following those leaderboards are three observations of limited merit.

The pitch type FF denotes 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.


Here are the top average velocities among all Arizona Fall League pitchers:

Top Velocities Among AFL Pitchers, 2015
Name Org Arm Role Pitch Count Vel
1 Ray Black SFN R RP FF 29 99.2
2 Nick Burdi MIN R RP FF 8 98.9
3 Mauricio Cabrera ATL R RP FF 111 98.5
4 Connor Sadzeck TEX R RP FF 30 98.1
5 Adam Miller ARI R RP FF 24 97.7
6 Carlos Estevez COL R RP FF 73 97.1
7 Damien Magnifico MIL R RP FF 49 97.0
8 Tanner Scott BAL L RP FF 81 96.5
9 Josh Hader MIL L RP FF 8 95.8
10 Austin Brice MIA R RP FF 25 95.6

And here the top average velocities among only those AFL pitchers who’ve recorded at least a third of their appearances in a starting capacity:

Top Velocities Among AFL Pitchers, 2015 (Starters Only)
Name Org Arm Role Pitch Count Vel
1 Alex Reyes STL R SP FF 78 95.4
2 Adrian Houser MIL R SP FF 103 94.5
3 Yoan Lopez ARI R SP FF 109 93.9
4 Luke Weaver STL R SP FF 116 93.7
5 Nick Travieso CIN R SP FF 160 93.7
6 Brandon Brennan CHA R SP FF 22 93.3
7 James Paxton SEA L SP FF 92 93.2
8 Lucas Sims ATL R SP FF 91 93.2
9 Yacksel Rios PHI R SP FF 58 93.0
10 Kyle Freeland COL L SP FF 74 92.9


Observations of Limited Merit
• Present on the top leaderboard here, but omitted from the original version, are a number of pitchers about whom readers asked in response to that post from last Thursday. San Francisco prospect Ray Black retains the overall fastest average velocity among AFL pitchers, but Nick Burdi (Minnesota), Mauricio Cabrera (Atlanta), Tanner Scott (Baltimore), and Austin Brice (Miami) all appear among the top 10 now, as well.

Per the updated data, no fewer than four pitchers now have thrown a pitch at 100 mph or greater: Black, Burdi, Cabrera, and right-handed Texas prospect Connor Sadzeck. Sadzeck remains compelling: despite having worked exclusively in relief this autumn, he’s recorded over 90% of his minor-league appearances in a starting capacity, including 14 of his 18 appearances this year at High-A and Double-A. The results have never been particularly excellent for Sadzeck. That said, the high end of this velocity appears to be a new development.

• St. Louis right-hander Luke Weaver places fourth among starters now not because he was absent from the previous data set, but because he’s recorded an additional start since last Thursday and now qualifies as a starter for the purposes of this exercise. Weaver produced strikeout and walk rates of 20.7% and 4.5%, respectively, over 19 starts and 105.1 innings this year for High-A Palm Beach of the Florida State League.

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

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8 years ago

Damn, Carlos Estevez can bring the heat. And the germ.