Based on the success of my articles on curves, sliders, changeups, cutters, and splitters, I decided to look at the 10 most effective fastballs this season.
I'm measuring fastball effectiveness by Pitch Type Linear Weights, which says how many runs a pitcher prevents above average every time he throws 100 pitches.
So, if I say a fastball's effectiveness is one run above average, that means that every 100 fastballs that pitcher throws, he allows one run less than average.
I set two ground rules. First of all, pitchers have to have thrown at least 30 innings this year. Second, they have to use the fastball at least 10 percent of the time.
For each pitcher, I'll list the average fastball velocity, average fastball movement relative to an average major league fastball (if you want to know why I'm comparing it to a fastball, just ask), fastball usage (how often the pitcher throws the fastball), and fastball effectiveness (as measured by Pitch Type Linear Weights).
Also, just to clarify, this is me taking the leaderboard on fastball effectiveness, listing the top 10 pitchers, and analyzing their fastball's success. This is NOT a subjective list. So don't tell me I'm "leaving somebody off." It's just the leaders in the stat and my analysis for why they're leading.
Let's take a look.