Ranking the Best Pitchers in MLB by Pitch Type

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Ranking the Best Pitchers in MLB by Pitch Type
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

We all know who the best pitchers in baseball are. They are the world's Justin Verlanders, Roy Halladays, and Clayton Kershaws. They are dominant, effective, and exciting to watch.

But what sometimes goes underappreciated is how good some of their pitches are. In many cases, a pitcher is only as good as his best pitch. For others, a well-rounded repertoire is the key to success. Regardless, it is not surprising that some of the best pitchers in baseball also throw some of the nastiest pitches.

I have split the pitches up into seven types: four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, cutter, sinker, changeup, slider, and curveball.

The data is taken from the Pitch F/X data on FanGraphs, where the pitches are measured by run value. For example, a fastball with a value of 5.0 means that the pitcher's fastballs were five runs better than league average over the course of the season. This slideshow uses run value data, by pitch, from the 2009 through 2011 seasons.

There will be two slides per pitch—one for the fifth- through second-ranked pitchers, and another for the best pitcher of that respective pitch.

Without further ado, here's a look at some of the most dominant pitches in baseball.

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