10 Most Violent Deliveries in MLB
If there's one thing that has changed about pitching deliveries over time, it's that they are a lot more streamlined. You don't see a lot of pitchers throw a ball like Luis Tiant or Juan Marichal did back in the day, as those deliveries are usually stopped in the minors.
There are some pitchers, however, that do their own thing when it comes to deliveries. Ryan Dempster wiggles around his glove right before he pitches, for example. Other pitchers, however, throw all their weight into their deliveries, and it shows.
The following are 10 of the most violent deliveries in MLB today, whether it's due to how they move their arm, how fast they're throwing or how likely it looks that they could fall off the mound each time they pitch.
It's likely that I've missed a few players that do have violent deliveries—I can't say I've seen every player pitch.
10. Francisco Rodriguez
K-Rod is a name I see pop up rather frequently when violent pitching motions are discussed, but honestly, I don't really see it. Yes, his arm motion is a bit odd, but I don't see anything that catches me off guard upon watching videos of his delivery.
9. Joel Zumaya
Zumaya ranks low on this list for two reasons. First, he's ninth mainly due to his injury; who knows when he'll be back, unfortunately. When he was with the Detroit Tigers, though, his fastball was insane.
He's also low because when you watch him pitch, he's crazy fast without looking like he's going to fall off the mound. He seems to have good poise, which lessens how violent a delivery may look. Then again, his delivery style couldn't have helped much on the injury front.
8. Jake Peavy
Since joining the Chicago White Sox, this no longer seems to apply to Peavy. Back when he was a member of the San Diego Padres, however, he was widely considered to have one of the most violent deliveries in the game.
I wouldn't mind seeing that violent delivery again in Chicago. Yes, it's an injury risk that Peavy couldn't afford, but an ERA of 5.00 isn't doing much good.
7. Mike Gonzalez
The Baltimore Orioles starter's delivery is not so violent in and of itself, at least compared to a few on this list. What separates him from others, however, is a strange rocking motion he does right before he pitches, which likely confuses some batters and can make you dizzy when looked at for too long.
6. Pat Neshek
Having a sidearm delivery already makes one's pitching motion appear a bit more violent, as it's not something we're used to seeing. That being said, Pat Neshek's delivery starts as if he's about to throw an underhand pitch, then out of nowhere moves to a complete sidearm delivery.
Add in the factor that his time between pitches is incredibly short in comparison to a lot of ballplayers and that adds to the intimidation.
5. Edinson Volquez
One problem I'm noticing in this list is that many people with these violent sorts of deliveries end up dealing with injuries, usually Tommy John surgery. Edinson Volquez and his violent delivery are no exception.
You can tell that he puts all his energy into that arm when he throws his pitches. Like Peavy, it hasn't worked in his favor over the past couple years.
4. Max Scherzer
At this point, Tigers fans are wondering if Justin Verlander's going to pop on this list. While he has a great pitching motion and insane speed, I would not call his delivery violent.
Max Scherzer, on the other hand, has such crazy arm speed that I worry that his arm's going to fly right off with the ball. Otherwise, his delivery seems alright, but I still wonder how he pulls that off.
3. Jose Valverde
Jose Valverde is something else on the mound. Papa Grande's celebratory antics aside, he seems to bring his arm straight down when he pitches, not unlike someone throwing it when playing catch.
The only difference is, of course, Valverde's throwing these balls deceptively quick.
2. Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman can throw a baseball 105 miles per hour. That in itself is plenty violent. He also has a fairly long stride, so that pitch feels like it's coming to the batter that much faster. In fact, he almost seems to hop from one foot to the other, so a fall is always possible.
1. Tim Lincecum
What else is there to say? Tim Lincecum is the poster child of the hard-throwing, violent delivery style. It's part of the reason batters fear him and partially why he has been so successful at the major league level.