Pitch velocity has gone up dramatically over the last handful of years, but these Pittsburgh Pirates prospects still make 90 MPH and under work for them.
Baseball pitch velocities have skyrocketed over the last handful of seasons. Ten years ago, the league average fastball velocity was just 91.7 MPH. Today, it’s 93.8 MPH. If you were to average 91.7 MPH today, your fastball would be in the low-20th percentile of fastball velocity. But having no velocity doesn’t mean you’re a bad pitcher. Guys like Justin Steele, Marcus Stroman, and Clayton Kershaw are all highly effective, despite throwing 92 MPH or slower with their four-seamer.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have some pretty hard-throwing pitching prospects throughout their system. Jared Jones can run it up in the mid-90s, while Paul Skenes regularly tops out at 102 MPH. Jun-Seok Shim is a teenager already throwing 94-96 MPH who tops out at 100, and Zander Mueth is a recent high school draftee with a Chris Sale-like arm slot and sits 92-95 MPH. But they do have some prospects who throw 90 and under but are still decent prospects.