Do you want to see the most unhittable pitches of 2022? You came to the right place.
These releases had it all. Here are the fastest. Those who rotated more. The ones that moved as if they were a cartoon. The most accurate. And, besides, they all looked wonderfully good.
So, without further ado, here are the 22 most unhittable pitches of 2022.
1) Jhoan Durán – 99.7 mph splitter, Aug. 29
Durán is the only pitcher in the pitch-tracking era to throw a “slow” pitch at 100 mph. His” splinker – a hybrid of splitter and sinker that is classified as a splitter by Statcast – touched 100.8 mph in this very game, but that ended up being a ball. With this one, also at 100 mph, the electrifying Twins rookie rounded out a strikeout.
2) Ryan Helsley – 103.2 mph four-seam fastball, Sept. 22
The Cardinals’ flamethrower threw the fastest pitch of 2022 to complete a strikeout (tied with another fastball from Durán), and it was a true painting. Helsley guillotined Brandon Drury with a 103.2 mph fastball that finished low in the strike zone and had a spin rate of 2,659 rpm.
3) Jacob deGrom – slider at 95.7 mph, Aug. 7
Forget the 100 mph fastball that pulls Grom. He’s more unhittable than ever when he unleashes those sliders at 95 mph. This one nearly touched 95 mph — and still dropped nearly 23 inches — to strike out Austin Riley in just deGrom’s second start of the year. He was the fastest breaking pitcher to strike out this season in MLB.
4) Matt Brash – 3,109 rpm knuckle bend, September 30
The Mariners rookie debuted showing off one of the most electrifying arsenals of 2022. This was an 87 mph curveball with an elite rate of rotation (3,000+ rpm) that moved 22.8 inches horizontally, nearly two feet, to strike out Vimael Machín.
5) Dillon Tate – switch with a 27.6-inch horizontal move, April 17
Tate’s change moves like few others. This 83.8 mph off the Orioles reliever tore more than two feet left to right to strike out Anthony Rizzo in Baltimore.
6) Scott Effross – sinker at 90.7 mph with 25.2-inch horizontal break, May 11
How do you get a batter to swing at a pitch that ended up hitting him? Make the pitch move almost two feet. This one from the then Cubs reliever left Colombian Jorge Alfaro stunned.
7) Clayton Kershaw – 74.4 mph curveball that dropped 66 inches, July 9
A list of the nastiest pitches without one of Kershaw’s iconic curveballs? This 74 mph beauty dropped 5.5 feet and landed perfectly in the bottom corner and inside the strike zone to kill Patrick Wisdom.
8) Sandy Alcantara – change to 92.8 mph with 20.4-inch break, June 19
The NL Cy Young Award-winning tradeup was one of the deadliest passes in baseball in 2022, and this was a perfect example. The Dominican sent a “slow” delivery at 93 mph that also went more than 20 inches away from Jeff McNeil, who is not easy to strike out, but could not do much here against the Marlins ace.
9) José Berríos – sinker at 93.7 mph with a 25.2-inch horizontal break, June 4
The Puerto Rican managed to get this pitch to break from the outside corner of the plate to the inside corner to strike out Venezuelan Jermaine Palacios.
10) Aníbal Sánchez – change to 63.7 mph and 958 rpm, August 18
The slowest pitch to complete a strikeout – ignoring position players – came from Venezuela’s Sánchez with this “Bugs Bunny” changeup at 64 mph that dropped 66 inches against which Trent Grisham could do nothing.
11) Kyle Crick – slider with 25.2 inches of horizontal movement, April 20
Crick is always at the top of the slider movement leads. Here, the White Sox reliever had Colombian Óscar Mercado go looking for a pitch outside for strike three, thanks to a slider that moved more than two feet.
12) Shohei Ohtani – splitter at 91.1 mph with 33.6 inches of drop, June 2
Ohtani’s splitter is always one of the most unhittable pitches in all of baseball, and this one was close to perfect. He was just over 90 mph, but fell nearly three feet, starting in the strike zone and ending just 0.66 feet off the ground to strike out DJ LeMahieu.
13) Hunter Greene – 102.4 mph / 2,504 rpm four-seam fastball, September 17
Here’s a perfect high fastball. Not only did Greene throw the fastest pitching to strikeout for starting pitchers all season, but this delivery was the perfect display of what’s known as a “going up” fastball. He fell just 9.6 inches and finished 3.72 feet tall. Even if Nolan Gorman had been able to react, he would have swung under the ball.
14) Justin Verlander – 99.2 mph / 2,507 rpm four-seam fastball, July 23
Speaking of tall fastballs, this one from the 39-year-old against Cal Raleigh wasn’t far behind, finishing 4.31 feet tall.
15) Jacob deGrom – 101.1 mph / 2,495 rpm four-seamer, August 13
A short fastball can be just as good as a high fastball when you have perfect control of deGrom. To be able to spot a 101 mph fastball with such a degree of perfection in the corner is amazing.
16) Edwin Diaz – 102.8 mph four-seamer with 14.4 inches of movement, Sept. 1
This fastball from Díaz is pure power. He ended up in the middle of the strike zone, but it was so explosive that Gavin Lux couldn’t touch it. It was going 103 mph, but it seems even faster because Diaz released the ball 7.3 feet in front of the mound’s rubber.
17) Edwin Diaz – slider at 93.9 mph with 7.3 feet of extension, June 16
Diaz’s fastball is good, but his slider is even better. He’s going so fast and turning so violently at the last minute that it looks like a chopped fastball. This one, at 94 mph to freeze Christian Yelich and close out the game, was near perfect.
18) Joe Kelly – 89.8 mph / 3,287 rpm knuckle curve, July 22
The Kelly Curve is unique thanks to its speed – you can throw it over 90 mph – and high rotation of over 3,000 rpm. It’s hard to find a better one than this, who dropped 49.2 inches to end up in the outside corner for a strikeout.
19) Aaron Bummer – slider with 24 inches of horizontal movement, June 7
Bummer has a classic left-handed pitcher’s “sweeper” slider. He threw it 2.38 feet from the first base end of the pitcher’s plate and broke nearly two feet to cross the field and strike out Hanser Alberto.
20) Framber Valdez – sinker at 94.7 mph with 21.6 inches of movement, April 25
Valdez’s strikeout pitching is the curveball, but it’s the sinker that has turned him into a grounding machine. However, it got him a “K” because he was going 95 mph and broke almost two feet.
21) Sandy Alcantara – sinker at 100.6 mph with 19.2 inches of movement, Sept. 18
Alcántara’s ability to maintain his speed in his late innings was one of the biggest reasons he was such a horse in 2022. This 101 mph sinker – who broke over feet and a half – released her in the sixth inning of a complete game.
22) Shohei Ohtani – 101.4 mph four-seam fastball, Sept. 1
As you watch Ohtani dominate Kyle Tucker with this 101 mph fastball for his 219th strikeout as a pitcher, remember that he also hit more home runs (34) than Tucker (30).
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The 22 most unhittable pitches of 2022