i was wondering what are the normal speeds for high school pitchers in each grade that want to play college ball?
Although every pitcher is different a “typical” pitcher will pick up about 5 mph from age 14 to age 15, 3.5 mph from age 15 to age 16, 2.5 mph from age 16 to age 17 and about 1.5 mph from age 17 to 18.
That’s a total of about 12.5 mph between their freshman season and the beginning of college. There is also another 1 or 2 mph that comes from increased height in that time period. If you assume a college pitcher has to be able to throw 85 mph, with good command and other pitches to be successful then they’d want to be throwing about 71 or 72 mph as a freshman. Older freshmen who are already 15 would need to be throwing several mph faster.
Be careful because these are only typical values and every individual is different. A pitcher with talent but poor mechanics can increase their velocity considerably in a short amount of time by improving their mechanics. Weighted ball programs can also add velocity for some pitchers. On the other hand there are pitchers who mature early and throw very hard at a young age but don’t increase their velocity at the same rate as other pitchers because they’ve already made the big jumps in velocity due to the increased height and increased muscle strength that normally occurs between 14 and 16yo.
The best bet is to not to let a number stop you from pitching. If you want to be a pitcher keep on pitching and let the game tell you when it is time to try something else.
Thanks, CADad. That’s just about dead-on for how I developed velocity over the course of my career (although my big velocity jump happened between my sophomore and junior years in college, when I went from 88-89 to 93-94). Increased pitcher-specific strength being the primary reason. Nice post.
I just took the results from a PG underclass showcase that had each pitcher’s age and height at the time their velocity was measured and used that to derive a 3D surface fit. There was some judgement on my part in picking the best fit so the data could be interpreted differently.
I’ve taken that and developed a spreadsheet incorporating the CDC growth charts to some degree and can use that to estimate velocity increases for the ages 14 to 18 given a height, age and measured velocity on a given date. One can make adjustments for perceived early or late maturing individuals by changing the age of the person.
Hi, I’m rather new to the forum and I felt that this would be a good first post. Right now, I’m a sophomore, 6’0" 160lbs, just found out yesterday that I made the varsity team. So I’m feeling pretty good right now. I’m 15 and I max out around 83, but I stay right around 80 on most days. My only problem right now is that I have been having some pretty bad pain in my shoulder. Nothing serious I think, but I will definintely have an update in the next few weeks. If anyone has any suggestions for recovery or treatment, it would be appreciated to hear. I feel like I’m in a good position right now, but the true turning point for me will be in the summer when I go through the Area Code tryout process. That has been sitting in the back of my mind for quite a while, I just hope I’ll be ready when the time comes.
I wish everyone goodluck with the upcoming season
Congrats on making the team. You might want to post this in the “pitching injury and prevention” category. Dave Motzer, certified athletic trainer in Illinois, often visits and posts. He just got married, however, so his posting has been limited, but it’s worth the try. Best.
i didnt play til my sophmore year and i threw about 50-55 mph then, i lost about 50lbs by running and did minor lifting here and there. i now throw about 65mph on a good day i’d be lucky to get 70. with that improvement and harder work is it possible for me to throw 80-85 my senior year? also what is the low avg, colleges look for in velocity out of a lhp.
I recently watched Arizona State play Nevada in a small tournament in a stadium where the pitch velocity was displayed on the scoreboard. At one point, Nevada threw a pitcher who topped out at only 79mph. :shock: His pitches ranged from the 60’s up to 79. You know what? ASU couldn’t hit him. He changed speeds and locations and mixed things up well. At the same time, ASU threw their closer who topped out at 96mph. He got rocked. So the moral of the story is…don’t get too hung up on velocity. If you can throw 3 pitched to 2 locations, you’ll do well.