Top 5 Nastiest Pitches of 2016: Four-Seam Fastball

Welcome to the first edition of our “Top 5 Nastiest Pitches” series, in which we rank a handful of the various pitch types (four-seam, curve, slider, etc.) according to their filth. The methodology of defining a nasty pitch is slightly subjective, but I tried to make it more objective with the creation of a “nasty score.” This proprietary metric is comprised of three figures: 1) velocity; 2) absolute value of horizontal break (i.e., angle break); and 3) vertical break (i.e., break length).

The first pitch type of the series is the four-seam fastball. Not surprisingly, Aroldis Chapman took home all five of the top spots. What might be a little surprising, however, is that it’s not just about velocity. While topping triple digits on the radar gun is obviously his trademark, Chapman also generates nearly 4 inches of tailing action on his heater.

Without further ado, here are the top 5 nastiest four-seamers of 2016:


Velocity: 104.91 MPH
Angle Break: 56.7
Angle Length: 3.2
Nasty Score: 164.81


Velocity: 103.92 MPH
Angle Break: -60.4
Break Length: 3.8
Nasty Score: 168.12


Velocity: 103.87 MPH
Angle Break: 61.5
Break Length: 3
Nasty Score: 168.37


Velocity: 104.22 MPH
Angle Break: -60.5
Break Length: 3.9
Nasty Score: 168.62


Velocity: 103.73 MPH
Angle Break: -82.3
Break Length: 2.7
Nasty Score: 188.73


That #1 pitch, man. Watch Alex Bregman: His body language is like, “What did I just see.”

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