Broxton's Heater Second in Major Leagues

Baseball Info Solutions charts show that Charles Bradford of the Orioles and Rays had the slowest average fastball during the 2008 season -- 79.6 mile per hour. The fastest averages were posted by Matt Lindstrom of the Marlins at 96.9 and the Dodgers Jonathan Broxton was second at 96.3.

Chad Bradford was one of the poster boys for Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, a book set in the 2002 Major League Baseball season. The Dodgers closer, Jonathan Broxton, has the second highest average in MLB at 96.3 MPH. Former Dodgers minor leaguer Joel Hanrahan was tied for fifth place with a 95.2 average heater.

In the book, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane considered Bradford a bargain, good value for his pay. Since that season, he has played for four more teams, each year pitching well. Yet, as you can see from the chart below, he has the slowest fastball in Major League Baseball.

Can he be effective? Turns out, he can be very effective. The most remarkable part of his career are the 17 consecutive scoreless appearances in postseason play coming into 2008. During this past postseason, pitching for Tampa Bay, we saw his streak interrupted, but he continued to dominate, and has only allowed one run in 23.1 career playoff innings for a carer playoff 0.39 ERA.

How slow did he pitch in the regular season last year?

Slowest 2008 fastballs	Average
Charles Bradford, Orioles/Rays	79.6
Jamie Moyer, Phillies	        81.2
Tom Glavine, Braves	        82.1
Livan Hernandez, Twins/Rockies	83.7
Greg Maddux, Padres/Dodgers	83.7
Doug Davis, Diamondbacks	84.6
Barry Zito, Giants	        84.9
Cla Meredith, Padres	        85.1
R.A. Dickey, Mariners	        85.1
Kenny Rodgers, Tigers	        85.2
Notice a few other famous names on the list: Glavine and Maddux are probably destined for baseball's Hall of Fame.

Can You be effective with a slow fastball? Definitely.

Oh, you want to know the fastest fastballs? We have that, too...

2008 Fastest Fastballs	Average
Matt Lindstrom, Marlins	        96.9
Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers	96.3
Brian Wilson, Giants	        95.8
Manny Delcarmen, Red Sox	95.5
Jose Valverde, Astros	        95.5
Brandon Morrow, Mariners	95.5
Matt Thornton, White Sox	95.3
Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox	95.3
Joel Hanrahan, Nationals	95.2
Cris Perez, Cardinals	        95.2
Source: Baseball Info Solutions, minimum 500 fastballs.

Copyright 2998 by John Dewan. "Used with permission from John Dewan's Stat of the Week.