10. Shane Hawk: Like Paulk, Hawk's fastball is much more effective because of excellent secondary pitches. But for left-handed pitcher, Hawk does throw pretty hard. He averages 90-93 MPH with his fastball and can top out in the mid-90's at times. But when he snaps in his plus slider or drops in one of his plus changeups, Hawk's fastball becomes nearly unhittable because the opposing batter doesn't know what to expect. The fact that he has incredible control of his fastball makes it all the more special.
9. Robert Paulk: There are certainly more powerful arms in the organization than Robert Paulk, but few have more effective fastballs. Despite throwing just 90-93 MPH with his fastball, Paulk's heater seems a lot quicker than that after preceding his fastball with his plus curveball. Hitters can't get their timing down when he drops in a big looping curveball in the 77-79 MPH range and then follows it up with a fastball zipping in at 93 MPH.
8. Philip Humber: The Mets' first round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft was selected because of his excellent fastball-curveball combination. Averaging 90-94 MPH with his fastball and topping out at 97 MPH at Rice University, Humber didn't show that kind of velocity as a professional last season. His fastball sat in the 88-91 MPH range a year ago and the Mets are hoping he can rediscover his old speeds as he rehabs his way back from Tommy John surgery.
7. Marcelo Perez: Just like Garcia and Cova, Perez is another gun-slinger who has the ability to throw very hard but doesn't boast the type of command of his fastball that the Mets would like. Perez, who averages 91-95 MPH on the radar gun, can bring his heater as high as 97-98 MPH at times and he compliments his plus Major League fastball with a hard slider that keeps hitters guessing. If he can improve his control of his fastball, watch out - Perez could become a top relief pitching prospect for the Mets.
6. Anderson Garcia: Obtained from the Yankees in the Armando Benitez trade, Garcia is a Benitez clone. He throws some serious gas, averaging 90-97 MPH with his fastball. His wide range of speeds with his fastballs allows him to give hitters a different look and keep them off-balance at the plate. But just like Benitez, Garcia can been erratic with the command of his fastball. If he can master the development of his slider or changeup, his fastball would be even more dominating. But his fastball alone should give him every opportunity to become a big league reliever.
5. Jorge Reyes: A product of the Dominican Summer League Mets, New York is very high on Reyes' potential. A lanky 6'4" and 170 pounds, many scouts believe he'll throw harder once he fills out his frame. Considering he already throws his fastball in the 90-95 MPH range with good command, topping out around 97 MPH, that is a scary proposition for opposing batters. Just 21-years old, Reyes is still learning to develop his 2-seam fastball. Once he masters that pitch, he could become a top pitching prospect in a hurry.
4. Rafael Cova: Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies, they prematurely released Cova before the Mets scooped him up. The Venezuelan native has one of the more wicked fastballs in the Mets' farm system. Able to bring his heater consistently in the 94-96 MPH range, his fastball is not only heavy, it has tremendous movement. While that can be a plus at times, it does cause him to have inconsistent command of it on occasion. A starter now, the Mets may be tempted to move him to the bullpen if the development of his curveball and changeup doesn't come around as quick as they hope.
3. Henry Owens: A Rule V Draft pick from the Pirates in 2004, the Mets may have found gold in Owens. A catcher in college, the Pirates signed Owens and threw him on the mound because of his strong arm. He consistently averages 94-96 MPH with his fastball and he'll top out at 98 MPH at times. Owens has very good command of his fastball, a pitch that allowed him to dominate the lower minor league levels. He'll need a solid second pitch to make his mark at the Major League level, but his fastball alone has opened some eyes in the Mets' organization.
2. Matthew Lindstrom: Like Pelfrey, Lindstrom is the epitome of a power pitcher. Averaging 93-97 MPH with his fastball, Lindstrom has topped out at 100 MPH at times. A fracture in his pitching arm in 2005 had him throwing in pain on virtually every pitch a year ago and his command suffered as a result. When he's healthy, few can bring the gas as well as Lindstrom. His days as a starter are over and he'll be in the bullpen, where he's better suited, permanently in 2006.
1. Mike Pelfrey: One of the true power arms in all of minor league baseball, Pelfrey throws an electric fastball that averages between 92-97 MPH on the radar gun with good command. He was widely regarded as the top pitching prospects in the 2005 MLB Draft and his fastball, which has drawn comparisons to Curt Schilling's fastball, is a big reason why. The fact that he also possesses a plus changeup makes his fastball even more devastating.
Tool Time: Top Ten Fastballs
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