Yankees Tool Time: Best Fastballs

In an effort to keep our premium subscribers up to speed on the Yankees' prospects, PinstripesPlus.com will dissect the top prospects in many different categories over the next few weeks. Here's a list of the best fastballs in the Yankees' farm system, ranking the top ten.

Top 10 Fastballs

10. Sean Henn: Although the reports of Sean Henn throwing 99 MPH seemed to have been just a bit skewed, the big lefty still can really bring it. When he is right, Henn sits around 92 MPH, sometimes getting it to around 94 MPH. He produces pretty decent sink on the pitch as well but it may not have been the truly explosive fastball that he had the potential to have before arm surgery.

9. Jeff Marquez: One of the four 2004 draftees included on this list, Marquez still has a lot of ceiling to be filled; that has to be taken into serious consideration. However, he already is throwing 91-94 MPH with some of the nastiest sink you can have on a two seamer. He has gotten bigger and stronger for the 2005 season so we can expect even more velocity out of the 20 year old righty.

8. TJ Beam: Still having one of the top fastballs in the system, Beam has still been surpassed by a few fresh, young arms in the past year. But, no matter which way you cut it, Beam still brings a plus heater to the table. Also, it has an excellent late bite to it that fools hitters quite often. It ranges anywhere from 91-95 MPH with good, late action.

7. Steven White: At the outset of 2004, there is probably no way that Steven White would have made his way onto this list. But, midway through the season, he suddenly experienced a big hike in velocity. He suddenly was touching velocities around 96 MPH that he had never approached before. Now, most of his fastballs are around 92 MPH on average. The only test to see if he belongs even higher on this list is if he can maintain that for an entire season in 2005.

6. Maximo Nelson: This righthander is an absolutely monstrous figure on the mound so it is no wonder that he can produce big time velocity on his fastball. Once he shows he can reproduce it in full season ball, Nelson may shoot up towards the top of this list. But, it does jump into the mid 90's several times over the course of the game.

5. Phil Hughes: Not only does Phil Hughes have the heat, but he has the command of it to go along with it. Right now, he is pitching around 93 MPH and can crank it up in the mid 90's as well. But, like his fellow 2004 draftees, this 1st round pick has some untapped velocity yet to come. Most scouts project him to be a consistent 95 MPH fastball type of starter. He is almost there now, so we'll see how it comes along in 2005, in long season ball.

4. Jesse Hoover: When you first watch Jesse Hoover, he just seems to draw everyone's attention once they hear the snap of the glove. Scouts have described him as having "a gifted arm" and it certainly shows with the velocity of his fastball. Not to mention, he has lots of good biting action on it that makes it doubly tough to put a bat on. Jesse sits comfortably around 93 MPH and can crank it up to around 96 MPH when he is on top of his game.

3. Christian Garcia: Here is the guy on this list that may end up throwing harder than any of these other pitchers. The fact that he only started pitching in 2004 is simply amazing considering how explosive his fastball is already. He sits comfortably around 92-93 MPH and touches the mid 90's with regularity at his best. Once he learns more and more about pitching, he is only going to pick up more velocity. He has the ceiling for a mid to high 90's heater.

2. Chien-Ming Wang: Perhaps the polar opposite of the number one on this list, Chien-Ming Wang knows exactly where his fastball is going at all times. But, besides that, the impressive thing about Wang is his ability to keep his velocity deep into the game. He has been said to have thrown 98 MPH many times in the eighth inning of ballgames. And, his fastball normally sits comfortably in the 92-95 MPH range, getting over that mark several times as well.

1. Edwardo Sierra: While he has lost some of his luster over the past calendar year, no one can deny the heat that Edwardo Sierra brings to the mound with him every time he comes in to try and close out a game. It is his control that gets him into trouble. But, the fact is that Edwardo pumps heaters up to the plate consistently over 95 MPH. He is a true flame throwing reliever, but he just needs to find command of his fastball to be successful. He arguably has the best raw arm in the system.

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