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Partaker

Registered: 05/09/11
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
As a fan and(12u) parent of the game, I am amazed at how hard the girls throw the ball. Does anyone have any idea how fast the top pitchers in each age group throw and what is average speed?
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PitchSoftball

Registered: 07/07/06
Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #2 
Although we have seen some exceptional 12U pitchers hit in-game speeds in the mid and even upper-50's, here is a discussion of some national averages at various age levels:

5forthewin

Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #3 

I believe that 12s should average about mid 50s, 14s, upper 50s, 16s, about low 60s to mid 60s, then 18 about mid to high 60s.


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eights_dad

Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #4 
We can all believe what we like, but they dont throw that hard...average speed of the pitchers in the 5A final 4 this last yeas was 62 MPH..

Winning pitcher of the Gold Berth this last weekend in Golden (from AZ) was 63 consistently and 64 occssionally..

I dont know what a 12U pitcher should throw, but when my kid was playting 12U she wasnt throwing near mid 50's..52 consistently..

Everybody thiinks they've got the dominant pitcher at their age roup (the famouns 60 MPH kid)..truth is, hardly anyone does..
KevinKlatt

Registered User
Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 171
Reply with quote  #5 

You've got that right eights_dad. I always loved when parents of 12U players say their kids are throwing in the mid 50's. I think people just guess and think that sounds right. When my daughter played 12U most pitchers actually threw 46-48 with a couple hitting 50. Most 14U pitchers are throwing around 52-54 mph. Sure you have the exception at every age group, but put a speed gun on them and you will be surprised that it's not as fast as you think.

correlator

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #6 
On our first-year 12U team all three of our pitchers hit highs of 50 - 52, but most of their pitches are about 47 - 49.  These three girls are faster than most we face, but they are not the fastest.  A couple of the second year 12U girls we've faced are probably on the order of 52 - 55 for average pitch speed.
KenHeebner

Register User
Registered: 07/26/10
Posts: 131
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5forthewin

I believe that 12s should average about mid 50s, 14s, upper 50s, 16s, about low 60s to mid 60s, then 18 about mid to high 60s.

This used to be on Jennie Finch's site, but was taken down awhile back as she is trying to encourage girls to focus on mechanics and movement, not just speed.  However, here is the listed speeds for Jennie Finch:

8 49 mph
9 51 mph
10 53 mph
11 55 mph
12 59 mph
13 62 mph
14 63 mph
15 66 mph
16 68 mph
17 68 mph
18 67 mph
19 67 mph
20 69 mph
21 70 mph
22 71 mph
23 71 mph

Keep in mind, these were her top speeds, not average speed.  If 5forthewin is correct, then Jennie Finch was an average pitcher in the 18U division.

I think the bigger point is, how does the ball move?  If you watched the World Series and games leading up to it, you saw teams that had pitchers barely breaking 60 mph beating teams with pitchers that were just below or even breaking 70 mph.  Given enough time, and good hitter can learn to hit a fast ball, not matter what speed it is.
5forthewin

Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #8 

I agree.It does not matter how hard the pitch is as how much it is moving. Any girl can hit a straight fast ball.


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MarkReuter

Registered User
Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 216
Reply with quote  #9 
I think your going to be hard pressed to find a 12U pitcher that averages mid 50's.  Think about it, to have an average in the mid 50's they would have to be throwing anywhere from 53-58 consistently to establish a 55 mph average. I don't see that happening, literally.   

We are a first year 14 team and our two pitchers probably average 49-52.  We just returned from a New Mexico tournament where we played some pretty good teams.  Out of the 11 teams that were in our age bracket we probably saw 12-15 pitchers and only two were faster.  KeLeKi is dead on, IMO.  Mid to high 40's for 12U and low 50's for first year 14 while starting to see a mid 50 now and then.  I would expect our pitchers to be throwing mid to high 50's on average by our 2nd year 14U season with off season work and growth.

Keep in mind, speed really is the last thing to be concerned with.  I have learned that more importantly you should be looking at revolutions, spot work and a breaking pitch for movement.  The caveat being that you need speed for break.  I'm not talking about throwing a lot of breaking pitches necasarily.  Shelby Babcock threw a fastball, change up and a rise ball during her high school career. 

One other point somewhat related to speed.  Learn to master the change up and it will make your fastball even more affective no matter what the speed actually is.
5forthewin

Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 87
Reply with quote  #10 

I agree, the change up is THE pitch that every pitcher should throw or learn to throw.


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