MLB 2K10's Strasburg is the Fastest Pitcher in the Game

Illustration for article titled emMLB 2K10/ems Strasburg is the Fastest Pitcher in the Game

As promised, MLB 2K10 won the race to be the first to put Washington Nationals' phenom Stephen Strasburg into the official roster, and their version is nothing short of superhuman. Try a 102-mph fastball.


To those who followed the righthander since his career at San Diego State, this will not be much of a surprise. Scouts have vowed that he hit 103 on the radar gun in workout sessions. But it's paired with a 91 control rating (and 89 movement), so, that's why you're going to see a lot of the Washington Nationals - a sub .500 club - in multiplayer for the time being.


Bear in mind, this list has only nine pitchers clocked at 102 or higher in a regular or postseason game. A quick but not comprehensive survey of the hardest throwing starters in MLB 2K10 finds they have less oomph than Strasburg - Detroit's Justin Verlander has a 96 mph fastball, Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez has a 98-mph heater. Tigers relief pitcher Joel Zumaya, clocked at 104.8 mph in a 2006 game, has a 102-mph heater, the only other one I could find on short notice.

But wait, there's more. 2K Sports gave Strasburg a 97-mph two-seam fastball, which is supposed to be a livelier but slower pitch. That's still faster than the top percentile of four-seam throwers. His slider is 92 mph and the change is 86 mph. Correction: Strasburg's fifth pitch in this game is a 12-6 curve (at 78 mph, but movement is more relevant than speed). Strasburg uses this more than any slider.

How does that match to reality? In his sensational 14-strikeout debut, Strasburg hit 100 only twice - both times in the second inning. He also had a change clocked consistently between 89 and 91 mph in that game, so if he's underrated in anything, it's that pitch.

Interestingly, 2K Sports gave Strasburg a Derek Lowe windup, lacking a personalized throwing motion for the rookie. Bet he has one next year.

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Well if you watch highlights of his debut on June 8th, there was one time the radar clocked him at 103MPH. This kid seems for real and as most baseball analysts have mentioned, he's getting a pretty cushy entry into the league by playing the Pirates, with the worst offensive in the league, and his next game is against the Indians, which has a bottom 5 offense. I hope the Natinals (misspelled on purpose) take care of him his first year. It would be a damn shame to see him be used too much and have his arm fall off like Mark Prior.