Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science

First Advisor

Stella Hofrenning


Average fastball velocity throughout Major League Baseball has increased dramatically over the previous 15 years. This research examines the factors leading to this increase and provides a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether throwing consistently at high velocities is worth the injury risks, compared to financial benefits, from the player perspective. Additionally, this analysis examines if paying hard-throwing pitchers is worth the monetary risk from a team executive’s perspective, due to increases in leaguewide throwing injury rates. The production of advanced motion capture technology to obtain real-time biomechanical data has given way to the optimization of pitchers’ biomechanics, with the goals of increasing throwing velocity and injury prevention. This innovation may be the driving force behind the significant increase in average fastball velocity throughout Major League Baseball in its recent history. An empirical model was developed using multiple regression in R to analyze the average impact in which a range of “point of interest” (POI) biomechanical measurements have on a pitcher’s resulting fastball velocity (via Driveline Baseball). Preliminary results show that many POI biomechanical factors significantly influence fastball velocity in pitchers at all levels, most notably, the energy transfer across the throwing elbow between foot plant and ball release, peak shoulder internal rotation, and peak trunk/torso axial rotation velocity. With the use of 2023 MLB pitcher salaries, this study also found that pitchers in the top 10% of the league, in terms of average fastball velocity, tend to make less money than the rest of the pitchers throughout Major League Baseball, on average. Many factors other than throwing velocity also play into this observation and are examined in the analysis. The financial benefit of consistently throwing at elite fastball velocities may not be worth the risk, due to the increasing injuries resulting from prolonged stress on the throwing arm at high throwing velocities.