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In baseball, a power pitcher is a pitcher who relies on the velocity of his pitches, sometimes at the expense of accuracy. Power pitchers usually record a high number of strikeouts and statistics such as strikeouts per 9 innings pitched are common measures of power.[1] An average pitcher strikes out about 5 batters per nine innings while a prototypical power pitcher will strike out one or more every inning.[1] The prototypical power pitcher is National Baseball Hall of Fame member, Nolan Ryan,[2] who struck out a Major League Baseball record 5,714 batters in 5,386 innings. Ryan recorded seven no-hitters, appeared in eight Major League Baseball All-Star Games but also holds the record for most walks issued (2795).[3] Other prominent power pitchers include Hall of Famers Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, and Bob Feller who led his league in strikeouts and walks several times.[4]

The traditional school of thought on power pitching was "throw till you blow"[5] but multimillion-dollar contracts have changed mentalities.[5] The number of pitches thrown is now counted by a team's staff, with particular attention paid to young power arms.[5] The care which some of the old time power pitchers took with their arms allowed for long careers and further opportunity after they stopped playing.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 SCOUTING REPORT. Sports Mogul Inc. (2006). Retrieved on 2007-08-11.
  2. King, Jason. (July 25 1999) Kansas City Star Never-changing Nolan Ryan, one of game's greatest power pitchers, true to Texas roots. Section: Sports; Page K11.
  3. NOLAN RYAN. Nationwide Speakers Bureau, Inc. (2004). Retrieved on 2007-08-11.
  4. Olds, Rob. Bob Feller. Retrieved on 2007-08-14.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Shaw, Bud. (March 21 1999) Cleveland Plain Dealer. Developing a power pitcher can be a delicate proces. Pitch counts are one way to reduce stress on young arms. Section:Sports; Page 3C.
  6. Brown, Tim. (March 7 2005) Los Angeles Times Life needn't end at 40 for power pitchers , and Clemens, Johnson and others are proving it. Section: Sports; Fitness and Starts; Page 1.