San Francisco Giants: Would you rather have Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner?

By Danny Vietti
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Aug 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) pitches to Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (L) during the third inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


As all pitchers will find out at some point in their lives, in order to play at the next level you have to have some get-up in your fastball. Although Jamie Moyer and Greg Maddux are exceptions, high velocity is a gift given to the most fortunate that allow them to dominate at a high level. By no means is velocity a necessity, but it absolutely is a luxury.

As shown in the image from, Bumgarner’s average fastball velocity has increased every year but one since his debut in 2009.

2009: 89.2 mph

2010:91.5 mph

2011: 91.5 mph

2012: 90.8 mph

2013: 91.2 mph

2014: 92.0 mph

2015: 92.2 mph

Career Average: 91.4 mph

As for Clayton Kershaw, his average velocity has been less consistent, in that, one year he throws a little harder and the next he loses some velocity. Nevertheless, this season Kershaw has his highest average velocity since 2009.

2008: 94.3 mph

2009: 94.0 mph

2010: 92.5 mph

2011: 93.2 mph

2012: 90.8 mph

2013: 93.0 mph

2014: 92.9 mph

2015: 93.5 mph

Career Average: 93.2 mph

Overall, Kershaw is throwing harder this season and has generally thrown harder than Bumgarner throughout his career.

Round 1: Kershaw

Next: Round 2: Location