Contrary to most players who end up playing professionally, I wasn’t the star player growing up. I was just an athletic, skinny kid who had no idea how to swing or throw properly and never had any formalized instruction. Entering high school, I was 6’3” and weighed 150 lbs. I threw about 70 mph. I really got hit around when I faced high school hitters for the first time, which exposed my lack of ability and preparation. It was a defining moment in my career.
If I have a kid that throws 90, I’m going to teach him a BP fastball at 84. If he throws his changeup at 80, I’m going to teach him a changeup of 76. Before we put any movement on a ball, before we put any different spin on a ball, we try to make the hitter responsible for tracking a broad range of velocity—in this case it would be 76 to 90.
Baseball has taken a turn towards the tech era. What was once only available to pro organizations and colleges with big budgets has now started to trickle down to smaller colleges, high schools and training facilities.
One walk can create a problem. Multiple walks, or an inability to maintain control of the strike zone, can single handedly lose the game for your team. Guess you better learn to “Throw Strikes!”
“We’re all looking for the same thing- we want competent players who are at the cutting edge of their ability. At the same time, we may go too fast, and each guy is a little bit different in the type of information that he can take in and utilize.”
For eons, pitching coaches have talked about mechanics, command and control. Then came velocity and threw out all the old adages and wrecked the house. Today, it seems like everyone wants velo first, and then everything else as well. I am here to say that things are about to change again!