A couple of questions

Hey Guys,

New to the forum, I’ve recently been trying to get back into playing baseball. I didn’t play high school ball, but I did play recreationally every now and again during high school. Nothing serious though. I pitched a bit in my earlier days. I’m in my second and a half year of college (BYU) and next year I’m hoping to try out for the baseball team. I have just under a year to train and get back into pitching. I’ll turn 23 at the end of this year. By the way, I’m a lefty.

So onto my questions…what will a college baseball coach be looking for from a guy who didn’t play high school ball? I clocked a couple pitches over the summer, ran about 65mph without warming up, so I figure when I’m warm I’m getting into the low 70’s. I realize this isn’t what the coaches are looking for. My second question is, at my age, is it possible to gain 15-20 mph on my pitches? I know a 90mph fastball is considered somewhat of a standard amongst minor league teams (at least, after the reading I’ve done, that seems to be the consensus, I could be way off). I figure the BYU baseball team isn’t quite at the minor league level so would high 80’s be a solid fastball? I don’t want to hurt my arm or anything, with my time frame for training, is becoming a college level pitcher a realistic goal or would I be wasting my time?

Thanks a ton guys!

Check this out:

http://www.drivelinebaseball.com/tag/joe-marsh/

Excellent site there, thanks! So you’re telling me its a possibility, and luckily I have more than 5 months! Very good news. Thanks again for the link.

Can any of you offer insight as to what a college baseball coach is looking for? I don’t think BYU is a big baseball school and I think it would be a lot of fun to play ball again!

BYU is a tough school to play at. They have a new coach, and the team is generally pretty good while scheduling tough opponents.

But if you manage to throw 88-89 in a walk-on tryout, you’ll be fine. :slight_smile:

Wow thanks for the insight, I didn’t realize BYU was stepping up their game. I remember going to a couple games last year and they didn’t seem like a great team, I guess that’s why the got a new coach!

So along with a solid 88-90mph fastball, what else do coaches look for in college ball? If I’m trying out as a pitcher, what are the expectations they’ll have for fielding or batting?

good off speed, and ability to field the position. Hitting isn’t a concern

Some things Coaches look for:

Fast Ball:

Coaches want to see a pitcher’s average velocity- what your fastball is at on a consistent basis throughout a game. Your top velocityis also something they look at. Along with radar gun readings, they’ll look at movement, sinks,cuts,etc.

Arm Action:

They will note at what arm angle you throw from. This determines how much tension, or effort, is in the arm action. A max-effort pitcheris tough on his arm and risks injury, as opposed to someone who is smooth and effortless. Pure arm speed is also noted, which usually translates to tighter rotation and better velocity .A pitcher’s arm action will also determine what type of break a curve or slider will have (down break, sweeping, sharp, loose, hanging, etc).

Delivery:

Are pitching mechanics clean and smooth, or is there work to be done with the mechanics? There are a wide variety of mechanical flaws that may prohibit a pitcher from being efficient and consistent.

Change Up:

While throwing the change, the pitcher must try to maintain his fastball arm speed, delivery, and follow-through. Quality arm speed and a good follow-through increase deception. Location is crucial. A change-up that creates deception, changes planes, and is thrown to the proper location is a wonderful pitch at any level. A good change-up is usually 10 to 12 miles per hour slower than the pitcher’s fastball. The change-up is a great pitch in itself, but it also enhances the fastball, making it appear quicker than it really is.

Breaking Balls:

This includes curves, sliders, cutters, etc. College pitcher’s need at least one quality breaking ball to keep hitters off-balance. Good breaking balls have velocity, and they break late, have a tight rotation (tougher to read the spin), and hitters struggle to make solid contact with them.

Aggressiveness:

Does the pitcher go after hitters with his fastball? Does he challenge hitters with his best stuff? Does he work quickly on the mound between pitches? Does he intimidate hitters with his body language and attitude?

Baseball Instincts:

Does he have a feel for pitching (knowing when to use his fastball or when to go off-speed); Is there field awareness for where base runners are and where the play needs to be made; does he back-up bases and cover first base when necessary; and does he support his teammates after an error is made?

Control:

Can the pitcher pitch, or does he just throw in the direction of the plate? Can he locate his fastball for a strike when behind in the count? Does he pitch ahead-in-the-count,or behind?

Physical Maturity:

Coaches will evaluate a pitcher’s body to determine if he “feels” the pitcher can improve his velocity in the future with added strength training and using their College throwing program. They take into consideration a Pitcher’s current height and weight and if they are done growing or not. There are some 20 year old pitchers who have been weight lifting for 3 or 4 years and are so physically developed that it is difficult to project any velocity improvement from maturation. But on the otherhand, high school pitchers weighing 165-175 lbs. Adding 2-5 mph on their fastball as they gain weight and strength over the years in College is entirely possible. The problem is, strength and maturity does not insure added velocity, so this is purely projecting.

Since you’re a lefty you also will need to be able to get lefthanded hitters out on a regular basis.

Chances are you’d start out in the bullpen if you made the team so you’ll have to be effective every time you step on the mound. This is where mental toughness comes into play if you have a bad outing you have to be able to shake it off and be ready the next day or next batter.

Hope this helps you out

Awesome information there, thank you guys so much. Now I can set some realistic goals, this is great! Thanks again guys!

One coach, when asked what he was looking for in a pitcher, replied: “A good change.” Obviously he must have talked to Babe Ruth at one time. The Babe, who was no slouch on the mound, said that a good changeup will cause batters more grief than just about anything else. The thing to remember is that you have to throw the changeup—and any other pitch—with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as for the fast ball; to slow down is a no-no in any pitcher’s book inasmuich as it results in some really long balls!
If you have a fastball, a good change, and one or two breaking pitches, and you can throw them for strikes, there are thirty major league ball clubs ready and willing to hire you at a very handsome price. So go to it, and the best of luck to you. :slight_smile:

Kyle, I read in the article posted that you have a new weighted ball book coming out. When do you expect its release and is it significantly different from the last one you published.

BTW, that book is the real deal. My 16 yo sophomore son is throwing consistently at 87-88 mph, up 4-5 mph after adding your routine to his workout.

Very good! Shoot me an email with the details, if you please - kyle@drivelinebaseball.com.

I am writing a comprehensive training book, not just one on weighted baseballs (though it certainly includes the use of them). It’s not free; it will be available on Amazon.com for less than $50, though - and an online portion with videos, demonstrations, and a forum to track progress!

As for its release date - I was hoping to have it out in January/February 2013, but that’s going to be pushed back until March-April, because I am going to use the methodology on my 100+ select kids this winter and report the results in the book (and I’ll probably make slight changes based on how training goes).

Hope that helps, and please do shoot me an email with the details of how you used the book! (I do need to update it because the balls in the original book aren’t readily available for sale on Amazon, though)

Kyle,
Will do. I’ll send it today.

Kyle, I checked out your free weighted baseball training book…for sure something I’m interested to try out. Do you recommend I start doing this after a few months of conditioning my arm and getting my speed up with rotator cuff exercises and proper mechanics or is this something I can start doing sooner?

To everyone, thanks again for the replies, good stuff. I’ve been throwing a bit more and my muscles/tendons on either side of my elbow have started to hurt after I throw lately. Wasn’t an issue for the first couple of days, but now it seems to happen even if I’m long tossing…is this just my arm getting used to throwing again? My actual elbow joint doe not hurt, just the muscles or tendons a couple inches past my elbow on both sides. It hurts more on the wrist side of my elbow.

It’s definitely not for those who aren’t already in decent pitching/throwing shape, that’s for sure.