Am I too short to pitch submarine?

On this interview, http://www.baseballnews.com/features/stories/2012/former_submarine_pitcher_kent_tekulve_explains.htm , Kent Tekulve stated that it’s easier for tall and lanky pitchers to pitch submarines. However, I am 5’5" tall and I weigh 143 lbs (that consists mostly of my strong legs.) Do you think it would be just better if I threw overhand? (it feels weird though… I always end up throwing towards the ground when I overhand.)

Submarine pitching is far more common in Japanese baseball than it is in the US…the Japanese, as a rule, are not especially known for their physical height.

[quote=“laflippin”]Submarine pitching is far more common in Japanese baseball than it is in the US…the Japanese, as a rule, are not especially known for their physical height.

Wow, I never thought of it like that. That is a very good point. Haha yeah, I’m Asian and my family is… not the tallest. Thank you!

Actually I’ve had several coaches telling me that submarine pitching is for medium/undersized pitchers. When you’re short you need movement as you probably won’t be able to generate speed right? And submarine pitches move more and are slower.

Moreover, submarines need a compact, quick motion in comparison to the whipping, wide one of three-quarters and overhand. This is easier for shorter guys. Finally, consider that as said submarines are more common in Japan and Asia in general (Korea, Taiwan). Do the math :wink:

Really? Tell that to Tim Lincecum, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, etc. That’s a whole lot of velocity, movement and wins for guys all under 6 feet.

Really? Tell that to Tim Lincecum, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, etc. That’s a whole lot of velocity, movement and wins for guys all under 6 feet.[/quote]
They’re exceptions, they are (were) explosive pitchers with a lot of arm speed. There is a reason if the average height of pitchers is 6’2/6’3. There are a lot of short pitchers who are fireballers, but they remain a minority. Plus, I had said “probably” not “definitely” and we’re talking about a guy who’s 5’5, not 6’ :wink:

[quote=“Turn 22”]
Really? Tell that to Tim Lincecum, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, etc. That’s a whole lot of velocity, movement and wins for guys all under 6 feet.[/quote]

Not really relevant, but this is why I love yahoo answers:

Really? Tell that to Tim Lincecum, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, etc. That’s a whole lot of velocity, movement and wins for guys all under 6 feet.[/quote]
They’re exceptions, they are (were) explosive pitchers with a lot of arm speed. There is a reason if the average height of pitchers is 6’2/6’3. There are a lot of short pitchers who are fireballers, but they remain a minority. Plus, I had said “probably” not “definitely” and we’re talking about a guy who’s 5’5, not 6’ :wink:[/quote]

5 of the 10 hardest throwers in MLB currently are listed at 6’ tall or under (and those heights are usually inflated by 1"-2" ):

Not a minority. The hardest thrower on the list is 5’10". Tim Collins, who throws 95mph, is 5’7" (at best). Due in part to the Freak, Baseball is realizing that athleticism, fast twitch muscles, and mechanics are just as important as size.

In fact, Some, like Trevor Bauer, think it’s easier to throw hard as a shorter player, due to being able to be quick/synch all moving parts.

Anyway, just trying to help dispell the myth.

Agree.
In my opinion height doesn’t necessarily translate to velocity. Height may give the pitcher the advantage of downhill angles, but, shorter pitchers have proven throughout baseball that their velo numbers can be just as high as taller pitchers.

Define the myth. Just would like to know the thought process here.

The first round talents in this years draft for RHP’s include Zimmer - 6’4", 220…Appel - 6’5", 215…Gausman - 6’4", 185…Wacha - 6’6", 200…Giolito - 6’6", 200…McCullers - 6’2", 205…Stratton - 6’2", 197…Hensley - 6’5", 220…

One I left out is Stroman - 5’9", 185 - your exception. And here’s what Baseball America says - "An 18th round draft pick out of a New York High School in 2009, Stroman’s commitment to Duke and his size scared teams off.

There is a definite MLB bias toward big framed pitchers. Not saying that the shorter variety can’t get it done but if you want to call it a handicap or whatever…the evaluation sheet on a scout sheet will have a place dedicated toward size and body type. That’s why the little guys walk around with a chip on their shoulders.

The myth I was pointing out isn’t who gets drafted, the myth is that smaller guys can’t throw as hard as bigger guys. As I said, look at the list of the 10 hardest throwers, 5 of them are listed at 6’ or less.

Also see this:
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110406&content_id=17470084&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb
“There used to be that thing about wanting big-boned, tall pitchers,” Jays manager John Farrell said. “Of course, there are a lot of big pitchers who turned out to be great. But I remember when I spent time at ASMI [Dr. James’ Andrews’ institute in Birmingham], they told me that the smaller pitcher could have better arm speed than the tall pitcher because his arm has a shorter path to follow.”

Baseball scouts follow a lot of myths. No one gets fired for drafting a 6’4" pitcher, because of the old maxim “you can’t teach size” (probably because “Tall and Fall” was the belief). However, that doesn’t mean that smaller guys can’t throw as hard as big guys, and that slowly but surely people are realizing that. Dylan Bundy and Trevor Bauer, two of the top pitching prospects are not traditional big guys, and both can touch 100mph, because of their mechanics and athleticism, not because of their size.

Really? Tell that to Tim Lincecum, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford, etc. That’s a whole lot of velocity, movement and wins for guys all under 6 feet.[/quote]
They’re exceptions, they are (were) explosive pitchers with a lot of arm speed. There is a reason if the average height of pitchers is 6’2/6’3. There are a lot of short pitchers who are fireballers, but they remain a minority. Plus, I had said “probably” not “definitely” and we’re talking about a guy who’s 5’5, not 6’ :wink:[/quote]

Haha interesting conversation… anywho, I’m 14 and I’m not done growing yet. But I’m sure I’ll still be short. (I’m probably gonna be 5’10" tops, haha.)

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2011/drafttracker.jsp?p=0&s=30&sc=pick_number&so=ascending&st=number&ft=PS&fv=RHP

Last year’s draft shows that though guys like Farrell are talking about reversing the bias against smaller pitchers; those making the picks are still convinced bigger is better.

[quote=“Dino”]
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2011/drafttracker.jsp?p=0&s=30&sc=pick_number&so=ascending&st=number&ft=PS&fv=RHP

Last year’s draft shows that though guys like Farrell are talking about reversing the bias against smaller pitchers; those making the picks are still convinced bigger is better.[/quote]

We’re arguing two different things. The original poster will be the same height regardless of whether he throws submarine or overhand. The original premise was that he should throw submarine because you can get more movement, since shorter pitchers don’t throw as hard.

My point is that shorter pitchers can and do often throw as hard as bigger pitchers. It has more to do with mechanics and athleticism, than size. There is no reason he should give up on throwing overhand because he isn’t tall and therefore can’t throw hard. If your mechanics are solid and you’re athletic and explosive, short pitchers can throw as hard as big pitchers.

Who gets drafted where is a totally different argument. I have no doubt that bigger pitchers often get drafted higher, partly because it’s just part of baseball lore that “bigger is better” and “you can’t teach size.” Scouts don’t want to be wrong, and the whole draft processes is a strategy. Due to the undervaluing of smaller players, they know they can get their player later in the draft if he’s smaller. This won’t change until views are totally overhauled, kinda like moneyball did for OBP over HRs or Batting average. Until then, YES, I agree, taller pitchers will be drafted higher…however, that doesn’t mean they throw harder. Again, 5 of the top 10 hardest throwing pitchers currently are 6’ and under.

Your tagline makes a good point: Bob Feller, greatest RHP ever. Bob Feller falls into the 6’ and under category and threw as hard as anyone!

The OP’s original premise was that he thought he might be too short to throw submarine effectively. Which morphed into this discussion about how he should keep throwing overhand even though he was small or short. Because by many examples, short guys can and do throw hard.

Who gets drafted where is not an argument…it is a matter of record. Since you did bring up a few things about the draft, I thought it was alright to voice an opinion.

You agree, smaller pitchers in MLB are undervalued. But for a reason. That reason is not “lore” or scouts protecting their reputations. It’s because given all the traits of top prospect pitchers, size and frame as it relates to durability is an important aspect to the business of baseball. When choosing between two pitchers of similar characteristics, most organizations will pick the bigger pitcher. The draft tracker reveals this is true in the first round especially.

Pitchers like Bauer are certainly threatening to challenge the bigger is better theory but although some lip service is being paid them, the draft shows where owners, not scouts, are willing to put their money. Remember all these guys are thoroughbreds with proven track records.

Bob Feller was from a different era and he was big for his day.

The question I have is: Do you think the size and stature of a pitcher is irrelevant?

I do think that stature is one factor. All things being equal a bigger person probably throws harder than a smaller one, if both pitchers are similar in efficiency/mechanics.

However it’s only one factor. Fast twitch muscles are a factor, coordination, strength, flexibility, mechanics and athleticism are all factors too. It’s just easier to measure height than those other factors (the eyeball test), which means that if you’re tall, you probably get more chances. Baseball people have a hard time agreeing on what the most efficient mechanics are, so a lot don’t even know it when they see it (which explains why so many doubted Lincecum at first…then he opened some eyes to what is possible…now hard throwing smaller super-athletic pitchers like Bauer and Bundy are following in his footsteps and mowing people down).

Again, we both agree that taller pitchers are more likely to get drafted or get a chance in MLB. Since that’s the case, that means there are certainly much fewer 6’ and under pitchers than over 6’ pitchers on rosters. So, there’s a smaller pool of 6’ and under pitchers in MLB, yet 50% of the top 10 hardest throwers are 6’ and under. That’s at least evidence there’s some kind of inefficiency or bias in scouting.

Just because scouts/owners sign taller players more easily or vote with their wallet, doesn’t mean they’re right. It’s the same logic flaw that moneyball exploited. [Heck shortstops used to have to be short…then folks like Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez broke that mold. There are a ton of historical biases that get changed when a player breaks the mold. Now, it seems that the success of shorter pitchers may be causing some questioning of the historical bias toward taller pitchers.]

As for Bob Feller, it doesn’t matter if he was relatively tall in his day. Folks focus on how HARD Feller threw. 6’ tall then is the same as 6’ tall now.

Bauer and Bundy.

A scouting report on both:

Bauer

http://orioles-nation.com/2011/05/24/trevor-bauer-scouting-report/

Bundy

http://orioles-nation.com/2011/04/23/dylan-bundy-scouting-report/

What I see is an intensity to compete that is derived from personal pride.

Feller had it. In fact, when he wasn’t performing up to his standards…he went to management and demanded a 25% pay cut! Just one of the many reasons I hold Feller as No. 1 overall despite my admiration for all that Nolan Ryan accomplished.

You are right Mcloven, there are alot of good pitchers that get the old hohum because of their size but it’s not only changing because of the success of guys like Bauer…it’s changing because of the failures of some of the big prospects. Balance is what I look for in a major league team draft. Those are the small market teams, in my opinion that are going somewhere. But then again, with profit sharing and the monopoly, there is less of an incentive the figure it out.

Dino, I agree 100%! :slight_smile:

Flashback 1993- Los Angeles Dodgers trade a middle reliever to the Montreal Expos for second baseman Delino Deshields. Reports were that the middle reliever, despite success, was too small and frail to be a starting pitcher.

That pitcher went on to become an 8 time all star, 3 time Cy Young award winner, and World Series Champ, recording 219 wins, 2827 innings pitched, with a lifetime ERA of 2.93, and 3154 Ks.

Pedro Martinez, 5’10"(maybe), 170 lbs.

I know this, Pedro has long freakish fingers and an ultra competitive nature.
:boxing:
^-------------Don Zimmer