Best baseball pitching instruction books

We’ve done this before on the forums, but with most pitchers playing fall ball, playing other sports, or taking some much-needed time off from baseball after a long spring and summer season, I thought we’d revisit the “Best Baseball Pitching Instruction Books” list. I’d like to sticky this thread with everyone’s contributions. What are your favorites and, more importantly, why? How can the books you recommend help forum members?

Here are 10 that I’ve read to get us started.

  1. TUFFCUFF
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KWRKWE?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000KWRKWE
  • This is my book, so of course, it’s tops on my list. But for those of you looking for a complete, step-by-step training program that covers all the exercises, throwing, nutrition, etc. that you must do to become a stronger, harder-throwing, more able-bodied pitcher, there isn’t anything else out there that’s even close to this strength and conditioning manual.
  1. Getting Focused Staying Focused
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1888698292?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1888698292]The Mental ABC’s of Pitching
  • Not as good as my favorite baseball book of all time, Mental Game of Baseball, but it’s by the same author and covers the mental aspects of the game as it specifically relates to pitchers. Also of note is [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1881643239?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1881643239[/url], by Alan Jaeger. Sure, Jaeger is known for his long toss methods, but this book is actually quite good.
  1. The Art & Science of Pitching
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/158518960X?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=158518960X
  • The latest from Tom House and the National Pitching Association is well worth the read. LTP admin Roger references it quite a bit in the Pitching Mechanics threads.
  1. Nolan Ryan Pitcher’s Bible
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671705814?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0671705814
  • An oldie but a goodie. Now I don’t prescribe to everything that Nolan Ryan states in this book, but it does provide some good insights on training and mechanics.
  1. The Act of Pitching
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0977825000?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0977825000
  • Section on pitching grips is good. One caveat: if you happen to be in the camp that believes long toss, weighted balls, strength training, pushing off the rubber, etc. are bad, then you will probably disagree with much of what the author has to say.
  1. The Picture Perfect Pitcher
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585186023?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585186023
  • Tom House.
  1. 101 Pitching Drills
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585182249?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585182249
  • Great pics and lots of drills that I find to be especially useful to use with younger pitchers learning the various elements of proper pitching mechs.
  1. Baseball Master
    http://tcpitcher.pitching.hop.clickbank.net/
  • Actually, this book is pretty good, particularly for youth pitchers up to the age of 12. Down side? It’s an online book.
  1. Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0809226685?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0809226685
  • It’s not complete by any means, but there are some gems in the text, particularly for coaches.
  1. Pitch Like a Pro
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312199465?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0312199465
  • I like this book. Very little depth and certainly not for more advanced pitchers, but good none-the-less. I mean, sure he had a GREAT pitching staff to work with, but Leo Mazzone is probably one of the best pitching coaches of the 1990’s. Just wish the book had a little more substance to it. Read it and you’ll know what I mean.

OK, so now it’s your turn …

Have to throw in Roger Kahn’s The Headgame


it’s a little old but fantastic insights are all through it.

i like pitching edge
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585180378?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585180378]Fasball fitness
by tom house and the mental abc’s of baseball. however my favorite book on pitching is the [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0736001557?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0736001557[/url] by tom house.

is there any book out there that covers the technique of setting hitters up and such?

Exceptional Player by Jim Dixon. This obscure book was ahead of its time and is still a fascinating read. I am very grateful to Mark H., who used to post over at eteamz, for turning me on to that book. Good luck finding a copy, though…

Picture Perfect Pitcher


by House really opened my eyes to what House was all about. A very easy read, heavy on clear graphic illustration of points, right on the money—a fantastic book. Extremely important.

The Act of Pitching


by John Bagonzi is greatly over-rated, IMO. Bagonzi readily falls into the worst possible trap for pitcher training: He assumes that anything a pitcher can do while he is standing still posing for a picture, can also be done in the same way during the stress of a high-speed pitching delivery.

Bagonzi’s book is full of egregious nonsense about changing pitchers’ arm-slot to conform to his [Bagonzi’s] ideas of “the best” arm-slot. And this is all illustrated with posed picutres of Bagonzi himself standing still with his elbow raised a foot or so above his acromial plane. Nonsense.

On the other hand, I liked his ideas about letting young pitchers have “their day in the sun” because, let’s face it–for most of us that day in the sun doesn’t really last too long. Still, technically, his book is on the weak side.

You can email Jim Dixon’s son, Sean, for a copy. It’s $25. Info here from an email:

[color=blue]To purchase the book Exceptional Player, then send a check or money order for $25.00 to:

Sean Dixon
1719 Mallard Dr.
Corinth, TX 76210

It would be fine to give this message to anybody else that is interested in receiving a copy of the book. Also would you or anybody else be interested in a DVD on hitting that I, Sean Dixon, have yet to produce. It would contain the latest discoveries that me and my late father Jim Dixon had discovered before his passing. If so then pass the word around and have everybody email me. I want to see how much interest there would be before I put the work into producing the DVD. I don’t want to do the work if only a few want the information.

So please copy this email and send to anybody interested in hitting or pitching, baseball or fastpitch softball, and have them email me with there interest in the book or the DVD.

Thanks
Sean Dixon
speeddixon@hotmail.com
The Dixon Discoveries[/color]

[quote=“jdfromfla”]Have to throw in Roger Kahn’s The Headgame


it’s a little old but fantastic insights are all through it.[/quote]

totally agree. that was the book you sent me a few months ago. so far i’ve read it about 5 times and a few other people have borrowed it for reading. its a great book.

Where do you disagree with Nolan Ryan?

Dice you warm my heart!! It’s what those books were and are supposed to do…I’m so glad you have enjoyed and shared!! I suck that I have a Nolan Ryan bio that I promised Lobo and haven’t sent yet but for all of you reading this thread…go to the books section in the Off Topic Forum, I still have a few books I’ll be happy to ship to anyone…heck we even shipped the entire Finnish pitching library to them :wink: …I have more that will be listed just it’s on my list and I haven’t gotten that far down yet…I’ve set goals to improve that free service…until I have sent all of my baseball books anyway.

I would love to get tuffcuff but $60 is out of my range if I want to buy a new pitchback also :frowning: . Might be able mow a few lawns or something though before winters comes to get it later.

Rake leaves !!! :smiley:

And Santa will be making his rounds very soon 8)
Get er on the list hombre