Best pitching MECHANICS book?

Hi, I’m interested in buying a new pitching book. I have Steven Ellis’ first ebook, Tom House’s The Pitching Edge book and video and The Louisville Slugger’s The Complete Book of Pitching. But I’m looking for a detailed PITCHING MECHANICS book.

One that will go through EVERY part of the mechanics… rocker step, leg lift, hip leading the stride, hip shoulder separation, delayed shoulder rotation, arm action, trunk flexion, follow through etc. etc. etc.
The ones in bold are the ones I’m most looking for.

I don’t wanna a book with pitching grips, workouts, nutrition, mental game etc. since I can get that from the other books I already have.

I have found this one: The Perfect Pitcher
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585186023?ie=UTF8&tag=baseball19-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1585186023
by Tom House. It seems to be a pitching mechanics only book and seems to be good.
May anyone tell me the topics or chapters of this book?
Does it go through those aspects of the mechanics I talked about above?

I’ve also seen this one: Arm Action, Arm Path and the Perfect Pitch
http://www.amazon.com/Action-Path-Perfect-Pitch-Million-Dollar/dp/1606790420
by Tom House.
What are the topics? Does it “waste” precious pages on workouts and pitching grips and the mental part of the game?

Any other non-House book with good detailed mechanics explanation?

I will only spend the buck on 1 book for now and want to make sure I will get the one I’m looking for.

Thanks again.

The Pitching Edge has some valid stuff but it is a little bit dated.

House’ s book, The Art and Science of Pitching, is his latest book that focuses on mechanics. It pretty much covers the mechanics model that the NPA currently teaches.

House has another book called Fastball Fitness. Its main focus is on conditioning but the book starts with an excellent section that talks about how different parts of the body contribute to velocity.

Tha main focus of Arm Action, Arm Path and the Perfect Pitch is to use science to debunk a lot of the common conventional wisdom teaches we hear all the time. There are also some sections at the end of the book on miscellaneous topics including the training protocol used to condition the two kids from India that House worked with and got signed by the Pirates.

For a non-House book, I remember thinking the Louisville Slugger book did a good job of explaining mecanics but that was a number of years ago when I read it.

You’re referring to “The Picture Perfect Pitcher” by Tom House. It is 76 pages long and here is an outline of what’s in it:

  1. A chapter is devoted to a discussion of 9 of the most common conventional wisdoms in pitching. These conventional wisdoms are contrasted and compared against scientific evidence from House’s studies of elite pitchers–that is, he states the conventional wisdom, he summarizes the objective information that differs from the common wisdom, and he uses photographs of elite pitchers in various stages of their deliveries to illustrate his points.

  2. A chapter is devoted to the “Pitching Absolutes”–the features that every good pitching delivery share in common, even though individual pitchers look superficially different accomplishing these “absolutes”. He begins this chapter with a discussion of dynamic balance and postural stability. From motion analysis studies, the concepts of equal-and-opposite arms, hip rotation, and delayed shoulder rotation, as well as “blocking the glove”. “Blocking the glove” later came to called “swivel and stabilize” in House’s lexicon and it refers to the idea of swiveling the glove-side into place somewhere out in front of the torso and bringing your torso forward to the glove during launch of the ball.

  3. Another chapter is devoted to graphic illustrations of the written descriptions of the “absolutes”, using more photos of “Modern Day Legends” captured in the relevant parts of their deliveries…Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Dennis Eckersley.

  4. A 4th chapter is devoted to illustrations of all the same points using “Current Superstars”…Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Kevin Brown (remember, this book was written in 2003).

  5. Yet another chapter uses these illustrative photos of Kerry Wood, Andy Pettitte, Billy Wagner, Mariano Rivera, and Trevor Hoffman to illustrate the “absolutes” that are shared in common by pitchers that nevertheless all look superficially different.

  6. A 6th chapter is called “A Little Funky: Unorthodox Deliveries” and uses “El Duque” Hernandez, John Rocker, Hideo Nomo, and Rob Nen to illustrate that the “absolutes” are nevertheless conserved within the individual peculiarities of each of these guys’ deliveries.

  7. Everyday Throwers. The throwing mechanics of position players Nomar Garciaparra, Craig Biggio, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, and Mike Piazza are compared and contrasted with what is known about efficient pitching mechanics.

An Appendix discusses some of the very basic issues behind high speed motion analysis for pitchers–how it is used and what problems it can solve.


A more recent, refined, and comprehensive work from Tom House is “The Art and Science of Pitching”. This 177 page book contains updated and more detailed descriptions of the “absolutes”. In fact, there are eight chapters in this book devoted to pitching biomechanics:

Chapter 1: Balance & Posture
Chapter 2: Stride & Momentum
Chapter 3: Opposite & Equal Arms
Chapter 4: Hip/Shoulder Separation and Delayed Shoulder rotation
Chapter 5: Stack & Track
Chapter 6: Swivel & Stabilize
Chapter 7: Release point and Follow-through
Chapter 8: Science vs Myth, Misinformation, and Conventional Wisdom

I know you said you’re not so interested in peripheral topics, but this book does cover them very well from a position of very deep understanding:

Flat-ground Drills and Mound Drills.

Pitching Goals, Strategies,and Tactics for Competition.

Functional Fitness, Mental/Emotional Management, Nutrition, and Arm Care for Health and Performance.


Sorry, I don’t own a copy of “Building a Million Dollar Arm” so I can’t review it for you.

Thanks Roger, I saw some things about Fastball Fitness and they mentioned House talked about hip and shoulder separation and where velocity came from and thought it may be good, but I was not sure if he went deep into the mechanics part.

laflippin, thanks a LOT! This was exact what I was looking for but couldn’t find anywhere else. An overview look of the chapters.

I’m inclined on purchasing the Art & Science of Pitching. I might as well purchase it tonight.
A quick question, should I consider buying the Picture Perfect Pitcher also? Or the Art and Science cover everything The Picture Perfect has?

Thanks guys.

I think The Art and Science of Pitching covers everything The PPP covers, and in greater technical detail. (Plus it has the other peripheral stuff in it, as mentioned).

The PPP is a simpler, more graphic introduction to mechanics but the pictures are arguably better because he uses lots of celeb pitchers to illustrate his fundamental points.

I like 'em both but would recommend Art and Science of Pitching if you’ve only got enough coin to buy one…

Thanks, I just placed an order for the Art & Science of Pitching.
Actually I thought there was much more pitching mechanics books out there, but it seems like just a couple of coaches write books.

There are quite a few books that address pitching mechanics but most of them are/were written by folks with a limited understanding of what pitchers actually do when they deliver a baseball. Many authors, even some who were great pitchers in their day, don’t really seem to know what makes pitching mechanics efficient. That is, they may “know good mechanics when they see 'em” but they may not always be able to derive clear teaching points that enable others to develop good mechanics.

High speed motion analysis of pitchers was first carried out by Tom House and his biokinetics associate Alan Blitzblau starting in the late 80’s when Tom was pitching coach for the Texas Rangers. Motion analysis opened the door to understanding pitching mechanics at a level of detail that could never be achieved with the unaided eye–we simply can’t resolve the fast motions that happen in between leg lift and follow-through with enough clarity to make sense of them.

House’s primitive motion analysis techniques in the 1980’s eventually evolved into very sophisticated techniques using 8 to 10 synchronized cameras operating at up to 1000 fps to capture and study details of the deliveries of more than 500 elite pitchers. Those studies, carried out over the past 10 years or so, led to his current approach to understanding and teaching pitching mechanics.

one of the best books i think you can buy is sandy koufax a lefty’s legacy. you can find it used on the barnes and noble site for about 3 dollars. when you’re reading this you are reading the words and thoughts of a master. he still teaches to this day but youever hear about him. the first chapter of the book is the equivalent of te williams’s book on hitting. it really is that good.

leo mazzone’s pitch like a pro is another must have you can find used.

do not underestimate the impact of proper nutrition and strength training. the difference between 175 and 190 (lean muscle only) is enormous

AMEN BROTHER DUSTY!!! Tell it all!! :bigtup:
Like in the old comic book advertisement…Do you want sand kicked in your face? Or Do YOU want to kick the sand??? :wink:

Oh man… it’s tough for a Giants fan to purchase a Sandy Koufax book. If I did it I would have to hide it very well… :lol:

you could always color his hat black or something with a sharpie.

my guy went from 170 to190 with a 32" waist in the last year and it’s unbelievable how much difference it makes.