Build of a pitcher


#1

I read alot into what scouts look for when there evaluating a pitcher and one thing I cant understand is when they say they look at how big or small a guy is when you see a guy like roy oswalt throwing 95 96. I prolly shouldnt be complaining bc I have a large build and this would be in my favor but I just dont understand some of these old timer scouts. Ne comments?


#2

Tall pitchers are currently in vogue.

However, not everyone believes that just because a pitcher is tall that he will be able to throw hard (due to poor mechanics, flexibility, or genetics). As a result, there are some scouts and organizations out there (e.g. Moneyball types) who are looking for pitchers that the height-obsessed scouts and teams are overlooking just because they aren’t giants (but whose stats show that they know how to pitch and get guys out).

If you look in the Neyer/James book on pitchers, you’ll find plenty of extremely pitchers around (and in some cases under) 6 feet.


#3

I have made the acquaintance of several professional scouts…stringers for the regional scouts, so low level, but highly regarded for their ability to see talent. I have had this very conversation with several of them, and the consensus is that taller pitchers have a better angel of attack, i.e., the ball crosses the plate on the fastball at a more severe downward angle, making it more difficult for the hitter to make solid contact. Also, the curvball can be thrown flatter and still get good break on the ball at the plate.

This isn’t to say that smaller pitchers are ineffective, but taller pitchers do have a built in advantage, according to these guys. So if you have two guys of equal talent, take the tall guy.


#4

The other thing scouts think tall guys have over small guys is projectability. A lot of times teams will draft a high school kid who is 6-5, but hasn’t filled out yet. Often times these kids will put on 3-5 mph just by filling out. Scouts see smaller guys as having less potential.

That’s not to say that smaller guys can’t pitch. The other thing is scouts see big guys as more durable and able to get through a long season; and yes a professional season is very long.


#5

This is true to a degree, but the key variables are arm slot and stride.

A tall guy can have a lower release point than a shorter guy if the tall guy throws sidearm (ala Randy Johnson) or is a drop and driver and the shorter guy throws from a 3/4 arm slot.


#6

You’re the first person I’ve ever heard of that suggests Randy Johnson is a sidewinder. Low release point, perhaps, especially on the slider, but I’d say low 3/4 on his fastball.


#7

You’re the first person I’ve ever heard of that suggests Randy Johnson is a sidewinder. Low release point, perhaps, especially on the slider, but I’d say low 3/4 on his fastball.[/quote]

Based on photos like these, and his lack of shoulder tilt, I classify Johnson’s arm slot as Sidearm to High Sidearm. He’s certainly not 3/4.


#8

speaking about randy johnson, don’t ask me why his fastball is so straight


#9

All look like sliders to me, but I’d agree that he has a low arm slot and almost zero shoulder tilt.


#10

id say their is a slight advantage to more taller pitchers,but if your good enough (no matter how tall you are) the scouts will find you.