Class of 2016 pitching video ... coach comments welcome

Hi guys,

Been a fan of this site for many years.

My son is a late 1998 born player. I am trying to do a brief write-up for his Skillshow site and was wondering if some of you pitching coaches could give a brief description of what you see and how you would describe his pitching.

Thanks in advance. All positive and negative feedback is welcome.

See link:

Thank you.

Pretty good delivery overall. I like his effort level. He seems to get his plant foot on the target line. He gets up over the front leg. He looks smooth through release.

The biggest thing that got my attention (not saying it’s a problem–just unusual) was how late his head turns to acquire the target. I usually have kids make their eyes burn a hole through a spot on the catcher or his mitt for their entire wind-up. I believe it helps with pre-pitch visualization of a positive outcome. Most kids I’ve taught are more consistent and miss their intended target by a smaller margin. It goes along with something one of my baseball coaches told me “Aim small; Miss small”.

The same goes for the stretch. After the pitcher has checked the runners for the final time, focus is on the target from first move.

Another thing that I see is that he’s very deliberate through his wind-up. If he can build speed earlier in the delivery, it may help him. Two key points that help build some early momentum are accelerating the leg lift/back leg push, and delaying the hand break. Some pitchers can incorporate a little extra speed/effort/intent initiating their leg lift and rear leg push a bit more speed which will help get the hand break moving with a bit more vigor. Delaying the hand break for as long as possible makes the remainder of the delivery speed up because the body has to play catch up with the front side. I’m not talking about rushing here, I’m just talking about not being slow. Movement should be as fast as possible while maintaining total body balance and control.

From the stretch, he may already do this just to be quicker to the plate. Does he have this same slow leg lift from the stretch? If he doesn’t, I’d bet he throws a touch harder from the stretch than the wind-up.

Thanks for the reply.

In terms of the locking in on the target that is a habit he acquired and can’t shake. Someone mentioned looking down away during the delivery and then it will help you lock on your target. Not sure if it good or bad. But he doesn’t have control problems.

The delivery speed and timing on the hand break I’ll have him work on. Think you.

From the stretch he has a much lower leg lift and is very quick with his motion to the plate.

How’s his fastball velocity from the stretch vs wind-up? Do you or his catcher notice a difference? I’m curious to know. Good luck this Spring!

I think his postural tilt prior to release is contributing to early shoulder rotation and poor trunk extension/flexion. And these things, in turn, increase the wear and tear on the arm, pull the release point back, and possibly rob some velocity.

But I say all of this with a grain of salt due to the fact he’s throwing off of a portable mound. I’m wondering if his initial movement on the mound might be altered due to the limited size of the mound to the side and rear of the rubber. I also see that his front foot plants pretty close to the end of the mound so I’m wondering if he has shortened his stride to avoid stepping right on the edge. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - I really hate portable mounds.

By the way, if he takes CoachPaul’s advice to build speed earlier in his delivery, that will likely result in a longer stride which could cause him to plant on the edge of the mound. So my fear is he may fight the very change he’s trying to make just to avoid landing on the edge of the mound in which case he may end up concluding (unfairly) that building speed earlier in the delivery just doesn’t work for him.

Be very careful when soliciting advice on forums. Everyone will have an opinion. And please do not try to make any adjustments to your son unless you have at least 10 opinions that have some thread of consistency.

What I would suggest is that you find a high-level major league pitcher that you think your son should emulate.

Then take video and compare frame by frame what that pitchers doing versus your son…

I took a quick look at your son’s video and a picture that came to mind is Yordano Ventura, KC Royals.

Your son has very good intent to throw hard as does Ventura. But pay close attention to what happens after Ventura releases the baseball i.e. how much forward movement of his entire body towards home plate does Ventura have compared to your son?

Throwing effectively and efficiently is not about pure strength or genetic arm actions or capabilities. It simply about developing and converting the momentum (primarily rotational) of the large body segments to the whip that is comprised of the shoulder, upper arm, forearm, wrist and hand.

The ideal delivery sucks (transfers) all the momentum out of the body and converted to the whipping action of the arm which means that once the ball is released this virtually no more momentum of the body going forward toward home plate.

If I had to use one term/word to describe what I see with your son it simply that he’s rushing his delivery.

Enjoy the journey.

Hi, Paul Nyman! Happy New Year, and good to see you’re still with us.
When you said that it looks as if the kid is simply rushing his delivery I immediately thought of a guy named Allie Reynolds and how when he first came to the Yankees he was doing the same thing. He was more of a thrower than a pitcher—blazing speed, close to 100 miles an hour, but inclined toward wildness and didn’t have all his stuff together. But then Eddie Lopat entered the picture and worked with him, taught him how to slow down his delivery and change speeds on all his pitches. Exit Reynolds the thrower who could hit 100 MPH. Enter Reynolds the very fine pitcher who could hit 100 MPH. (Not to mention the guy who broke Yogi Berra of the habit of looking into the dugout all the time.)
Looking forward to more of your comments. :slight_smile: 8)

What would you describle your sons arm be (3/4’s high 3/4’s or over the top)? Not going go try to answer this just want to see the response.

One of the reasons I love this site is that people are getting involved to help pitchers improve.

Vlad, you have certainly drawn some high level helpers for your son as I see Roger, coachxj, pitcher17, and Zita have jumped right in.

Yes, Roger that looks like a youth sized portable mound. He could benefit from a longer mound for sure! His foot plant will naturally happen further from the rubber if he adds speed to his delivery. More of his momentum will transfer up the chain with a small increase in distance gain toward home and I don’t believe he’ll have so much of that forward momentum after release as he currently does because he’ll be converting a larger amount of his forward momentum up the chain prior to release rather than having it bleed off as forward momentum after release.

I hope I explained that a bit better this time. I think Coachxj made several valid points including taking in the delivery at a slower frame rate, comparing it with high performing pitchers and also about the forward movement after release. Good stuff.

Just want to say a few things that might not seem to belong on the mechanics and analysis forum. Take it for what it’s worth from a guy who has been there.

There appears to be much better chance for success in tweaking mechanics if the pitcher himself is the one doing the evaluating. Fathers certainly have the interest but not as much skin in the game. I think this site has born that out. And I think 16 is not too young to be expecting him to mostly “take it from here”.

A lot of spinning ones wheels can be avoided if you guys can do a few things. First and foremost: trust your gut instincts. Don’t rely on an “expert” solution. Do your diligent research, trust intuition and do what is best for your specific situation even if it means conflicting with expert advice.

If something don’t seem right, it isn’t. By the time you wait for a trusted expert to tell you it’s wrong, you are probably too late to change it.

Remember some professionals have an inadvertent conflict of interest. Some may be simply looking to profit and some looking for a name to attach to advertising. These are not wrong in and of themselves, just not what your goal is.

If you trust yourselves you may often be convinced that doing something very few people are doing is the right thing to do. In other words you may be thinking of going against conventional wisdom. Lots of good decisions have been made that way.

Sure, you are going to make some mistakes but if you trust yourself and act on those gut feelings, you won’t suffer from inaction do to fear of failure or information overload.

Good Luck! The kid looks like a winner to me. Throw him out there and see if he floats.

Have of prosperous New Year.

I agree with everything Dino has written BUT…

The problem is that this player is very far along in his journey to find the best way to throw the baseball. And even though the parent has spent a lot of time (years) observing and searching the fact of the matter is that his son has a delivery that is very inefficient.

That delivery is ingrained and as I’ve said many times before the problem being that as one advances up the competition ladder it becomes exponentially more difficult to make changes in how you throw the baseball.

The unfortunate fact of life is that unless the player starts with good mechanics and by good mechanics were talking about using the body most efficiently to throw the baseball. Attempting him him himto change those mechanics as the player gets older is a losing proposition for most.

I say this not to be a doom and gloom person but simply from my experience. It takes a long time for parent to come even close to understanding what it takes to understand all aspects of what needs to be done to train a player to effectively throw baseball if that player hasn’t picked it up on his own at an early age.

The same can be said for a player. I’ve seen so many players come to this website who do all the videotaping of the world, post incessantly, and yet are as far away from effectively changing the mechanics as if they started from day one.

The only real solution is to gain instant insight and knowledge. And the only way that this can be done is to find your golden pitching instruction goose. But it becomes a Catch-22 because if you knew how to find the golden goose you wouldn’t be where you are now.

That’s why say enjoy the journey because you may never get to the desired destination…

Some great advice on this…

In addition to the mechanics discussed, looking at the measurements you posted on his skillshow page (5’7" 135 lbs), it looks like this could be helpful as a road map for college:

Any idea what his velocity is?

BTW, I noticed these stats floating out online (not sure if that’s him or if the stats are accurate or not, but the 14 BBs and 11 hits vs. 7 ks in 11 innings concerned me):

Thanks all for the advice. I’m trying to understand what all has been said. If I get it in layman’s terms, he needs to

a) be faster with his initial leg lift
b) delay the hands breaking apart
c) improve the stride (it was noticably short in the video, so I’m hoping it was more to avoid landing on the edge of the mound)

Is this correct?

McLoven, correct, he’s small in size for a pitcher and I really appreciate the article on Collins. I’ll have him read it. I wish Tim was a leftie so we could observe his mechanics. Most of the small MLB pitchers - I don’t like their mechanics (Cuerto, Stroman, Wagner …).

My son’s desire has always been to generate as much momentum as possible.

dp sorry.

Try not to make stride length a goal. It needs to be a by-product of other components influencing the stride. Momentum away from the rubber and toward the plate has great influence in getting the stride to its maximum manageable distance. I try have kids work on generating speed down the mound with an aggressive lift and simultaneous rear leg drive.

If kids just work on reaching out with their stride leg thinking a longer stride equals success, they are getting the wrong message. Other things done correctly translate into a longer stride. A pitcher can’t just skip to the longer stride and expect what came before it to be correct by default.

I would add getting a longer mound to the list of essentials as well.

I would also say that working on these things in the same sequence that they occur in the delivery would be most beneficial. Don’t try to fix multiple things at once–it rarely works.

The above statement indicates (to me) that you know virtually nothing about how the body effectively throws the baseball. Or more specifically you are unable to recognize what aspects of throwing mechanics important.

It’s one thing to “want” to get better. It something else again to want to be the best that you possibly can be which requires total dedication, commitment and leaving no stone unturned.

And from what you’ve posted your not even close.

You have a long way to go before you should even contemplate messing around with your sons mechanics without having much more informed support.

If this sounds cruel so be it. From my perspective it’s a reality check.

From my perspective, we can have reality without cruelty.

There is nothing wrong with a parent doing what is within their ability to aid in their child’s development. It’s not common and certainly not necessary for the parents of most ball players to seek professional aid with their game. Often even professional coaches do more harm than good.

I’m sure Coachxj didn’t mean that Vlad should stop trying to help just because he’s not the world’s foremost authority on the pitching delivery, only to perform due diligence before altering mechanics for the wrong reasons.

Not sure you can make that connection …

Not saying those pitchers aren’t really effective, but I don’t like how upright Stroman finishes, I don’t like how little Wagner’s arm comes back, and I don’t like how Cuerto practically faces backwards.

Simply put, those aren’t styles I want my son to emulate.

Vlad, I think the point is, those pitchers are doing the bulk of things correctly to generate the high velocity they create for their size.

Take Stroman for example:

You don’t have to mimic everything, since every pitcher is built differently, has different constraints and strengths, but I believe coach xj’s point is that you should understand the general principles of how they generate MPH (momentum transfer, movement patterns, etc.). Don’t lose yourself in the “style” over substance. You’re unlikely to find a perfect model for your son, because there’s only one pitcher exactly like him.

Well stated.