Developing heat


#1

I am somewhat stumped and would like to get input on this issue.

My son is 15 (lefty) and has been working on breaking balls for a couple of years. This past summer was the first season that I allowed him to throw a breaking ball in a game. He has developed a very nice curve and a very good slider but his fast ball has actually lost speed. They put a gun on him at high school tryouts and said that, even though he had a decent number of pitches, good control, good mechanics, and decent movement on his pitches, he wasn’t going to pitch unless he had better heat.

I have no idea on what can be done to increase the speed of his fast ball. He is a good size kid and pretty strong (does weight and core training on a regular basis). He also plays first and can gun the ball to third on a straight line, so his arm isn’t weak. The only thing I have noticed is that his outer tricep gets sore after throwing a great deal. He has started doing additional arm exercises and the soreness is way down.

Any suggestions or should he just concentrate on first base?

ps… since he started throwing breaking balls, his change up, which was once his best pitch, has kind of hit the dumper.


#2

I wanted to tackle this part of your question, and maybe some other forum members can help you with the other parts.

A common misconception with youth baseball pitchers is that “the more pitches you have, the better off you’ll be.” Not true. Most Major League starting pitchers throw just three pitches: a fastball (and its variations: two-seam, four-seam), a change-of-speed pitch (like a change-up) and a two-plane pitch (like a curveball, splitter or slider). For Major League relievers, it’s two pitches: a fastball and something else.

Most do not throw a slider and a curveball because it’s very difficult to keep the integrity of the two pitches intact without them melding into a slurve. (A slurve is a combination of the two pitches that doesn’t exactly “dart” like a true slider or “drop” like a true curveball making it, more times than not, a looping, hittable gofer ball.)

Don’t spread your son’s pitch mastery too thin by working on a slider and a curveball, while other, more important pitches – like his change-of-speed pitch – fall to the wayside. Pick and develop just one two-plane pitch to master at 15 or 16 years old (the curve or the slider in your case), and spend the rest of the time getting that change-up back on track. That way, you’ll have a complete arsenal on “looks” to unbalance and fluster the hitter: a fastball, a change-of-speed and a two-plane pitch.

Plus, a good change-up, no matter how hard you bring the heater, will make the heater look that much faster!


#3

im just curious how fast did the radar gun say ur son threw?..and also i remember i looked into throwing with ur triceps a while ago because i wasnt getting enough power on the pitch and if your triceps begin to hurt while ur pitching then ur not throwing with correct mechanics


#4

I have never heard of your triceps hurting before, but my abs do hurt when I pitch which tells me I have used my lower body correctly


#5

Thanks to everyone for responding. Your input is greaty appreciated.

I have to say that I completey agree with the concept of concentrating on a few key pitches (fast, change-up,curve). Unfortunately, many high school coaches seem to want to push young kids into more and different pitches. Two years ago it was a cut fast ball. Last year, it was a slider. During the summer, when I coach, I tell the kids to concentrate on their best pitches two pitches. I really want him to get his change-up back and will work with him on that during the winter, as well as his fast ball and curve.

I took my son to the gym and had him work with the trainer. The first thing the trainer noticed was that he had large biceps and lower tri’s, but his outer tri’s were under developed. His recommendation was to balance out his workout and more evenly develop the arm muscles as well as work in more core training. SInce then, his arm muscle development is much more balanced and he arm hasn’t bothered him for a while.

I’m not positive on the pitch speed as it has been a while, but the last time I gunned him, he was in the mid-50s. That is also where he was about a year back and, given that he has put on foot in height, you would think he would have picked up some more speed. The other pitchers were all pretty much in the low-mid 60s with one hitting the high 60s.


#6

[quote=“sandro250”]Thanks to everyone for responding. Your input is greaty appreciated.

I have to say that I completey agree with the concept of concentrating on a few key pitches (fast, change-up,curve). Unfortunately, many high school coaches seem to want to push young kids into more and different pitches. Two years ago it was a cut fast ball. Last year, it was a slider. During the summer, when I coach, I tell the kids to concentrate on their best pitches two pitches. I really want him to get his change-up back and will work with him on that during the winter, as well as his fast ball and curve.

I took my son to the gym and had him work with the trainer. The first thing the trainer noticed was that he had large biceps and lower tri’s, but his outer tri’s were under developed. His recommendation was to balance out his workout and more evenly develop the arm muscles as well as work in more core training. SInce then, his arm muscle development is much more balanced and he arm hasn’t bothered him for a while.

I’m not positive on the pitch speed as it has been a while, but the last time I gunned him, he was in the mid-50s. That is also where he was about a year back and, given that he has put on foot in height, you would think he would have picked up some more speed. The other pitchers were all pretty much in the low-mid 60s with one hitting the high 60s.[/quote]

I think I’m misintrepreting something…his fastball is in the mid-50s, but his other pitches are in the mid-60’s? :shock:


#7

If I read it correctly, he said his other pitchers, not him throw mid 60’s, which is why is son isn’t on the team.


#8

Either way, mid-60’s for 15 yr old???