Did You Know

According to Eric Cressey, the average fastball velocity is greater in Low A ball than it is in the major leagues.

That says something about MPH and how it is often overrated. It also shows there is much more to pitching than radar readings.

And thats also why many trainers and coaches with some sort of pro experience will often tell you that velocity isnt that big of a deal. I had a pitching coach once tell me one of his former players would use a pitching machine and put tennis balls in there at 120MPH so everything else in a game would feel comfortable.

Very true. It amazes me how so many coaches, managers, what have you, tend to overemphasize velocity—it’s as if they are so addicted to speed and more speed that they lose sight of so many other elements that make up successful pitching. No wonder we hear so much about “the pitcher had electric stuff but couldn’t find the plate”—those guys tend to overthrow, and they miss the plate, and when they do get it over the batters tee off on it and BLAM, over the fence it goes!
My pitching coach of long ago told me that while speed is nice it’s not the only thing. What’s more important, he said, is control, command of one’s pitches, placement, all those things. He knew I wasn’t a fireballer, not by any stretch of the imagination, and so he emphasized those other things. He told me, “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, and change speeds. Make the batter hit your pitch.” He talked a lot about deception, about knowing the hitters’ strengths and weaknesses and how to exploit them. And even after—surprise, surprise—I picked up an 81-MPH four-seamer which, he told me, was a fast ball for a finesse pitcher such as I was—he continued to tell me about strategic pitching in its various ramifications. I listened. And as a result I never lost a game.
So, all you people who can’t overpower the hitters with sheer speed—outthink and outsmart them. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Well the thing is, it is the people with high velocity that have high potential to be successful. That is the reason. Of course there are people who have alot of movement, positioning and everything to there pitches who would be very successful, but how much harder do you think it makes it when you are having the same amount of movement and position but the ball is moving 10 mph faster? It makes it alot harder, makes it more potential for changes in velo, movement and everything else. Thats why it is so emphasized. Having velo with good movement, location, and change in speed is absolute golden.

Not surprised.

I got to thinking on this, and tis question came up in my head. Is it possible that many of the successful pitchers in the majors could have lost velocity to focus on movement? I have not done any research on this but are there many pitchers who were studs coming up and threw absolute gas and when they developed they lost velocity? Possibly for better location, movement or smoother mechanics?

A more likely reason for the switch might be some sort of injury. There have been pitchers who, as a result of some injury. could no longer fire the ball over the plate and so had to make some alterations in delivery, change their style of pitching. They became, in effect, finesse pitchers—and were very successful in their new style of pitching. For example, there was Rip Sewell, who had to make the change as a result of an injury to his foot, and he became known for the exasperating “eephus” pitch. There have been many others. 8)

This could also mean that velocity has become too much of a priority seeing as the guys making it to the majors aren’t the ones throwing necessarily the hardest. Every year guys from hs and college get drafted solely based on their 93 94 mph arm but do they have any idea how to pitch?

You can say that again!!!
There’s a tremendous difference between just throwing and real pitching. I’ve seen a lot of guys make it to the majors because they could throw at speeds of 95, 100 miles an hour, and they haven’t the slightest idea about how to pitch and they get sent down to the minors just so they can learn to pitch. I remember one guy way back when—Allie Reynolds, whom the Yankees acquired from the Indians back in 1946 in exchange for second baseman Joe Gordon. Reynolds was a fireballer whose fast ball exceeded 100 miles an hour, but he was wild, couldn’t find the strike zone half the time. But fortunately for him, he did not have to put in any time in the minors because the Yanks acquired lefthander Ed Lopat just before the 1948 spring training started, and Lopat took Reynolds in hand and turned him from a thrower whose fast ball exceeded 100 miles an hour into a very fine pitcher—whose fast ball exceeded 100 miles an hour. Reynolds had been rushing his delivery, and Lopat slowed him down, taught him to pace himself better and got him to change speeds. And Reynolds became one of the fabled Big Three, along with Lopat and Vic Raschi.
Yep, there’s a lot more to pitching than just throwing the ball over the plate at supersonic speeds. And the sooner pitchers—and the scouts who are watching them—realize this the better. Take a look at some of the guys who made it to the majors who did NOT have the blinding speed of which scouts are so enamored. Harry Brecheen of the St. Louis Cardinals. Murry Dickson, who pitched for several major league teams. Whitey Ford. Greg Maddux. The list is a long one. Those guys made it because they had the stuff, the control and command, and they knew about strategic pitching and how to take the fullest advantage of opposing batters’ weaknesses as well as their strengths. :slight_smile: 8)

i think teams draft pitchers with high gas because they have more “potential”. they feel that they can produce the hard thrower into a pitcher. maybe teach him a nasty changeup ala tim lincecum. He was drafted throwing high 90’s hittin 102 supposably. now he learned a changeup and is sitting at the 93 94 range but is a better “pitcher” than he was when he was gassing people and living off his heater.


:shock: no thats real interesting :idea: