DIV I Baseball Player

Hi, I’ve just joined this community for I found it very complete and helpful. So this is my story. I am 19 years old, I am from Mexico and I am currently playing NCAA Div I baseball for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. This post may be quite long so I would really thank anyone who takes the time to read it help in anyone you can.

I have played baseball for 16 years and I have been a pitcher for 12 years. I have played countless tournaments for Mexico’s National team (including 2 World Championships).

Here is the problem, when I was 16 years old I was clocked 87 MPH, I was seen by 3 Major League scouts (Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Yankees), and the comment from the three of them was exactly the same: “You are very very strong, but too small.”

Now I am 19 years old and on a good day I can hit 88-89 MPH… but I am only 5´7 and 170 pounds. I am starting to get frustrated because I master the difficult part of pitching (mechanics, control, mental) and the only thing that stands in my way to the pros is throwing velocity!! 3 years ago I was a freak, now I am just an average pitcher.

I know throwing velocity isn’t everything Major League teams are looking for, but it certainly helps and probably determines whether you are drafted or not. To be honest with you, I do not know what to do now. I left my home to come to the States for the sole reason of pursuing a baseball career here, and I know Div I baseball is the best place where I could be now.

I was initially going to join the Miami Hurricanes (you know what that means) but due to some problems with the application deadlines and other dates I was not able to join them and so I had to make a last minute choice so I didn’t lose an Eligibility year. Here at UMES we are working very hard and I’m pushing myself to the limit but I just don’t feel the program we have will help me achieve my ultimate goal.

For example, here they love to lift weight, we have 3 or 4 weight sessions every week, I mean that’s good because it helps us build muscle and strenght and such, but I will not gain a single MPH from that. The rest of the pitchers can lift as much as double than I can, they have been doing it for years, for me, it is the first time I set foot on a weight room (seriously), and still, I have the fastest fastball of them all, so clearly, that’s not the path I want to take.

What I am trying to say is this, I am not likely to grow that much (any tips for that would be appreciated), the program I am doing is not focused on what I need and my 4 Elegibility years began running last month. I seriously thought of buying a program focused on pitchers, just like TuffCuff or JaegerSports, but I am not quite sure if I could mix them up with what I am currently doing.

If there is someone out there that could help me, I would greatly appreciate it, any comments, suggestions, tips, anything I could use, I am really getting frustrated. I know I have the talent, and the only thing that is holding me back is that I don’t have a concrete program focused on what I want to follow, trust me, I am up to the challenge, no matter what it is, I just need to find such challenge. PLEASE HELP!! Thank you.

I almost went to UMES…

…but anyways, you could try a weighted ball program. Or Tuffcuff.

Wow cool story. But you defiantly want to put on some weight. More weight mean more momentum, i.e. more velocity. I know it’s not that simple, but there is a reason big guys tend to throw harder. Weight in muscle does help, you may want to look into protein supplements along with your lifting workouts. Weighted ball and long toss are good ways too. I mean really really long toss. Remember Rich Ankiel (Spelling?) used to be a pitcher and he can throw from the warning track to behind home plate, on no bounces.

Remember Rich Ankiel (Spelling?) used to be a pitcher and he can throw from the warning track to behind home plate, on no bounces.[/quote]

He does not throw from the warning track to home on no bounces. It was from the track to third on no bounces in the game against colorado.

[quote=“WC12”]
He does not throw from the warning track to home on no bounces. It was from the track to third on no bounces in the game against colorado.[/quote]

There was one game where he was pretty deep in the outfield and threw the ball towards homeplate and he hit the backstop

regardless we can agree that he has one of the best arms in baseball

regardless we can agree that he has one of the best arms in baseball[/quote]

Absolutely

Next time- put more effort into finding a college that’s a good fit for you.
You still have plenty of opportunity to make it in the pros. BTW- they do draft and sign short players- you just have to be good.

Pro scouts are not the smartest people in the world. If they were really able to find talent, then they would be making a killing as agents.

In your case, they don’t want to risk being embarassed by offering up a shrimp (I’m short too) who might not be able to handle the rigors of pitching professionally. They want pitchers to be tall: 6’0" minimum.

BTW: on average (I’m gonna get pummeled on this one) shorter pitchers are better than taller pitchers. But the best ones are tall, which is why we have the cookie-cutter mentality

BTW: on average (I’m gonna get pummeled on this one) shorter pitchers are better than taller pitchers. But the best ones are tall, which is why we have the cookie-cutter mentality[/quote]

…what? How do you figure short guys are better than tall?

Any serious study indicates that height is not a true advantage.
However, the top pitchers are all really tall (6’2" and above).

Short players have to prove themselves to be better than tall players

Home plate is not ten feet off of the ground.

The problem is that baseball is one of the few team sports that requires great skill at all positions. To achieve that great skill requires years of training, and big bodies hold up better than little bodies.
So scouts push bigger bodies knowing that too many quick duds ='s loss of job.

I’m reminded of a story about a general manager who got wind of a kid in the bushes who was absolutely phenomenal. He sent a scout to check this out. The scout watched the kid pitch in a game, and that kid was indeed phenomenal—he pitched a perfect game, and only one batter got so much as a loud foul off him. The scout reported this back to the Gm, and back came this reply: "Sign up the guy who got the foul! We’re looking for hitters!"
My point is that nowadays too many scouts are looking for the big guys who can throw 100 miles an hour and are overlooking the “shrimps”, some of whom are nothing short of phenomenal. For example, there was Bobby Shantz, who was 5’6’’ if he was an inch, and he had a long and successful career with several teams including the Yankees. And he had a very good fast ball. Phil Rizzuto was a shrimp—5’6’’—and he was one of the all-time great shortstops. There are plenty of guys who don’t even reach 5’10’’ or 5’11, and they do very well at whatever position they play—look at Ed Lopat and Whitey Ford, for instance—both 5’10’’ southpaws who did all right for themselves. I could go on and on, but I’ll just say that size, or the lack of it, should not be an obstacle.
So stay with it, work to develop as a pitcher to the fullest extent, and good luck. :slight_smile:

I just want to throw this out there, but there was a study done on the optimal height of a pitcher and the advantages/disadvantages. It showed that when accounting for all the factors (mound height, slope, 60’6, and the height of the pitcher), the range of 6’1"-6’3" was shown to produce the best leverage capabilities to achieve maximum velocity

I think the biggest problem you have is the mentality that working out and getting into shape is not going to help you throw harder. Generating that velocity that you need can come from your lower body strength. If you never worked out in your life, then your entire body strength isnt at its highest potential. If you get into a workout routine and strengthen your legs, core, shoulders, and the rest of your upper body, you will see a drastic change and likely add some velocity.

You cant run your fastest if you dont train to do so on a regular basis right? If I sat on my butt all day and then went out and tried to beat my friend in a race who has been doing sprints for the past months to train his legs, I wouldnt beat him in a race right?

So, dont think that you are going to be able to gain velocity on your fastball by doing the same thing that you have been doing for the past 2 years that hasnt helped any velocity on your fastball.

i threw a complete game 9 inning 3 hit shut out against UMES last year. Had a 1 hitter going into the 9th. 8)