Explosiveness


#1

A concept/approach I agree with. However, it seems that pitchers who are not, or at least do not appear to be, explosive receive better reviews, are more highly favored and are more “projectable” than pitchers who move with more force (for lack of a better term) towards the plate. About the “non-explosive” types you hear things like: “it looks like he’s just playing catch”, “he has such an easy delivery”, “the ball just explodes out of his hand”, “he pitches x miles per hour with little effort”.

Certainly plenty of established MLB guys throw with tremendous energy (and explosiveness), but I don’t usually hear this as a negative for them. It seems to come up in terms of potential pitching prospects. Thoughts?


#2

I think that sometimes explosiveness can be mistaken for pitchers who get out too early with their upper-body.

I would say that Trevor Rosenthal, Justin Verlander, Jose Fernandez, and Felix Hernandez are all explosive, but they all also have very clean easy mechanics.

My son pitches at the Division II level in college, and he’s had a variety of team pitching coaches who’ve tried to get him to come over more with his upper body, extend more, create a little more explosiveness in his delivery.

The other day he had a pitching lesson with his old pitching coach. Within 10 minutes he fixed/took out most of this stuff from his delivery, and his location, movement, and velocity all jumped.

The coach reversed this stuff, making him get back, stay back over his back leg, keep his shoulders level, drive down slope with a nice push before foot strike. When his hips opened, he wanted his shoulders back, creating separation and also extension because his arm could extend against the quiet upper body platform that was created.

By doing this he created arm speed/explosiveness with enough force that after the ball was released, the momentum pushed his back leg up and over, his arm driving all the way through.

The change was dramatic, moving from something more violent and less controlled to a delivery that looked collected, smooth, relaxed, generating great arm speed and a ball that exploded out of his hand.


#3

Good post above. It’s easy to confuse explosiveness and just being out of control. You can be explosive while maintaining smooth delivery.


#4

Think Mariano Rivera.


#5

Explosiveness is vague.

Intent must be properly coordinated, in the right sequence and at the right time.

The most efficient deliveries don’t look like they take a lot of effort because the parts are synced up with the energy transfer taking place seamlessly from segment to segment.

Getting the body segments in the right positions and applying intent at the right time generates this perceived effortlessness.

That being said, nobody really cares about this. 95mph is 95mph. It’s a minor nitpicky thing that only plays a factor at the highest level, and might be the difference between being drafted a few rounds lower or higher, or being projected as a starter or reliever at the big league level.

You should be trying to throw the shit out of the baseball, just be careful your delivery is properly sequenced and that intent is coming in the right places. Most hard throwers have a firm drive from their back leg but the initial phase of the delivery is really just loosely allowing the torso and arm to get to the proper position so that they can explosively join in the throw at landing.


#6

Yes, what lankylefty said. A much better explanation from a pitcher rather than a dad watching a pitcher.

That syncing up rhythm thing can be hard and take some time to get consistently right.