First Post - 16yo HS JV Lefty -- Any Advice Welcome


#1

Hi all - My son’s a 16yo 6’4" lefty sophomore in HS pitching on his JV team, nearing the end of a successful season. 5-1. 1.77 ERA. 1.1 WHIP. About 1.5 Ks for every Hit. We went out and shot our first video in awhile from the side and saw a few interesting things. Most obvious is the big step vs. up/down/glide with the stride leg. It looks to me like that leg action is forcing some backwards lean which he’s battled in the past. What else do you see? Thanks for any advice!


#2

There’s is zero drive and zero intent in his delivery.

It doesn’t seem like he is throwing very hard, from an intent stand point.

He doesn’t stride, he simply takes a step forward.

The back leg plays zero role in his mechanics.

No matter what his stride length is, it shouldn’t be a length that is a comfortable standing distance apart. He could stand with his legs further than his stride.

He needs:

-Throw with much more intent
-Develop more separation

There are good aspects of his delivery too:

-He has good arm action(from what I can tell at full speed)
-Good upper body mechanics for the most part
-He’s 6’4. Bigger lever is a big advantage.

I would suggest working on the following:

-Develop intent-Throw as hard as you can! Only those who desire and try to throw hard will.
-Stay closed longer. He front leg simple steps and opens with zero aggression
-Faster stride-Get the hips moving faster-this goes along with intent.

Just look at someone like Chapman, Lincecum, or Trevor Bauer. Look at their legs move in their mechanics.

Power starts at the legs. He’s depending nearly all his velocity on what his upper body does. He needs a powerful stride, aggressive mechanics, and hip/shoulder separation.

My guess is that he’s in the mid to upper 70’s. Maybe 80 right now. With his big height and upper body mechanics, that should be much much higher.


#3

Thanks…!! Lots to work on and very helpful direction. Very much appreciated.


#4

This kid needs to learn “The Secret”!
I never tire of talking about this essential element of good mechanics. Many moons ago I used to go to the original Yankee Stadium, and I would watch the Yankees’ Big Three rotation—Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat—in practice and in games. I saw what they were doing—and how they were doing it: they were all driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, creating a nonstop flow of energy all the way up through the shoulder and the arm—thus generating more power behind their pitches, throwing harder with less effort (even Lopat who was not a fireballer)—and taking a lot of pressure off said extremities. I made a note of what they were doing and started working on it on my own, and this incurable sidearmer found herself doing the same thing they were! The results were fantastic.
A good place to start would be with the “Hershiser” drill, which aims at getting the hips fully involved and thus establishing a connection between the two halves of the body. The whole point is that the entire body has to be involved, so the pitcher is not just using his arm. This drill needs no special equipment, just a fence or a wall. :baseballpitcher:


#5

Thanks, Zita! I’d seen another post from you suggesting that drill and we’ve already started on it. Much appreciated!!


#6

Fun to see what 21 months, a little more height/weight/strength and a lot of work with a strong instructor can bring.

My son’s looking forward to a fun Senior year and getting some attention from college coaches.


#7

Very nice improvements!


#8

Thanks, Steven!


#9

Very nice…lots of improvement. What is his velocity?


#10

Thanks! I think he’ll be around 80 or low 80s this season. (He’s been clocked up to 85 on flat…but haven’t done radar on mound recently.) Still lots of upside, I hope. He’s a pitcher tho…never relied on the FB. Throws FB, Cutter, Slider and Change. When he’s got it all working he mixes them all up to where hitter has no idea what’s next.


#11

Well that was quick and painless. My son just committed to pitching D3 at Willamette University after spending a great weekend visiting the campus, coach and team. Onward! :slight_smile:


#12

Soooo much better than the original video. In the first video I thought he was going to fall asleep before he finished his leg lift. In the second video, he’s got more aggressiveness and his lower body action is much better. Keep working hard, it’s paying off.


#13

He is a powerful sleeper! :slight_smile: Thanks for the nice words!


#14

He’s definitely got a lot going for him being 6’4" and a lefty to boot. Also, looks like he’ll be able to put on quite a bit more muscle as he gets into a college program so that 80 may turn into close to 90 soon. Good luck with everything. Mechanically, he’s looking really good.


#15

Thanks, Viking!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give credit where it’s due. Kieran worked hard, no doubt. But he also started taking pitching lessons from Caleb Balbuena (http://www.ninety5plus.com/) within a couple months of the “before” video and continuing until today. Caleb is in Northern California and is the best!