Freshman tryouts - my approach


#1

I posted a different vid of me on the mechanic analysis forum and recieved some very helpful comments. I am in the middle of high school tryouts. The coach liked my curve, the FB was above average, but he thought I was over throwing my change. In tryouts I threw a split change, 4 seam FB, and curve. I didn’t throw sinker or cutter. Based on what you see in my clip what pitches should I develop and what should I leave out of my arsenal at the high school level??? I am throwing 4seam FB, split change, 2seam/sinker, and a curve. I don’t think I going to blow away the top of the line up with an 80 mph FB. I am 14, 5’10" 145 lbs.


#2

Sometimes a reply means a little more if you know something about the source. I’m the father of a HS Senior pitcher but I’m not a pitching coach per se. I played as a middle infielder. My son has pitched successfully the last three years but those years were spent gaining command of his pitches. Thinking back on his freshman year, he did and always has pitched off his two seam fastball at the knees but the change up and slider were a work in progress and so to my point…

He found himself reaching his pitch count earlier in the game than he or the coach liked because he was not getting ahead and staying ahead. To correct this he had to rely more on his infielders to get outs. The groundballs shouldn’t be lasers but weak groundballs or lazy fly balls created by the change of speeds early in the at bat.

I like the change up dropping down and away and the 2 seam at the knees. Add an occasional 4 seam up in the zone to the right batter. Mix in the curve/slider but don’t get too fine with the strike zone. Whatever you throw, get ahead and stay ahead. Change speeds and pound the strike zone. The top of the lineup guys don’t like to hit the off speed stuff generally. Be ready to change your philosophy mid stream when you learn something about a hitter. Use the pitch that best takes advantage of his weakness.

As a freshman you have the opportunity of a lifetime. You are in the perfect position to impress somebody and you have alot of time to make adjustments and improvements. Whatever pitch you throw…walk out there and take the mound like you own it and then only give it up when you have given your best.

Those are my observations of successful pitching for what its worth…Your video shows me that you have the physical ability to make it happen. :twocents:


#3

This is the pitcher’s dad. We share the same account. Dino, this is very much appreciated input from someone who has been there. We are not quite sure what to expect from high school ball. Pitching to contact for weak early outs in the count makes a lot of sense. The kids really seem to focus on how many strikeouts they got. He is learning to hit the inner and outer thirds of the plate and changing speeds but up and down in the zone is an accident right now. The mental side of the game is also a work in progress. Thanks


#4

Hi Jruck,

I was taught and suggest that you look at actually reducing the number of types of pitches you throw especially at the high school level. Realistically speaking, your goal should be to throw 3 maybe 4 pitches really well rather than using 6 different pitches with lesser mastery. Currently, you are throwing a fastball, changeup and curve. This is actually plenty for most high school pitchers. There is actually a great deal of refinement that can be made to this pitches. For example, you can make slight adjustments to your pitching grips to greater movement or velocity. Part of your daily practicing should be to learn these subtleties and is one reason why many pitching coaches advocate focusing on only a few pitches. Try to avoid the trap of thinking you need to learn a bunch of different pitches to be effective.

Another reason is that you are trying to develop muscle memory in your throws and by throwing only 3 types of pitches as opposed to 6, it ensures you are getting in enough throws to make this muscle memory develop properly. This will help make your throwing more automatic and natural in games.

As far as your overthrowing your changeup. I am guessing your pitching coach is saying you are throwing the changeup too hard. If this is the case, the best antidote for this is to bury the ball deeper into your hands. You may find this easier to do with a circle change or ok changeup grip although you may lose some movement. Recognize that ideally you want your changeup to be about 10 to 15 minutes slower than your fastball.