Fritz Outman's Site

I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time:

Fritz Outman is the father of Josh Outman (SP-A’s) and Zach Outman (SP-TOR). Josh has some major league innings logged under his belt but is currently on the DL with a torn UCL and a SLAP in his shoulder, while Zach is fairly new to the pros.

Both pitchers utilized an interesting delivery invented by their father, and both threw over 90 MPH using it. I’ll save my opinion on the mechanics, since no one cares, but they are decidedly Marshall-esque in their design.

If you believe Mr. Outman, he would tell you that pro teams refused to draft Josh/Zach if they kept their current delivery and forced them to switch to a conventional delivery. Both complied, and Josh struggled with command when he self-reportedly said it was never an issue in college. Josh asked to use a hybridized motion with just a pitching arm change, but the A’s reportedly denied him this request. Josh eventually ruptured his UCL and suffered a SLAP in his pitching arm; whether or not this is connected to the mechanical change is unknowable.

Mr. Outman says someone (a Marshall acolyte) filmed Zach pitching in a game in St. Louis in 2006, then uploaded that film to the Internet without the authorization of Fritz or Zach. Any takers on who that person was? (The answer can be found in Dr. Marshall’s Q&A from 2006.)

Anyway, there is a lot of interesting video, stories, and information on his site. It’s rambling in nature, but it’s great to see it all in one place and from the horse’s mouth. He says he has a book/DVD to sell, but there is no way to purchase it from the site as far as I can tell.

Enjoy!

He sells a "pitching sock also…(Last vid on his vid page below)
Looks like O’Leary won’t be invited to dinner :lol:

Here is the younger one in the Az fall league with none of that “Methodology” his dad mentions but you have to wait and see some abs from some “up and comers” :wink:…you know unknows like Evan Longoria and Delmon Young

If ya’ll don’t want to wade through the bitterness and just see what it is here…

The old man is bitter as all get out for having both his boys in MLB…ain’t no way I’d knock him though…just as I always say…more than one way to train up a pitcher…his kids are his bona fides and I wish them the best.

Variations on a theme…
Back in the mid-to late 40s and into 1950, the old St. Louis Browns had a pitcher named Fred Sanford. He wasn’t a bad pitcher, and the Yankees evidently saw something in him so they acquired him in a trade. Now the trouble began. Sanford had a pitching delivery best described as “herky-jerky”, and it didn’t matter that he was getting the batters out. Yankees pitching coach Jim Turner didn’t like it. Third-base coach (and how did a former infielder get mixed up in this?) Frank Crosetti didn’t like it. That delivery offended the esthetic sensibilities of both coaches, and that was IT. No other reason. They wanted Sanford to have a smooth, Spalding Guide-perfect motion. So they started futzing around with him. And they ended up destroying him; when they got through with him he wasn’t a good pitcher any more. At the end of the 1950 season he was traded to another team.
This is something I will never understand. If a pitcher’s motion, however unorthodox, is doing the trick—if he’s getting the batters out with it—why change it, if he isn’t screwing up in the process? My pitching coach—you might remember him, his name was Ed Lopat and he was a key member of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation of that time—firmly believed that every pitcher has a natural motion, and what Steady Eddie would do was work with that pitcher and show him or her how to make the most of it. I for one was a natural sidearmer, and I used the crossfire a lot (that’s a move that works only with the sidearm delivery), and he helped me refine that move—but he didn’t change a thing. He just showed me a couple of things I could do.
It reminded me of what he had done with Allie Reynolds back in 1948—Reynolds had been more of a thrower than a pitcher, kind of wild, didn’t have all his stuff together, and Lopat had worked with him, slowed him down, taught him how to pace himself better and showed him a couple of pitches that Reynolds made good use of. He had turned Reynolds from a thrower whose fast ball exceeded 100 miles an hour into a very good power-pitcher-with-finesse whose fast ball exceeded 100 miles an hour.
And how about some of those other guys, past and present? Satchel Paige, for instance—he had one of the wildest deliveries anyone had ever seen, to go along with his collection of pitches with odd names. The guys with the extremely high leg kicks—like Juan Marichal, and before him Bob Feller. There are others too numerous to mention. I can only speculate on what might have happened to those guys if the coaches had made them change their motions just because their esthetic sensibilities had been offended. It’s one thing if a pitcher’s delivery is such that his effectiveness is seriously interfered with. It’s another thing if the pitching coach doesn’t like it just because it looks weird or awful and never mind that the pitcher is getting the batters out.
Something to think about. :roll:

Thanks for bringing this stuff here Kyle :bigtup:

No problem!

Zita, I agree wholeheartedly. What I would give for Josh Outman to be able to use his pitching delivery in just one game in the big leagues! Ever the optimist, Josh said this in an interview with Baseball Prospectus:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7537

[quote]DL: Can you foresee a scenario in which Josh Outman stands on the mound in a professional game and delivers a pitch with his old motion?

JO: Yes, I can. It may not be in the near future, but at some point the time will be right.[/quote]

The difference between Outman and Marshall is that Outman’s clients (his kids) both threw over 90 (verifiable, no less) with the mechanics he taught.

Here’s the saddest thing in the previous interview, IMO:

[quote]DL: How difficult was the transition into a more conventional pitching motion, and were the biggest obstacles mental or physical? Also, have you ever reached a total comfort level with it?

JO: The transition was the most difficult challenge I’ve ever faced in my baseball career. The biggest obstacle of the switch was, and still is, physical. It has been an ongoing struggle to gain control over my body using the conventional approach and only now, four years into the process, am I starting to settle in.[/quote]

Organizations are primarily concerned with not looking bad by trying something new. Why did Lincecum fall to where he was? Teams like the Mariners (his hometown team!) were “scared” of his unorthodox delivery. This would have changed if Josh Outman was a top 25 draft choice, and even then, who knows?

Kyleb, I forgot to mention another pitcher with a weird delivery. In the early 1960s the Cincinnati Reds had a relief pitcher named Howie Nunn, and he was one for the books. He wiggled and wabbled and jerked around like a rooster with the St. Vitus dance and threw his arms and his legs and his neck and just about every other part of his anatomy into his pitching delivery. It all looked awfully funny—except to the batters who had to face him, because he got very good stuff on his pitches and was getting the batters out. :slight_smile:

this is too good to pass up

When I saw the first few frames of this .gif I began to think “oh no, this might be even worse than Marshall,” until the kid finishes with great rotation, separation and clearly some velocity.

I can easily believe this kid throws 90 mph.

I poked around on the website for a little bit, and I saw some recurring themes. “compressing” and “tightening” of the back muscles to create “extreme scap loading” in addition to a violent follow through in the “vertical plane”

My mouth actually dropped as I realized this guy was saying pretty much all the exact things I had been discovering on my own the past few months (at least, in my overhand long toss mechanics).

In fact, I posted this on my log just a couple days ago in response to Priceless:

This is what I sent to priceless in response to his video

"Is the problem you’re asking about that your throwing arm is getting way behind your body and kind of dragging? Is this what you meant by excessive scap loading? In my opinion your arm action is too loose and passive. Who is a mlb pitcher you think makes a good mechanical model for you? Few hard throwers have passive, dragging arms. It’s hard to see sometimes but 90+ mph throwers are activating different muscles in their throws. I forget where but I remember a study that major league pitchers activated their lats 300% more than amateur pitchers during their throws.

I have found this to be the case in my own throwing, especially in my long toss, where I throw from a high 3/4 arm angle. Its hard to describe but when I throw with a sort of “loose tension” i can get the most velocity.

watch this kid at 5:02 in slow motion. His arm doesnt just come down out of hand break and get dragged along by his body, it plays an active role in the throw throughout the movement. Look at the immense difference between the activeness of his arm action in the warm up throws vs. the high velocity throws. It’s the exact same player, but he’s subconsciously reducing the activeness of his arm action during warmups in order to stretch out/get loose or whatever, and then as he gets to his max distance you can see how aggressive he’s getting with his arm action. He’s using his lats way more in the throw, and he’s focusing the pulling the ball down as hard as he can using the lats.

to talk about this last point a little bit more, imagine a single arm straight arm lat pulldown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ue35xA5LBw

for me this is the feeling I look for in my 3/4/overhand long toss throws (it’s a little different when I’m pitching sidearm). I kind of brace my body (loose tension, relaxed intensity, whatever you want to call it) and during my throws my focus is pretty much on having an active and aggressive arm action, and on getting my body in a position to allow me to PULL DOWN as hard as I can, using the same muscles that you feel in the straight arm pulldown. You see this in the jaeger videos too. The arm action completely drives the throw, the lower body just does what it has to to support the arm action, and the torso gets in the position it needs to to allow the arm to pull down with maximum leverage.

It’s hard to throw this way. It requires a LOT more athleticism. When you do it properly you will get crazy extension out over your front leg and throws will take a lot of effort. Nobody ever said throwing hard was easy. Listen to the kid’s grunts, listen to nolan ryan if you have watched him pitch and you hear the same thing. Josh Beckett talks about putting everything he has into his throws and it taking a maximum effort.

If your body isn’t pre-tensed a little bit you’re going to have a tendency to be lazy in your throws, even if you think you’re putting a maximum effort.

Again, I’m going to use a weightlifting example. Take a bench press (or a squat, or anything really) for example. When lowering the bar to your chest you can do two things. You can stay loose, let the bar drop to your chest and then try to turn on all of your pressing muscles at once, or you can stay taught and pull the bar down to your chest with your lats and back muscles and then explode out of the bottom from a stable base of support. The movement still looks smooth, but in one you’re pressing from a stable base of support and you’re kind of pre-tensed for explosion, and in the other you’re too loose to generate as much power. Try it. Huge difference.

To summarize:

keys for me being able to build up to long tossing 300+ feet are

  1. bracing or pre-tensing of the body. This is preparing the body for a high intensity max effort athletic movement. If you weight train properly you know what this means. Preparing for big lifts requires intensity and some tension in the right muscles for maximum power
  2. being aggressive with your arm action, using the right muscles. This means using the lats and back muscles to initiate the arm action and to FINISH the throw with an athletic explosive pulldown. You should feel a huge amount of power coming from your throwing arm lat during this pulldown part of the throw - at least I do and I can tell the players in these jaeger videos are getting the same feeling.
  3. allow the lower body and torso to do what feels natural to accommodate the arm action. The torso is going to want to contort and get way out over your front foot in order to have the best leverage in the pulldown part of the throw. Remember, your brain can’t focus on more than one or two things at a time during a throw. You need to pick the most important piece of the puzzle and let the rest follow. I focus on initiating the throw with the lats and then think about pulling the ball down as hard as I can.

I hope some of this made sense. It’s a little different when I throw sidearm, and probably why most sidearmers throw 5-10 mph slower than overhand throwers. You have worse leverage and can’t use the big powerful muscles as much in your throws. Your arm slot is pretty high though, so all of this should apply."

I still can’t get over the coincidence, but I’m excited by it. I don’t think this guy’s methodology is “perfect” and “superior” as he claims, but he is on to something. I think his kids can be getting a lot more out of their lower bodies than they are - but it still highlights how important arm action, rotation and proper muscle activation are that his kid could get to 93 mph throwing like that. It’s like he took the bare minimum components of throwing hard and came up with an absurdly simple formula for velocity. I don’t think this guy should necessarily be hailed as a genius, but he certainly shouldnt be discarded like mike marshall. Pretty cool stuff, to say the least.

[quote=“LankyLefty”]this is too good to pass up

When I saw the first few frames of this .gif I began to think “oh no, this might be even worse than Marshall,” until the kid finishes with great rotation, separation and clearly some velocity.

I can easily believe this kid throws 90 mph.
[/quote]

If I was just looking at this clip, there’s NO WAY I’d think this kid throws 90 mph. His front leg collapses like a noodle and doesn’t brace up like it should and does with all hard throwing pitchers. While I agree the middle parts of his delivery are generally in-line with what a lot of pitchers do, the beginning and end are a mess. JMHO, of course :slight_smile:

Actually his leg & hip brace up fine (during all the important parts of the delivery - footplant, & torso rotation), it’s only after where his knee collapses (which I’m thinking may help with decelerating the arm and taking some of the strain off the decelerator musculature).

Which goes to show you… IMO - if you get certain parts of the throw process “right”, you can still throw at relatively high velocities regardless of what happens in other parts of the throw.

That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better, just that key areas of the throw need to be in place for decent velocity to happen.

LL,

I want to respond in depth to your excellent post, but this immediately jumped out at me:

[quote]I poked around on the website for a little bit, and I saw some recurring themes. “compressing” and “tightening” of the back muscles to create “extreme scap loading” in addition to a violent follow through in the “vertical plane”
[/quote]

I completely agree, especially when combined with the violent contraction of the glove-arm obliques, cued by the glove-side lean to produce the greatest rotational forces possible that are directed towards the target.

What do you think about that?

BTW, Zach in that video is not throwing 90 mph, I would think. (Early in his HS career and so forth.) Josh has consistently thrown 90+ with that methodology (confirmed).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody pitch like that before.
To me, it looks really hard to do.

Very interesting, I’m suprised no MLB team would draft them with the success they had until they switched to a conventional windup.

Reminds me of my workout, it’s unorthodox and everyone disregards it. lol

The above delivery is just so ridiculous and extreme, compared to the accepted norm, that it doesn’t draw the right kind of attention to an organization. And there’s literally THOUSANDS of other pitchers who do pitch “normally” to choose from. So why bother. I completely understand why these kids weren’t taken seriously at all.

Here’s a tip for all aspiring pitchers who want to pitch in the big leagues some day - LOOK AROUND! Look around the MLB. If YOUR pitching mechanics don’t resemble how the majority of those guys are throwing, you’d better change NOW or you’re going to get left out. Period. That’s why all this discussion about these freak shows like Outman and Marshall are completely useless and a waste of everyone’s time. Their mechanics don’t look like the mechanics you see on TV. And MLB baseball DOES NOT reward that!

The above delivery is just so ridiculous and extreme, compared to the accepted norm, that it doesn’t draw the right kind of attention to an organization. And there’s literally THOUSANDS of other pitchers who do pitch “normally” to choose from. So why bother. I completely understand why these kids weren’t taken seriously at all.

Here’s a tip for all aspiring pitchers who want to pitch in the big leagues some day - LOOK AROUND! Look around the MLB. If YOUR pitching mechanics don’t resemble how the majority of those guys are throwing, you’d better change NOW or you’re going to get left out. Period. That’s why all this discussion about these freak shows like Outman and Marshall are completely useless and a waste of everyone’s time. Their mechanics don’t look like the mechanics you see on TV. And MLB baseball DOES NOT reward that![/quote]

Steven
That explains it about as clearly as I’ve ever heard. Very nice. :applause:

If you’re trying to say that MLB is myopic and dumb for not considering new things, I completely agree. If you’re saying we can’t learn from people like Marshall/Outman (which I think you are), you are absolutely dead wrong.

The ludicrously high rate of arm-related injuries has at least SOMETHING to do with the force application technique (mechanics) of throwing a baseball. And Outman’s kids threw 90+ with their “freak” deliveries.

the mechanics of MLB pitchers i believe exeeds this motion because the body itself is used better… not to mention most hard throwers muscular strength and laxity is very, very high

i like the idea but i think the arm is under too much pressure and put at a weird impingment that is unnecessary… 90 isnt a myth it just takes alot of hard work and committment to understand that pitching is an art form… not a scientific experiment

While the Outman’s motions are certainly bizarre to a person who is used to seeing major leaguers throwing a certain way, I respect the innovativeness of the father. There certainly some controversy in recent years about pitching deliveries. While there is some change happening (Rockies prospect Tyler Matzek supposedly went to a pitching coach who was taught under Marshall.) and there has been some hybridization of mainstream mechanics and those who are considered bizarre there are mainly two sides of this argument.

  1. The side of the non-mainstream mechanics point to the MLB’s tradition laden coaching philosophy. These two pitchers had success at the high school level and yet the MLB wants to change them since they don’t look the same.

  2. However, the counter argument is simply that why change what has obviously been working. There have been more than a few pitchers who have pitched quite successfully and it is the safer route to go with something that has had success then something new. This is especially true with the amount of money invested in pitchers.

While we can all sit here and judge the MLB for being as kyle puts it “myopic and dumb”, we are not in a position as some of the people within an organization. If a pitcher like the Outman’s was left unchanged and an injury happened there would be hell to pay in that organization.

[quote=“kyleb”]If you’re trying to say that MLB is myopic and dumb for not considering new things, I completely agree. If you’re saying we can’t learn from people like Marshall/Outman (which I think you are), you are absolutely dead wrong.

The ludicrously high rate of arm-related injuries has at least SOMETHING to do with the force application technique (mechanics) of throwing a baseball. And Outman’s kids threw 90+ with their “freak” deliveries.[/quote]

I don’t think we’ll ever agree on this, Kyle. I know you love these instructors a lot, but the pitching deliveries they teach will not help you make it to the big leagues …

It’s like studying French for a Spanish exam and hoping to do well. Good luck! I’ll say it again: If you want to pitch in the big leagues, your pitching mechanics need to look like a big league pitcher’s mechanics. Fair or not. Right or not. That’s simply the way it is.

Yes, I understand you must “look like” something to pitch in the big leagues. However, this does not lead to the logical conclusion that we CANNOT LEARN anything from Marshall/Outman. It is not a “waste of time.”

On Outman’s website there is a video that shows more mature version of their mechanics. The thing that struck me about the mechanics was the way he finished the pitch. It looks like the the new mechanics that Wolforth and Brett Strom are teaching. Essentially, they are teaching a throwing motion that is similar to Nyamn’s technique. The follow through is Marshal techniquel(also looks like Outman’s) with forceful pronation and rotation around the posting hip allowing further deceleration.

The second clip shows what I am talking about.

While I don’t think Outman’s technique will fly, I do think like KyleB that we can learn from unorthodox techniques.