How important is height

I’m a freshman in high school standing a hair under 5’10 (almost done growing) and before you say worry about throwing strikes before not being tall enough I’d really like some honest opinions. It seems like nowadays every RHP is over 6’2. If you saw a well polished 5’10 kid throwing 90 with plus secondary pitches would you take him over a 6’4 kid with a lanky frame and a high 70’s low 80’s fastball who may have more “potential”

It’s all relative.
There are plenty of scouts who think it’s all-important and won’t consider anyone who is under 6’4". And there are plenty of other scouts who think that height is not all that important, that it’s all about ability, what kind of stuff the pitcher has and what he can do with it, the ability to locate pitches and throw strikes. It really takes all kinds; I’ve seen relative shrimps who have absolutely filthy stuff, such as Bobby Shantz who was 5’6" if he was an inch and was one of the best pitchers in either league; guys like Eddie Lopat, Whitey Ford who were under six feet; gargantuans like Jeff Nelson and Randy Johnson—all kinds of pitchers of varying heights, all of whom could cut the mustard and then some. It’s what you do with what you have, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. What would have happened if, for example, Phil Rizzuto—a relative shrimp—was told he was too small and he should forget about playing baseball and go home and get a shoeshine box? No, don’t let that hold you back. Go ahead and give it everything you’ve got, go for it, and if you have what it takes you can certainly make it in the majors. 8) :slight_smile:

Pedro Martinez is 5’9" I believe. There’s a power pitcher who was initially scouted as too fragile. He had a pretty good career.

Any scout that would blindly over look everyone under a certain height is worthless. A lot of these guys are in the position of having to justify their recommendations. The end result is you end up with a cookie cutter approach.
At the games I attended this weekend past a scout was there…well sort of. He dropped his bag off then disappeared for 5 innings. He came back and got the info from the kid that was scoring the game and recording velocities ect. for the home team. Wrote down peak and average velocity, Ks, walks ect. Im sure when he submitted his sheet or updated his site it looked like he had actually seen the kid. Scouts dont get paid for being imaginative. The end result is you have an army of guys reporting on a small % of players and confirming what is already known about those players.
Most scouts are tools. The process is a large waste of time in my estimation.
My point is at 5’ 10" or shorter you are not going to find a scout who wants to kiss your backside unless you are extremely skilled. So what? When a scout says “projectable” they are saying that the guy they are talking about doesnt have the skill set yet, but, they are guessing based on physical traits. Blah, blah. Your biggest asset will be your belief in yourself and your work ethic.

Right on!
For example: there was Eddie Lopat, who stood 5’10", weighed 180 pounds or so, was a southpaw who didn’t throw particularly hard and who didn’t have a fastball to speak of. He was doing all right in the minors, but the scouts refused to even give him a tumble. It took the president of the Southern Association, a former major league umpire, to convince the Chicago White Sox to even consider him. They took him on a 30-day trial basis—and when they saw what he was doing to the Cleveland Indians they decided to keep him. Lopat pitched for the White Sox for four years, and while he was there the Yankees took notice of him and decided they had to have him. Maybe he wasn’t fast—or he had the Indians thinking that way—but there were things about him that grabbed the Yankees’ attention, not the least of which was his control, which was so accurate and on-target that he averaged one walk every five innings or so, and so they figured that anyone who could get the ball over the plate and throw strikes could win big for them. They acquired him in a trade that to this day has the Sox scratching their heads and wondering how they let him get away, and for 7 1/2 seasons he was a very, very good pitcher with a great team. He was a pivotal figure in the Yankees’ five-year world championship run.
So there. :baseballpitcher:

Exactly Zita. The experts are wrong as much as they are right.

Height is not as important as velocity, unless it’s a big outlier. (6’4" or taller, for example.)

Height? Don’t dwell on it.

The root of the concern involves whether or not competitors have an advantage on you simply because of their DNA. There has been no bigger myth perpetuated. You can do yourself no favors by accepting that some people have an unfair advantage over you in anything you desire to achieve. Even if there may be some thread of truth to the assumption. The human condition is such that every one of us faces doubts and/or fears about future endeavors. Every one of us makes a choice. Get the job done or don’t.

I learned this simple truth by helping my father-in-law on construction jobs. He was an electrician…a one handed electrician. If you’ve ever tried to do wiring one handed, you will be humbled. I know I said to him on more than one occasion, “Dad, I don’t think it can be done that way.” He would reply, “Keep trying. It will work.” And it surely did.

As the father of a 6’8" pitcher…I am here as a witness that being tall is on one hand helpful as a pitcher. But there were drawbacks. He was constantly growing in high school and there was alot that could go wrong with his mechanics. More room for error. Getting all that length under control can be a real job. Frustration at not being able to hit spots consistently is real.

A short compact pitcher has an easily repeatable delivery and you can be refining it while bigger pitchers are tinkering with their mechanics.

And may I add this. There are plenty of small role models to study. As has been mentioned above.

You should read the story of Audie Murphy. The guy was 5’5". But he lived life like he was the Jolly Green Giant. Check him out.

Good Luck.

A pitcher’s results against quality opponents should be the major factor. There should not be a magic height, that if attained, people disconnect from their brains and put you on the roster as a project player. I think you would be bypassing players who could have immediate impact for the hope of getting lucky. As it was said earlier, scouts are wrong as often as they are right, and it’s due to putting too much stock in things like velocity or height when there is no skill in the art of pitching.

As I’ve actually been to Seattle and Kyles facility, I can say that you won’t be cheated…(Now let us act as an adult and stop the gotcha stuff :? )

As to height, I’ve seen it work against my son, who standing there between a Rockie scout and him, was a 6’5" guy…that was all, until they saw him pitch…
The scout almost acted as if my son wasn’t there until the radar gun started to light up…but as my signature says…(BTW thanks to Dino for it) SO WHAT YOU PROVE EM WRONG!!!

and folks do thy self a favor and read Malcom Gladwells “Outliers”, it is such an interesting and informative book of understanding success.

Just trying to send some tall people in Kyle’s direction to help him out. If he apologies for disrespecting me, I’ll accept it. My posts have always been on topic and will continue to be.

Speed kills. Right or wrong, velocity seems to be the most important factor to scouts and coaches at the HS and College level. Height also doesn’t hurt. It gets you noticed and you can catch someone’s eye. You still have to perform. I know of a kid 6’4’ who was so so in HS. Hit the weights, got bigger and stronger and hit 90 mph at a showcase in his senior year and got several scholarship offers.

The thing that drives me nuts is the baseball double speak you get from scouts and that whole “industry”. Velocity is indeed king. Why? It makes a scouts job very easy. If he can get a kid throwing high 80s or that magical 90 number he doesnt have to justify that recommendation to anyone. Coaches love it because in their minds it makes their job easier. I would think “projectable” and “project” would be major negatives to a coach who needs to restock his roster post haste. These are all obvious points I guess. But, it serves no one to deny reality.
For the kid who started this thread, I agree with Dino. There is no point obsessing about the height thing, you cant control it. You are of average height. My son had two friends who not hard throwers, one was throwing 80 his senior year and one was throwing 72 his senior year. Both found colleges to play at. The kid who was throwing only 72 found a four year school that was willing to redshirt him and help him develop. He had to do some searching but got it done. I have a cousin who is an actor. He was in plays ect. in so cal but was told he was too immature looking and frankly not good enough looking to be on tv. He didnt listen, worked hard at what he wanted to do and has a nice tv career. He is now an award winning movie/tv writer. It would have been easy for him to listen to the naysayers and not expand his goals beyond local theatre.
My point is…kid, the world is going to be full of people that tell you “NO!!”. You have a choice. You can take their word as gospel, or, you can seek out your own truth. If you apply yourself, do research, get information, seek out varying opinions and do work everyday you will grow as a person. If your baseball dream never comes to be you will still be better off and a better person for all the hard work. Stories of guys who put all of their lifes energy into chasing a MLB dream and ending up broken men are all over the place. This baseball thing should be part of your jouney, not the end all destination. The most valuable thing most guys get out of playing ball, or aspiring to the next level of ball, is work ethic. If you can attain and maintain that it will serve you the rest of your life. So, believe in yourself, be brutally honest with yourself and grind, grind, grind. Push yourself and have no regrets. Grow for life through this game…
But, I have rambled…um, master a great change up also.

great question & topic…

Heard a stat the no sub 6’ RHP had won 15 or more games in a season (was it 10 actually?) in 20 years outside of Lincecum & Colon… I guess they actually believed Pedro was 6’?

To a certain degree I understand wanting tall QB’s & height standards for 3-5 position in hoops, but pitching?

Can’t disagree that all things being equal take the bigger kid… things are never equal.

Height has it’s advantages, but when you see 95% of MLB pitcher @ 6’ plus it’s telling.

Baseball historically is cookie cutter, old school, resistant to change, copy cat & follow the leader mentallity.

Straight from the horses mouth… few pro pitching coaches like change or taking risks or pushing the envelope.

Ex: Uvaldo Jimenez. Train wreck of Edwards Scissorhands proportions… I’ll bet the cumulative conversations on mechanical changes with him & a MLB pitching coach are less than the time it takes to boil an egg. He’ll either get it right or its “next”.

There are enough 6’4+ guys in line & they’ll keep taking applications til the perfect recipe falls in their lap.

An elite player will find there way to the top, but if you aren’t 6’+ or LH, you better be dealing 95+ & getting people out at an alarming rate if you want to reach that mountain being the MLB.

It’s coming around… slowly but surely, but old school wives tales still rule the day.

On to the real point… as I tell my 14 yr old who might hit 6’ if he’s lucky:

Son, there are 350-400 pitchers in the world cashing MLB paychecks. I ramp the #'s down to collegiate pitchers & albeit a challenge a more realistic goal & if you can pitch you will get a shot if you are persistent enough, put your work in, stay healthy make your grades & have the talent.

Height for pitchers is the baseball version of the combine monster @ the NFL draft who can’t make plays on the field… it is what it is, but realistically not many are playing for that shot regardless.

Univ of Texas signed a 5’9 RHP 2 yrs ago… 5’8 if we want to be real. Plenty of hi level opportunities for sub 6’ers.

12JTWilson said:On to the real point… as I tell my 14 yr old who might hit 6’ if he’s lucky:

Son, there are 350-400 pitchers in the world cashing MLB paychecks. I ramp the #'s down to collegiate pitchers & albeit a challenge a more realistic goal & if you can pitch you will get a shot if you are persistent enough, put your work in, stay healthy make your grades & have the talent.

This approach with kids is great. When my son said he wanted to play college baseball I pulled up the numbers and the low % of high school guys that will play beyond high school. Not done to discourage but to be honest and encourage. To be dishonest with a kid with this stuff is to be cruel.

I have read numerous articles where pitching coaches, directors, scouts, etc. will simply say - “We give the tall guys more opportunities” -

You’re embarrassing yourself.

Yes, this is obviously true. I have two pitchers, one who is 6’6" and the other who is 6’0". Both are LHP and both have similar grades, same age, similar velos, and command.

Guess who gets the most attention?

It’s life. But I guarantee if the 6’0" kid was throwing 95, there’d not be much of a debate.