HS Freshman pitching mechanics


#1

14 years old…getting prepared for first HS baseball season.


#2

The first couple of things to work on is eliminating that high set position. By rule, his pick - off has to start with a step toward first or a step off with his pivot foot and a lowering of his hands to shoulder height and hand separation. That will be a slower than desired move. The second thing that needs to go is the reverse trunk rotation during the leg lift which will require a precise forward rotation to get moving down the target line and add time to his delivery. The first half of the delivery is a catcher’s worst nightmare :wink:

He looks to be getting his hips around into foot plant, but I can’t get a clear look at the video frame rate. For me, it’s too blurry. He appears to be too early with his upper half. I’d like to see a forward or rear view and about 90 secs of video to get a better look.


#3


#4

mcloven, something went wrong with your post. All I see is a small box with an X in it.


#5

You didn’t really ask for comments so I hope you don’t mind some. I think his pattern is quite good. when going frame by frame through the first vid, it looks like his shoulder rotation is slightly early. Looks strong.

Good luck,

Ted


#6

He looks strong, is he conditioning regularly? I don’t think I could analyze ~8 seconds on a porta mound…in a basement…in tennis shoes…but he’s sure developed nice over the years. Things I can see are, athletic coordination…looks upper tier there, seems to have solid intent, knows how to use his front side.
What strategy are you considering to keep him from sore arm as the season approaches?


#7

Thanks for your comments Coach Paul, Ted, and JD!

Honestly, this board specifically has a lot to do with his improvement so far over the years–both through comments and one-on-one work with members (and I thank you for that).

As far as strength and conditioning, for about the last 6 months, he’s been working with a program developed by LankyLefty (Ben), which has been fantastic. Ben has really helped his strength a ton…and helped him understand what a good nutrition and strength plan looks like.

Mechanics-wise, he’s been working with Baseballthinktank’s and Driveline’s drills, almost exclusively. Lantz has been a great mentor, and really helped him understand the body movements/separation that go into the kinetic chain–even working with him one on one a few times. Kyle’s drills have been extremely helpful for arm action (wrist weights/weighted balls), and Kyle’s Hacking the Kinetic Chain book and materials is just ridiculously good. Additionally, I’ve tinkered with some added med ball drills that he’s been doing to improve overall explosiveness.

Regarding the arm conditioning/sore arm question, a lot of Kyle’s stuff focuses on that, as well as Ben’s (working deceleration muscles, arm care protocols, etc.). Hopefully things will go well this season! [He’s definitely throwing hard–I’m getting close to hanging up my catching career.]


#8

mcloven,

Does he hit his spots well with both fastball and off speed? Do you hear any negative comments towards a high effort delivery?

Good luck,

Ted


#9

Thanks for the front view. I see he’s not rotating back as much as I thought. It looks more like he’s trying to stay closed- which is fine. His delivery seems to have good tempo.


#10

[quote=“Ted22”]mcloven,

Does he hit his spots well with both fastball and off speed? Do you hear any negative comments towards a high effort delivery?

Good luck,

Ted[/quote]

I would say he hits his spots “above average” for his age (but definitely not Greg Maddux-like). As he matures and gets bigger/stronger, his control improves, and we do work on it a good bit. His off speed stuff is very deceptive (he gets more batters through change in speed vs. hitting spots necessarily–but does regularly throw off-speed for strikes…I wouldn’t say his constantly hits spots with it), and the off-speed stuff is set up well through his fast tempo.

Not any negative comments re high effort delivery, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it came up from time to time. He’s always the ability to move quickly with good balance, which he uses to his advantage. He’s not going to be a 6’4" pitcher, more like 5’11"/6’–and if he’s going to throw hard, he has to take advantage of his strengths, which is his ability to move quickly, with balance and tempo, and being strong for his size. He’s always had an aggressive/“power pitcher” mentality, and likes to go at batters–just how he’s wired.

Coach Paul–yep, that’s exactly why he does it. He said it helps him stay closed and also feel a little stronger in the set position.


#11

I have a deep appreciation for your approach and I think your consideration for building delivery around your son’s body type is dead on.

My son’s long term coach has always encouraged him to seek a lower effort delivery and for him I think it has been an improvement because his sequencing is much improved. He has always thought of himself as a power pitcher but I believe his final development will be as a control/off speed pitcher with a FB speed just over ninety. But ninety is a little ways off for him and he needs to be effective enough now to ensure an opportunity to play until his growth allows it.

Best regards,

Ted


#12

I have always liked the way his body moves, the only thing I kind of pose question to is his hands in the set position. This may be a personal thing, who knows, and I know I messed with a lot of different positions in my time but I just don’t see what that positions benefits with. When I think of the set position I think of pre setting myself for my movements once I lift that leg and I just feel like that high hands are causing more to be done to get to the same spot. Take it for what it’s worth!


#13

Thanks Sean!
I totally see what you’re saying. I know that he feels like it helps remind him to stay closed and he feels like it helps his arm action to go from there (he feels like he gets better momentum out of his glove). I’m sure that will change in the future–that’s just what he’s been experimenting with for the past few months. Worked well in the Fall, but I’m sure he’ll tinker with it some more.


#14

Seems to work well for UNC pitcher Trent Thorton. You should check him out if you haven’t. Clemens also had a high and position in the stretch but not quite as closed.

Good Luck,

Ted


#15

Thanks Ted (I should follow Thornton more, as a fellow Tar Heel).

I know he’s also a fan of how Fernando Rodney gets a ton out of his shorter frame, and has watched a good bit of video from him. Again, within reason, I generally leave it to him to figure out what works best as long as the underlying mechanics are sound.


#16

Since everyone seems to be dumping on your son’s set position, the reality is that it straight up doesn’t matter. MLB pitchers do it from various set positions and there’s no evidence it actually does matter.

Personally, I like it. I think it helps his rhythm. I’ve already commented on the only thing I think he can improve on elsewhere, but it’s a nitpick and detracts from the hard work you both have put in. Looking forward to seeing some game film.


#17

Gif from our HS varsity game (freshman).


#18

Man, that looks nice. Love the loading/unloading of his hands synced up with his lead leg. GAS EM!!


#19

Solid. Absolutely solid.


#20

I like how he starts a bit lower than before when coming to set. I think being able to raise the hands as he lifts helps him establish rhythm. Before his hands were still during his lift. He’s got an unique, solid, and compact delivery