I just don't get it. Help ! Really help!

Ok let me start off by saying my son is a 12 year old pitcher. He has excellent mechanics, he’s a strike throwing machine. he throws a 4 seam 2 seam and change up. The last 3 years he’s been the best pitcher on his team. Amazing pitcher honestly… Now here’s the question…

I see a lot of people on here posting topics on velocity. My kid is 10 yrs old and he throws 55mph or my kid is 12 yrs old and he throws 70 mph…

Well I will be the first parent to say my kid is 12 yrs and he throws ONLY 50 mph. Even though he only throws 50 mph he’s a dynamite pitcher.
Are these kids on steroids or something because how are they throwing so hard ? My son is WAY WAY below average compared to a lot of the kids on this site. Maybe my son needs to find a different sport because he obviously isn’t throwing 70 mph at the age of 12 NOT EVEN CLOSE…
My son’s coaches do not even talk about velocity …They focus on proper mechanics, throwing strikes, locating your pitches. It’s just a little discouraging to read these posts about super kids throwing high velocity pitches. Mark Buehrle didn’t throw a 90 mph fast ball.

The only bigger liars than politicians are kids and kids’ parents talking about pitching velocity. Take it all with a grain of salt. Recently we had a father here telling us his kid threw at some incredible velocity. I asked for a video. Never got one, of course.:slight_smile:

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At such young ages, the last thing on your kids and your mind should be velocity. Their bodies are only just beginning to develop. Most of the kids I played with in little league peaked very early and never played past high school or even played in high school. Velocity is generated by arm speed, not arm strength. The older they get, the more experienced they get. Emphasize to them to remain loose and relaxed and as they get older, they will start to throw more effortless gas.

I’m not buying it. I don’t believe little kids are throwing 70 mph… Like I said grown men in The MLB can’t throw over 90 mph. I’m supposed to believe 10 and 12 year olds are throwing 60 to 70 mph… If I’m wrong and that’s the truth. Then my son won’t cut it. Might as well pack it in now at the age of 12

The game is different nowadays. The average starter’s fastball is just over 91 mph and out of the bullpen is close to 96. Coaches can emphasize hitting the weight room and long tossing all they want, but if your kid doesn’t have proper mechanics while staying loose and quick, velocity can’t be gained. It’s basic physics. I can tell you plenty of guys that I played with in high school that couldn’t break glass. But they began to mature later on once they got into college, and realized what worked and what didn’t work. Like I said before, relaxation is key. Play loose, play fast, kick some ass.

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Nailed it.

Well, I can honestly tell you my 12YO is hits 68. I have a Jugs gun and I have no need to lie. That said, he’s a bigger, though not the biggest kid (5’5" 125-130 - he shows zero signs of puberty and his growth is just slow and steady at this point.), who’s played baseball since he was 5. Most of what you see with these high velocities at this age are either ill-informed parents who are guessing their kids velocity, or those who are just not truthful. Those legit 75mph 12YO’s are usually early maturing kids who are very big for their age. I’m hopeful my kid hits 90 bf its over…

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Well my son has a kid on his team he’s 11… He’s a big farm boy. He is 6’2 tall and 200 lbs I can show pictures to prove. He throws 60 mph. He’s the only kid I’ve seen at that age throw 60 plus. Not saying your lying. But 5’5 is not that big in comparison.

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There are quite a few kids that can top out at 70+ at 12 years old. Whatever they throw at 70 is not a good barometer of how fast they’ll throw when they are older. Kid we played with graduated last year was a head taller than peers & 200+ lbs at 12. I saw for myself (on a radar gun) high 60’s to low 70’s, he dominated. By the time he was in the 9th grade he was no taller and about 30 lbs lighter still only throwing low 70’s and was an average at best pitcher. Pitched sparingly Freshman year & none afterwards. Kid was a heckuva a center fielder & hitter so did well for himself. Truth be told a lot of the better pitchers at 12 years old no longer pitched in high school. Some of the better pitchers at 12 years old went on to become average pitchers while some went on to become very good pitchers by High School age. On the other hand less than impressive pitchers at 12 years old became good pitchers by High School. Bottom line is don’t read into it too much at 12 & let him have some fun.

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How thick is he? I’m five inches taller and only have 20 pounds on him… And I’m a sophomore! I’ll be waiting for you to report that he’s throwing harder than me!

Exactly

When you’re bored and have time on your hands go to YouTube and check out the daddy videos claiming their sons throw monster velocities. Then read the comments disputing the claimed velocity. It’s quite funny.:grin:

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Throwing hard is about two things- strength/muscle type, and to a larger extent, efficient use of the body. To wit: we have another kid on our team who pitches. He’s about 4’8" 80lbs. But his body is full of fast twitch muscle and he makes very good use of it. He sits about 62-63. I’ve seen plenty of big kids that don’t throw hard (we used to kid that played with us that was always a head taller than my son but the arm speed just wasn’t there and just didn’t seem to be able to get his big chest out of the way of his arm). They just don’t have muscle make up. If you need someone to block a defensive tackle, they’re just what your looking for.

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It’s not coincidence that all this talk of kids’ velocity usually centers around the age of 12.

First, “12” can be a kid who just turned 12, or a kid who is one month from 13. Huge difference. Using the “5-mph-per-year” rule of thumb, a kid who just turned 12 throwing 70 mph is exceptional, 10 mph above the “rule” velocity of 60 mph. But a 12-year-old only one month from turning 13 throwing 70 mph is now only 5 mph above the “rule” velocity of 65 mph, which is good, but not out of this world.

Second, and more important, “12” is a chronological age, that is, a birthday age, not a biological-development age. At these ages (11-14) kids vary more in their biological age than in their birthday age. A 12-year-old can be 11 biologically while his friend, also 12, can be 13 biologically, hence 2 years of biological growth and development separating them. The impact of this on pitching “velocity” is huge. Later, less so, as the biologically-11-year-old catches up and even passes the biologically-13-year-old. We’ve all seen this. Just look at the “12-year-old” Little League World Series pitchers each summer who throw 70 mph. Most have already had their 13th birthday (after April 30 of that year), or are about to have their 13th birthday, making them actually 13-year-olds. More, virtually all are in a state of advanced biological development, with facial hair, defined musculature, etc., making them biologically 14+ years old. A biological 14-year-old throwing 70 is not as exceptional as a “12-year-old-throwing 70!” - which is how these kids are presented on TV. He would be, rather, right in line with the “5-mph-per-year” rule of thumb: 5 mph x 14 years = 70 mph. Good, but not out of this world.

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Are the comments typically accurate?

You mean on the YouTube videos on kids’ pitching velocity? I would say most of the comments challenging the claimed velocity appear to have merit. Often that claimed “60 mph” looks more like 45 or 50 to me, but then it’s a video and hard to say with certainty.

Some context for the type of competition your son is facing is in order. Does he play in-house little league or Perfect Game regional and national tournaments? Somewhere in between? My son just finished his 10U season and I have seen 10’year olds throwing over 60 at Perfect Game events (guns on every diamond) and even they will get hit if they are throwing strikes.

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An issue with travel ball is that, at least from my experience, they don’t verify ages with birth certificates, as, say, Little League does.

Each coach is required to have birth certificates at each tournament for which they participate. I’ve had to keep copies handy when my son was a guest player for various teams. Any team can challenge at any time but must put up a cash deposit. Most any of the known organizations have some variance of this rule. To be honest don’t think I’ve seen any that tried to go to the extemes of using ineligible players to win a tournament. Most are there for the competition & development. In the cases of HS age kids it’s based on graduating class & not age, pretty easy to research the players.

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In reality, you definitely can be effective with lower velo at young ages. Without a doubt, 50 mph can be effective and get 12u players out. Just like hitting the ball on the ground, bunting and working walks may make you a “successful” young hitter. Be careful using success at that age as a sign that it will continue or help in development. Many 12u players will get themselves out.

For a player to have a future in pitching, like it or not, velo does play an important factor, no matter how much we’d like to say “no, it’s about knowing how to pitch.” Bottom-line, it’s best to be more than a strike throwing machine if you want to play in HS or college. I know fantastic pitchers who are throwing low 80s in HS (getting 16-18u travel players out), who can’t get college looks because they are throwing low 80s. Is it fair? Probably not, they’re good pitchers. Is it true? Yes.

You may want to work on velo with your son, and not be hyper-focused on being a strike throwing machine (or having success at 12u). Development over wins. “Just throw strikes” or “Just put the ball in play” are recipes for success at an early age, and recipes for trouble at older ages.

Just my 2 cents. [And yes, my son threw 70 when he was 12. http://letstalkpitching.com/t/velo-by-age/19365 ]

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