Impossible is nothing: my road to my dream

Hi there and welcome to my new log. I’m starting over from a previous one I did. The last one I didn’t consistently update it, a mistake I will try my best not to make this time.

My real name is Sam. I am attending gustavus adolphus college this fall, it is a DIII school and is likely a mid level school. It has had success in the past, but is generally an average program.

Here is my general bio:

Weight: 185 lbs
Height: 5’10’'
Body fat: will update as soon as possible
Body type: Am stocky, built like a football player. I can gain bulk rather easily.

4 seam fastball
2 seam fastball

I have 1 chance to achieve my ultimate goal: to make it to the big leagues. I have 1 career, I need to make the most of it.

When I was a junior in high school, I was told by the varsity coach that I didn’t have enough talent. I intend to shove those words up his ***. He definitely has (whether he wanted to or not) lit a fire under my butt.

Here is a quote that should set the tone for this log:
“Impossible is just a small word thrown around my small men who find it easier to live in the world they have been given, than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It is a dare. Impossible is a potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing”

I have been told its impossible. That I should be just happy with playing, but I can’t. I can’t be happy with my career unless I make it to the bigs. Because I want to be great, I want to be the greatest. I want to be known as the greatest pitcher to ever touch the baseball, the greatest to ever stand on a mound. This is my goal

Now lets make it happen

Wow, good luck kid, I hope you crush your goals with your fire.

thanks bu,

I have a long way to go. Just a checklist of things I need to accomplish mechanically:

  1. Hips, I need to stride more open so my hips drive forward instead of to the side. To do this I simply need to work on my lower body.

  2. Arm action: I need to lead with my elbows more, I plan on using my 7 oz weighted ball and I’ve heard from numerous people I respect that it can help correct inefficiencies in the arm action.

Overall I simply need more velocity, I’ve lost a lot of strength since the beginning of the season. I’m pretty sure that I’m in the low 80s right now.

Remember velocity doesn’t come from just pure strength, it comes from how fast you can turn your trunk, work your core both for strength and stamina. Velocity also comes from good repeatable mechanics, even if its not perfect, you want to be able to do it the same way every time.

Mechanic work last night. Mainly focused with hips. The main thing was focusing on the hips not spinning open, but instead driving the hips forward. Worked a little bit on arm action, nothing dramatic. I’m not looking for a completely different look, just a few small tweaks mainly. Overall velocity seemed to be up a few clicks.

Really working on abbreviated leg kick from the stretch, my windup really seems to take care of itself.

So a while ago Coach Baker did a tremendous mechanical breakdown of me. I will find the link for it eventually. Basically what it broke down to my arm action going too far behind my back. From there the rest of my delivery tried to compensate: I was striding too closed, so my hips were spinning open, so my trajectory was flat to the plate. I was still throwing pretty hard this season so I assume that I will gain ore velocity as i make this change.

Tried it today in just light toss and already everything fell into place. Basically all I had to do was lift my arm towards second base at least for the beginning of the motion, I still scap load. My stride was more inline with home plate, my hips drove forward as well as opening so I had downward and rotational power. My elbow stopped dropping so low and my angle to the plate was instantly better.

I move in tomorrow. When I met with the coach I will simply tell him that I’ve made this change and my control will probably struggle at first.

I’m still not really all that worried, the pitching staff isn’t tremendous. I should still be able to throw hard and hopefully have enough control to be good during my fall season

So I’m all moved in now. Have had orientation the past few days, so I haven’t really had a chance to lift, not to mention the fitness area has not been open except for brief 1-2 hour sessions.

On the plus side, I’m eating much healthier. Now that I actually get to choose what I want to eat, I’ve been eating much more fruits and veggies. I eat a salad for a meal once a day.

Mechanically I’m still working on things. Mainly the arm action going back towards seconds base instead of going behind my body. Another concern of mine is that my foot is pointed too much towards 1st base, so I want to point towards home so I will be working on that.

Have had captains practice the past few days. Threw a few bullpens, seemed to have pretty good velocity. Definitely in the 80s, at least thats what everybody is telling me. I may have been touching upper 80s yesterday tho, at least it seemed harder then I have ever thrown before.

My arm action is being implemented really well, it feels nice and late. It was becoming pretty much effortless by the end.

My breaking ball is causing me issue, the movement is good, I’ve been dropping my arm to throw it. I need to throw it from my fastball arm slot. I think its because I had trouble commanding it from the higher slot so I compensated by dropping down to throw it. I think I just need to focus on something else besides the catchers glove, cause thats were my breaking ball normally starts and then goes outside and down

Either way, I’m pretty sure I’m on the team. Some of the Freshman seem to be in awe of me, one guy told me I was throwing mach 10. Whatever, I’m trying to keep a level head.

Need to keep implementing arm action and get the breaking ball down. Overall my command of my fastball has actually been pretty good. Changeup even looked good. My slider challenged me however and it hasn’t really been breaking.

Made another change today. I started moving towards the plate sooner and staying closed longer (by riding my back knee longer). I wasn’t going all out on throwing so I didn’t see a gain in velocity, but I was still in the mid 80s. I think once I can start going out and throwing hard again I will be in the upper 80s.

One more change I was planning on making. Since my delivery will be later, my arm will need to be later. So towards the end of practice I really worked on a more inverted L type arm action. My arm is still up pretty early but compared to what I have been its pretty late. I haven’t been able to tape but I think it looks something like Roy Oswalt’s. I noticed that just tossing that ball I had more velocity.

Currently I am the hardest thrower on the team, at least from what I can tell. Honestly, Gustavus has one of the best freshman class in recent history. Every freshman is focused and driven. The only problem we seem to have is pitching. One kid today tried pitching for the 1st time ever and had low 80s velocity so maybe I’ll convince him to pitch.

Some changes made in my delivery: 1st off I need to lift with my knee more so I get better balance. Second I need to keep on working with my later arm action.

My new pitching coach wants me to get my glove up and he says I sweep it too much: he taught me a ridiculous drill and basically wants me to keep the glove still as possible. I tried to implement it, basically to try and humor him. Lost about 5 mph. My control improved but that was because I wasn’t flying open which was something I was doing before.

Other pitchers on the team get away with this type of glove action simply cause they are throwing strikes. All I need to do is stabilize my glove better. That should give me better control and more velocity.

I tried and blend the change Lanky talked about in his post, but I didn’t get very far. I got in down in long toss but not when I threw my pen.

Overall my first priority is the knee lift and then glove action. I’ll worry about my arm action later, at least in terms of initiating the throw with my back and scaps.

Threw for the first time live today. Velocity was pretty good, just about every teammate was raving about it. In the beginning Id guess I was more in the 84, 85 range. I might have been touching 87 by the end.

I walked the first 2 batters than my defense imploded. Twice I got a ground ball to SS and both times we couldn’t turn it. I hate to blame the defense but if that had happened I would have made it out likely giving up only 1 run.

So there I was with the bases loaded and one out. A blooper down the line cost me a run. Then with the infield in a guy got a lucky poke out of the infield. By then 4 runs had been brought in and I was nearing the end of my line (we were supposed to throw 30 pitches).

The Coach asked me if I wanted to say in and being me I said hell yeah I want to finish this.

So a guy is now on first and the first pitch I throw is a fastball inside which he grounds up the middle on and finally my middle infield turns 2.

First the positive:
-My velocity was good, I faced mostly upperclassmen no one hit it that hard against me.
-The control of my fastball was decent. Not great but I was able to get it over.

-My control still needs improvement
-my curveball is still causing me problems, I can’t spot it worth ****. I think I’m simply not releasing the ball in front enough for it to be effective.

I will have the weekend off in which I will breakdown my mechanics and work on lifting my leg with my knee as I gained velocity by changing that. Second I need to get my hips involved better as if I do I’ll release the ball closer to home plate which means more velocity, later movement, and better control.

Btw, the pitchers I saw today and yesterday aren’t tremendous either. Most guys in the 78-81 range, most can get a breaking ball over. Everybody it seems like gave up a few runs. Hopefully I can implement these changes over the next month and by the end of fall ball be mechanically sound. Then a hard offseason of work I can challenge 90. That would be unbelievable.

Threw live again for the second time. Velocity was a tick higher than normal, my guess is 85-87. I’m really working on raising my arm slot and throwing rotationally. What I mean by throwing rotationally is that my audio cue is to throw sidearm from from the tilt of my shoulders. So I’m not literally throwing sidearm but instead getting a rotation of my shoulders and my arm is simply becoming an extension of my body.

I wasn’t putting any mustard on the throw either so I was pretty happy that my velocity remained the same.

One more week of practice and then fall ball will be concluded. Will continue to iron out mechanics as best I can the next week. Hopefully I can have them down solidly when I enter the offseason. In reality I can do a lot of work without actually throwing the ball

“Hi, I’m Sam. I’m on the baseball team”
“Oh yeah, thats right. At least for another week.”

This was my conversation that I had with a senior baseball player last night. I was in the cafeteria, picking up some food with some friends, getting ready to mellow out and relax that night. Then this happened.

At first I was kind of shocked that he said that. Did he honestly think I was going to get cut? I mean really?

This honestly has me beyond ticked off. I’m the hardest thrower on the team, and I’m improving steadily. I told my coach that yesterday I had made a tweak in my mechanics so my control was going to struggle and he seemed fine with it.

I don’t know what to think of this, I’m frankly a little worried now.

I don’t think I’ll get cut. I mean I’m a pitcher on a team strongly lacking of pitchers. We have 3 guys with innings from last year on the team right now, so plenty are going to need to step up.

1 little thing: thats all it really takes. Only tiny split second early can mean the difference in everything. Recently I was watching old video taken a month or so ago and realized that I was flying open, just a tiny bit too early. No wonder I wasn’t following through, no wonder my breaking ball wasn’t working.

Literally my shoulders were turning a hair before footplant instead of at footplant. The problem was my glove arm, I was scap loading to early causing me to throw to early. The fix will be fairly easily, I know exactly how to.

Last scrimmage tomorrow, one more chance to show that I deserve to be on this team. Then a grueling offseason hopefully I will reach my goal: the sacred 90 mph.

For you younger guys reading this, don’t let anybody tell you different velocity is the key. Yes control and movement are important parts of pitching but nothing will get you looked at and more heavily recruited than pure heat. I firmly believe that the better your mechanics are the better your control and velocity, so work on gaining that mph.

First of all, I made the team. The coaches made it very clear that how many innings I get next year will be determined by how hard I work in the offseason. I accept this challenge and have already started working with TuffCuff. Currently my fastball tops out in the mid 80s, however recently I began throwing across my body more as I realized that I had better control from that angle. This lead to my fastball being in the low 80s.

The overall thing I need to improve is not flying open nearly as much. Mechanically I can tweak a few things.

Looking forward to the offseason, my current level of strength is a joke compared to what it could be. Lets get it going then

Congratulations, Priceless. Work hard and please keep us posted.

Just a few updates. Got my performance review back and I’m below average in total body strength and flexibility; not a good combination. Definitely something I have to work on. My abdominal strength however is excellent.

Am using TuffCuff right now am on phase 2 I believe. The phase 3 stuff looks killer, am looking forward to it. I can already feel my strength increasing.

Mechanical just working on the body with no throwing. Working on “rotating around the spine” which really helps me get my body more into it. Plus my hips are later, everything seems to be going good.

Btw, guy from a few posts ago who was questioning whether I would make the team or not, ended up getting cut cause he couldn’t hit.


I love it.

Offseason going well. I’m simply feeling stronger, I don’t get fatigued as easily. I’m faster too, thanks to the extra sprint work outlined in TuffCuff. I’m heading into phase 3 soon. The entire program looks amazing, however I’m going to add some total body lifts into it such as cleans. I will talk to the trainer to see what how often he would use olympic lift.

One thing I working on as well is my flexibility, it needs to be improved a lot. And I mean a lot.

Mechanically just working on rotating around my spine. I will start throwing again in November and follow the 90 day throwing program to get back into shape.

I keep on lifting, sprinting, and working with plyometrics. Still breaking down my mechanics as best as I can without using my arm, although I lightly tossed a sock in my dorm and I seem to be on the right track. The audio cue is still to rotate around my spine, which seems to be working well. My arm slot will come through at a low 3/4 slot, but I will have better mechanics.

However, I am going to change that because of two reasons:

  1. I am a shorter pitcher and to be able to get downward plane on my pitches I need a higher slot.
  2. I throw harder and have better control from the higher slot.

The Current Mechanics I like and will try and emulate is Tyler Matzek, the 19 year old in the Rockies Organization. However the first order of business is to change my arm action to be shorter and remember to throw with my elbow. Again I like Matzek’s arm action.

From there I can concentrate on throwing from a higher slot.