LHP ~ My Journey Thus Far


#1

I’m going to create a pitching log on here so I can log my progress and ask for help from the knowledgeable people on here. Here’s some of my information as I start this journal;

General Info:

16 years old
5’10 135 lbs
Left Handed

Top velocity:

74 mph (68-72 consistent)

Pitches:

4-Seam FB + 2-Seam FB
Cutter.

Which would be a more important additional pitch to develop a slider or curveball?

Short term goals:

Create solid pitching mechanics and gain a ton of weight through working out.

Long term goals:

Throw 90+mph.
Make it to college level baseball

How will I achieve these goals?:

Good ol’ fashioned hardwork
Learn baseball inside and out
Play baseball year round’ ( Already do this with my HS and travel team)
Gain weight

Could part of the reason I throw so soft be because of my weight? How can I effectively gain weight?


#2

Weight certainly has something to do with velocity, but skinny guys can wing it pretty good too. Just ask Chris Sale. Definitely focus on your fitness and some weight gain, but don’t discount the benefit of some mechanical tweaks and general arm strength increases via long toss and band work.

If you can get some good video from the side I’m sure a few of us wouldn’t mind taking a look.

90+ is a solid goal, but remember very few players hit that goal. I remember saying the same thing in high school and always getting disappointed when I’d go to a showcase and only touch 87 (the hardest I was ever gunned). Velocity isn’t the end all - there are many ways to make hitters struggle.


#3

At 135 lbs you are pretty thin. That said, thin does not always equal weak and big does not always equal strong. Working out is great and getting bigger is great. But, as with most things, a measured approach is probably better.
I would suggest to set weekly and monthly goals (increasing healthy calorie intake by 500-700 calories a day for 4 weeks…gaining 4 lbs in a month). The same approach could be taken with working out. Going too hard too fast with weights can be a detrimental thing. If you have not worked out much before take the time to get information about proper progression, techniques ect. Going to the gym 5 days a week for 2 hours but doing the typical “bro” workout (messing with your phone for 10 minutes between sets of crunches for beach abs) probably won’t get much results. Have specific short and long term goals and WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU ARE DOING…I put that in bold because it is key to progressing and most guys regardless of age don’t do it. Tracking your weights, sets, progressions. Be organized.
So many guys (including my kid) spent way too much time doing too much of the wrong stuff.
There is debate about what is the best way to proceed, however, being organized, having a plan and using your time in an efficient way are key.
Two other things that are over looked by a lot of young guys are recovery and mobility. It is very common to see a young guy go from scrawny to brawny in pretty short order…however, if mobility limitations are not address or improved that added strength may have a hard time being expressed during performance. It does not do much good to hammer yourself lifting at the gym for 3 hours if you can’t move or workout for a week after. Recovery is important.
Some simple (and probably too vague) rules of thumb (just my opinion)…
1…Good throwing programs are based in arm care first.
2…Weight gain is not a mystery. Calories in and calories out. Try to make the calories healthy, but, if you are taking in more than you are burning you will gain weight.
3…A good training program for baseball will have rotational elements to it. Deadlift and squats are great, but, so are med ball tosses and lateral jumps
4…The is no magic bullet. Once you find a good program that works for you it is a case of working that over and over and over again. We all read claims of gaining 10 mph in 12 weeks…those things do happen, but, that is not the norm. For most guys it has to be a labor of love. When you have put in 6 months and your velo has gone up 4 mph it is easy to quit. There are other things to consider. How does your arm and body feel? Has your recovery, strength, soreness improved? Have you become a better player? Usually, there are benefits beyond raw velo numbers.
5…The most ignored part of recovery and prep for playing in hydration. Most guys are playing at least a little dehydrated.
6…Be patient. Long term focus for anyone is tough. Even more so for young people. Learning the discipline of sticking to a program for your long term goals has benefits beyond baseball. As Sidewinder said guys throwing 90 are rare. We all read stuff online and its seems every 15 year old is sitting 86 and you have to throw 92 to play college ball and it is just not the case. A true hard thrower, a guy sitting 88+ is still a rare thing when you consider then sheer number of high school and college players.
I have rambled, sorry, hope there was something in this that was helpful.


#4

It was raining/stormy for most of the day today so I wasn’t able to go out and get some recordings done, but as soon as I can I will post them on here! I’ve been doing tons of research into a weights program suited for baseball.

fearsomefour and sidewinder thanks for the replies! I’m still pretty confused on the effectiveness long toss has on increasing pitching velocity. I’ve read some places say it’s not good for your arm at all and more places say it’s the biggest thing an aspiring pitcher can do. Would a good throwing arm strength program just be long toss or should there be a lot more to it?


#5

I’ve heard really good things about our site admin Steven Ellis’ Tuff Cuff book/program. It will give you a great start and answer almost all of the questions you have. A small investment to buy the book and probably some gear, but I promise you it is worth the money.

Long toss is awesome.


#6

I agree with Sidewinder again. Tuff Cuff is a great book full of great, applicable information.
It is laid out in an easy to understand manner and is very good. Cant beat the cost either.
Longtoss is great. Basically it is just playing catch. People over complicate it at times but that is basically what it is, just throwing. There are different approaches to it. Some go for max distance some don’t go beyond 120 feet. Some are all flat line throwing and some will have you arc throws going out and throw hard and flat coming back in.
Getting into nutty debates with people about what is the one “right” way is pointless. Different things work better for different folks. Find what works for you and stick with it. Consistency and intent are the key. Developing velocity through longtoss is sort of hit and miss. There is a lot more to it than just that for most folks. However if a guy has not been throwing consistently he may see a bump. No matter what the arm should get more conditioned and more resilient.
One thing I would recommend with any throwing/longtoss program would be incorporating a good full body warm up followed by a specific shoulder/arm warm up for throwers before starting to throw. I see a lot of kids walk out and start throwing, toss the ball for 15 minutes chatting and goofing around the whole time and call that throwing…that is not a throwing program/longtoss/training or whatever you want to call it.
Anytime you go throw there should be a point to it, a focus. Throwing should be fun without having to goof around.


#7

I will definitely look into Tuff Cuff!

Today I did some resistance training/plyometric exercises at my gym with my coach. My coach takes out 5-7 of us every day to go to a gym. Tuesday and Thursday we do plyometric drills and Monday Wednesday and Friday is weight training. I look forward to my weight training tomorrow!

I am also going to set up my tee and take 100 swings off it today. (I do this 7 days a week/everyday) and after that head down to the field and throw some pitches and hopefully get some video recorded!


#8

I know this magical drill that is very screat in the baseball world that helps arm strength, ok well it’s not magal ir a screate but it’s… LONG TOSS! Long toss 3 days a week during the season (not including practice) and 5 days a week in the off season. Get your arm loose continue to throw scoot back until you can’t hit your partner in the air. If you don’t have a partner get a bucket of balls and throw into the back stop at a field.