"Mound Presence"

I was just curious on what peoples interpritations are of “Mound Presence”?

How does a pitcher have good “Mound Presence”?

What is “Mound Presence”?

It’s an inner arrogance. It’s doing your thing. It’s projecting confidence. It’s keeping your head up, staying focused, being a bulldog, working fast, controlling the game.

When I think mound presence I think pedro … the guy does very little wasted movements between pitches … Hershiser the same thing … very little finnicking or nervous ticks, tugging at the jersey, etc. …

It’s tough for me though b/c I sweat a lot… I’ve always got a face dripping with sweat so how can I not constantly be wiping it off??? Doc Gooden was a big sweater too… he usually wore long sleeves even on hot days… I dunno if this helped or not

I agree with these guys. I think its how you project yourself on the mound. No matter if you throw 45 or 105 its the confidence in knowing that you are going to shove it to someone. Thinking/Knowing you are the best that took the bump, I think gives you the mental edge and the confidence in knowing you can get anyone out.

yeh that helped a bit, but what sort of facial expressions would someone with good mound presence have?
How Long do they take to throw the ball between pitches?
do they look at people on base or ignore them?

i gave it a go on tha weekend and it felt pretty good,
this is what i did

  1. recieved ball from catcher, and wiped my face with my shoulder (sweat lol)
  2. stood on plate and stared down the catcher + recieved signals
  3. came to set
    4 threw the ball

any other ideas to improve it?

Mound presence isnt the amount of time or what you do, it is your attitude. There are some pitchers that command your attention when they step onto the rubber. Steven said “It’s an inner arrogance.” and I agree with that. Good examples of this would be guys like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Mariano Rivera, and Curt Schilling. But one of my favorite examples was watching Troy Percival in his prime. He would stomp out to the mound, squat down and pray then hop up and be ready for business. He pulled the brim of his hat down low and squinted in for the sign. And when he came set you knew that he was confident that he could blow that hitter away. Of course he could throw 100 mph hour back then.

The best advice I can think of is to try and intimidate the hitter when you step on the hill. Stare him down like he stole something. Check some game footage of the above-mentioned guys if you need some inspiration.

i like looking like the new kid on the mound and making the batter think that u have never pitched before and i hold my glove up coving my mouth and i just sit there and smile and say he has no clue what he up againest and the feeling after u throw a high pitch on a 3-2 count that u know is a ball and he swings and u get that k is the best feeling ever!!!

I think what your goal should be is to portray a gunslinger. Be cool. You have to be focused and controlled when it’s chaos around you. As a starting pitcher, i don’t think you can pump your fist and yell everytime you ges someone out. Save that for a K in the later innings or a crucial double play. I try to stay on an even keel. When you strike someone out, use that emotion that you have on the next batter. When i make someone whiff i just walk around the mound and re-group. I don’t want a good pitch carry over to a poor pitch to the next hitter. Confidence, Confidence, Confidence!!!

Spot on. It’s about your body language speaking of your belief in yourself that you’re going to do a job.

I remember Mike Fetters took a mean streak out to the mound every time. He looked like he had a beef with everyone when he was taking his signs.

Think of…

A.J Burnett
Mike Gonzalez
Billy Wagner

Developing a presence on the mound is all about confidence. You gotta go out there an believe that no one can touch you it isnt something you can practice its just something that happens. My problem when i was younger was i would go into games nervous and the consequences of the game would always be in my head. Now i go into games loose an relaxed feeling like the other team doesnt have ne chance of beating me. Also when u have confidence ur teammates have confidence in u ive had a lot of my teammates when i take the hill tell me how much they like when i pitch cuz i got that cocky attitude. Gotta develop a swagger to be good on the mound.

The “inner arrogance” is definetly what it’s all about. Knowing you are going to own and clean up is the mindset you should be in. Know where you want to throw the ball and control the game. When you step on the rubber it’s your game, do what you want. I’m a lefty and a bit of a goof at the college level and for a while I had a mohawk (just for kicks). I knew I was going to go out there and win, I knew the batter was nervous. A lefty coming in the high 80’s, and not afraid to come inside, and then taking off the cap and showing a mohawk is great. Don’t give the other team a chance to beat you or get you nervous.
-Obviously I used the mohawk for a while but look at Mariano Rivera. He’s a little guy that throws smoke. Randy Johnson is huge and ugly and sometimes doesn’t know where the ball is going. Intimidation is key.

Best example I have is Josh Beckett…Back in his Marlin days, in the playoffs, he came high and tight on Sammy Sosa, who hit the dirt and got up like he was as bad and mad as he could be, this caused the ump and catcher to jump in between and everyone was running around looking like Sammy was gonna just murder this (I think he was a rookie that season) kid, Beckett starts walking towards home plate/third base line, picks up the ball, turns around and gets back on the rubber. Looked like ice…he then struck Sammy out like he was a little leaguer…this play is what I credit as the deciding factor in that series, seldom has anyone dominated like he did that series and then the World Series. Composure and the ability to project the arrogence Steven mentioned…deadly combo.

Good example of mound presence. We faced this leftie one day, and when I went up to bat, and watched from the dugout he just projected a big image. I thought he was a real big kid from even the batters box, then when I was out in right field he happened to get walked, and I saw him standing next to our 1st baseman. Im taller than he is, and their leftie pitcher was shorter than our 1st baseman, but from the mound he exuded a presence of a much larger kid.

Duaner Sanchez, setup man for the Mets has a great presence out there … he exudes this put-it-on-my-shoulders go-right-after-you kind attitude … it’s not cocky at all, it’s just, you can tell he’s got no fear and he’s coming after you and he knows what he’s doing…

At the moment Felix Hernandez has a big mound presence, watching the game when he was verusing boston. He near on throw a no hitter, but through the entire game, he had a calm “im the best and u cant beat me” presence.

When i get on the hill i try to change the atmosphere of the game, if its high energy, slow it down and act calm, if its slow up the anti by smiling, just so the hitters to have to change to the my zone.

A few people are really hitting the nail on the head. I love the Troy Percival comments and I really agree with those. I also think Mound Presence is the ability to have all your fielders and the coaching staff and bench have complete and utter confidence in you. Of course you have to have some of that confidence as well. The biggest key is to not look rattled at all. Whether you have just a calm demeanor say like Mariano Rivera or a fire type attitude like Roger Clemens I think the most important thing is to always look like you are in control. If you throw a pitch in the dirt, don’t show the other team especially the hitter that you made a mistake, just catch the ball and get back on the mound like that last pitch was supposed to be there. Just my opinion though.

Jonathan Papelbon has the best mound presense I have ever seen. Every pitch he steps onto the mound, takes a slow, deep breath, and then glares in at the batter. He holds this glare throughout his pitch, and never shows emotion. Of course the heaviest 98mph fastball in the game helps…

A great question and all great responses. This side of pitching takes a backseat to mechanics when maybe they should sit side by side. Every pitcher shows some kind of presence, good, bad, indifferent, phony, unconcerned, extroverted, scared, out of control ,exuberant etc. What you see is similar to what the batter is presenting to the pitcher. It’s the old cat/mouse game of emotions. Success is wrapped in various ribbons. I might go with “don’t let negative emotion interfere with positive performance”.

Couldn’t find video for The Mad Hungarian though.

You picked 2 guys who are what they are, who loved playing, did their own thing and made the game entertaining. The older crowd would add The Babe and I would add Satchell Page. The problem these days; the cross checkers would fire the scout.