Movement vs Velocity

If you throw a straight as an arrow 85 mph fastball or an 85 mph fastball with great sink, will a scout at a showcase take that movement into consideration or is a radar reading what they look at?

Its a combination of both along with other variables. The most important in my opinion is arm action.

Scouts are all different when evaluating talent. Some scouts prefer potential to present and want to see high radar readings and projection and movement,secondary pitches are only icing on the cake. Most non-professional or top D1 scouts look at the present more and would rather see a fastball with movement.

Arm action, do you mean release point or what. I understand ball movement and if the action of your arm creates ball movement then that is important. But just arm action?

Arm action is how the arm works. Ideal arm action is one that doehsn’t stop, pause or stall out and continues to gain momentum from hand break through release without interruption. I like to see shorter arm action where the elbow drives the path of the arm. The “elbow” driving the direction of the arm allows for more deception versus the hand. If you really think about the action of the hand it is very over coached. the hand is only there to pressure and grip the ball, it does not throw the ball but releases it. Getting back to arm action, the major factor is how quick the arm redirects and changes direction. At that time the hand will get above the elbow but should not ever be a focus, it will happen. By driving with the elbow it aids in loading the scaps and activating the chest/scaps to transfer and create energy. the faster the arm moves the faster the rotation of the ball, hence increased rotation of the seams and movement. The goal of arm action should be to throw out of the glove meaning the throw starts once the hand separates from the glove. Most guys think it starts once the elbow gets up, focus on speeding up the tempo out of the glove. Hope this helps.

I agree with some of your points, “Ideal arm action is one that doesn’t stop”, absolutely, a smoother action from the break to release helps with momentum and ultimately better timing.

I don’t think that a pitcher should try and jack with certain things in his motion though, such as arm path and I think that trying to mess with how someone, as you say, the elbow driving the direction of the arm…these things are just part of how a player throws and isn’t really coachable or changeable to a positive result. “Action of the hand being overcoached”, again maybe I don’t understand what you mean but it being overcoached? I don’t know! Deception doesn’t really start at direction of the arm it comes from making every pitch look the same, same arm speed, arm slot, same overall look. Change the grip and you get everything you want done, so overall everything looks like a fastball.

I guess I might be missing some of the point you are trying to make. My point is that arm action doesn’t really get the job done unless you get ball movement, you can get ball movement from differing grips, 4 seam, 2 seam, cutter, different changeups and curveballs.

Not trying to be disagreeable, I just have different philosphy, maybe others can chirp in.

[quote=“buwhite”]I agree with some of your points, “Ideal arm action is one that doesn’t stop”, absolutely, a smoother action from the break to release helps with momentum and ultimately better timing.

I don’t think that a pitcher should try and jack with certain things in his motion though, such as arm path and I think that trying to mess with how someone, as you say, the elbow driving the direction of the arm…these things are just part of how a player throws and isn’t really coachable or changeable to a positive result. “Action of the hand being overcoached”, again maybe I don’t understand what you mean but it being overcoached? I don’t know! Deception doesn’t really start at direction of the arm it comes from making every pitch look the same, same arm speed, arm slot, same overall look. Change the grip and you get everything you want done, so overall everything looks like a fastball.

Deception can come in a multitude of ways and I agree with you in masking pitches. In arm action deception comes in the form of hiding the ball per say with the focus being on the elbows and not seeing the ball until the shoulders rotate and the arm has redirected. Not saying that you coach this but arm action should be a focus on a daily basis and I do believe that arm action will evolve. Momentum and tempo play a key role in arm action. Back to deception, focusing on the elbow versus the hand hides the ball longer therefore shortening the Hitters reaction time.

I guess I might be missing some of the point you are trying to make. My point is that arm action doesn’t really get the job done unless you get ball movement, you can get ball movement from differing grips, 4 seam, 2 seam, cutter, different changeups and curveballs.

Not trying to be disagreeable, I just have different philosphy, maybe others can chirp in.[/quote]

What about guys like Lincecum or Sabathia who have a deliberate slowing or pause at their post leg before their arm moves upward. This action appears to be related to their timing and their overall arm action. If used as a timing mechanism, although maybe not ideal in a perfect world, shouldn’t it be considered acceptable

I somewhat disagree. Choking the ball in the hand and less snap off of the fingers will kill rotation while keeping the same arm action and speed. Just as a looser grip with more snap of the fingers will produce good two seam action.

Couldn’t speeding up tempo out of the glove throw off other timing issues? If a guy is deliberate through his stride and out of his glove with the explosion occurring at foot strike, how do you change timing without changing his entire mechanical process?

What about guys like Lincecum or Sabathia who have a deliberate slowing or pause at their post leg before their arm moves upward. This action appears to be related to their timing and their overall arm action. If used as a timing mechanism, although maybe not ideal in a perfect world, shouldn’t it be considered acceptable

You could also throw Josh Beckett in that group. I call that a two-piece action but the intent to throw once the arm starts is still the same. Good point on those 2.

I somewhat disagree. Choking the ball in the hand and less snap off of the fingers will kill rotation while keeping the same arm action and speed. Just as a looser grip with more snap of the fingers will produce good two seam action.

Not sure I understand on choking the ball. I don’t see where you got that from my quote. I absolutely agree with choking the ball will slow down wrist action. Maybe you were speaking of the purpose of the hand. The hand plays a role just like you mentioned on teh amount of pressure or tension on the ball which directly effects the action of the wrist. The wrist can also be preset to supinate or pronate and allowing the wrist to stay entact with the chain to move the ball faster.

I strongly believe that tempo should be a daily process. Guys will always gravitate towards the slower side if tempo is not challenged and guys step out of their comfort zone with tempo. If a guys is deliberate through foot strike and waiting to explode a foot strike he has missed the boat. A pitcher should be “ready to throw” before the foot ever hits the ground. After the front foot has braced the hips are actually slowing down and changing directions. The hips should be open at the point of the foot bracing. If you are waiting to “explode” and rotate as the foot has braced you will not ever reach max velocity and it will kill separation.

My reference was in response to your statement of; the faster the arm moves the faster the rotation of the ball, hence increased rotation of the seams and movement. My contention on this point is that grip of the hand has more to do with movement than arm speed.

I see your point. My contention is that prior to foot strike, even if deliberate, momentum is building. At the point of foot strike, the hips fire followed by shoulder rotation and delivery.

Absolutely the pitcher should be “ready to throw” before the foot hits the ground. But if firing the hips before foot strike was to occur don’t you think that would cause a real loss in momentum?

My reference was in response to your statement of; the faster the arm moves the faster the rotation of the ball, hence increased rotation of the seams and movement. My contention on this point is that grip of the hand has more to do with movement than arm speed.

Totally agree, another way to create movement is pre-setting the wrist angle.

I see your point. My contention is that prior to foot strike, even if deliberate, momentum is building. At the point of foot strike, the hips fire followed by shoulder rotation and delivery.

No i think there is foot strike (contact) with the ground and foot bracing. When the foot has braced the hips should have been opened and the hips begin moving in a linear direction.
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Absolutely the pitcher should be “ready to throw” before the foot hits the ground. But if firing the hips before foot strike was to occur don’t you think that would cause a real loss in momentum?[/quote][/color]

The hips should be rotated into foot plant and not afterwards. If you are trying to rotate the hips after the foot is in contact with the ground they will be drastically slower and not reaching the potential for separation or momentum transfer. Look at videos of Lincecum, Sabathia, and watch how their hips are opening before foot strike.

I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I would like to welcome Baseballthinktank to the forums. Appreciate the rich discussion and perspective you bring. Welcome!

Thanks Steven, you do a fantastic job with the site!!!

I see your point. However, I think that the hips are opening during stride to accomodate the length of the stride and the ability to turn the front foot. While momentum is building through the stride, doesn’t the back side fire at the target following foot strike?

If all hip momentum occurred before foot strike, wouldn’t it be difficult to keep from flying open? And wouldn’t the shoulder follow the momentum of the hips being opened too early creating less separation?

Thanks for the discussion. I find this really interesting.

I see your point. However, I think that the hips are opening during stride to accomodate the length of the stride and the ability to turn the front foot. While momentum is building through the stride, doesn’t the back side fire at the target following foot strike?

The hips should be moving forward (linear) after foot strike which is I think what your referring to as stride? I think we are pretty close. The back hip (knee) is responsible for unloading the front hip (knee,foot).

If all hip momentum occurred before foot strike, wouldn’t it be difficult to keep from flying open? And wouldn’t the shoulder follow the momentum of the hips being opened too early creating less separation?

Hip rotation (rotational momentum) should occur before/as the front foot braces. Keep in mind there is rotational momentum and linear momentum both combining as one up the chain. Paul Nyman described it as a race car coming around the turn, once the foot has braced he hits the straight stretch. I have found that guys fly open when trying to open their hips after the foot has braced creating a “one piece” delivery. The shoulders/hips should work as two separate units. Check out some of laflippins videos on youtube and see if you can see the back hip rotating into footplant as Paul Nyman from setpro.com describes it. Strasburg, Sabathia, Hamels all do it.

Hope this helps

I think we agree.

What I was referring to, maybe using the wrong terminology, was the back hip firing toward the target as part of hip rotation instead of linear movement.

Turn22 I was half asleep on my last post. I think the rear hip should begin to fire in order to open up front hip at or before foot contact. It only makes sense to me that if we load the hips by taking the front hip into the back hip then we unload them by driving the back hip into the front hip. At foot brace the back hip will begin to move in a linear direction changing directions from rotational to linear (hence the drag line). The glute I mentioned in the last post is the strongest in the body and one I think needs focus on training, as it is the bridge between the upper/lower body. I think the key to me better understanding how the hips work was to realize their is foot contact and foot brace (2 areas). The hips are still unloading as the foot is braced but in a different direction, the knees should be closing distance between each other in order to suck up the momentum of the back hip into the chain of the delivery. Let me know what you think.

I feel you can learn a lot about what the hips are trying to accomplish by watching the feet. Afterall, the feet are a slave to the hips.

I agree.

I think you statement of “I think the rear hip should begin to fire in order to open up front hip at or before foot contact” depends on the pitcher and somewhat the length of their stride in relation to their height.

I also realize that height really has not much to do with the timing of when the rear hip fires(at or before foot strike). It seems to be a mechanical difference from pitcher to pitcher.

As far as the glutes are concerned, I agree that they are an important muscle group. In my opinion squats, lunges, and deadlifts should be included in any training program for pitchers.

[quote=“Turn 22”]I agree.

I think you statement of “I think the rear hip should begin to fire in order to open up front hip at or before foot contact” depends on the pitcher and somewhat the length of their stride in relation to their height.

I also realize that height really has not much to do with the timing of when the rear hip fires(at or before foot strike). It seems to be a mechanical difference from pitcher to pitcher.

As far as the glutes are concerned, I agree that they are an important muscle group. In my opinion squats, lunges, and deadlifts should be included in any training program for pitchers.[/quote]

Well said. However, not big on stride length. I know a lot of guys out there are, but to me stride length is a product of tempo and momentum. Not something I focus on with my guys at all. I have found that it negates hip rotation because of the intent of the pitcher to lengthen out versus unloading out into contact with the ground

Couldn’t agree more. I actually would rather see guys shorten up a bit to increase their balance and torque of their core.