My 14 Year Old - Video

I’m new to the whole YouTube thing as well as posting video here. Bear with me!

Here is video of the boy working out this past Satueday morning. Comments welcomed!

Another

Hope these work!

I dont like his arm action. It looks to close like Mark Prior, that might be a problem in the future. How old is your son?

They worked! I agree that his arm motion is unusual and his exaggerated wrist cock may be robbing him of accuracy, consistency, and velocity. Without slowing it down and taking a good look, I can’t comment on anything else. He looks athletic and appears to have potential, though. Was he throwing from 54 or 60’6"?

I also don’t like his arm action at all. How his PAS forearm hangs down vertically from his PAS elbow and how high his PAS elbow gets.

Has he been taught to break his hands with his elbows or to make the Inverted W?

His arm action resembles that of Mark Prior, which I believe means that he will be much more likely to experience elbow and shoulder problems.

Greg Maddux is a much better person to copy.

Arm slot is way too low. I agree.

It looks like he’s short armin it, he isnt gettin a wide range of motion. Also he is comin straight down from his knee raise, instead of lowering his foot and gliding towards the plater, that could take some velo away from him since he isn’t using his legs to there full potential.

arm action looks a lot like billy wagner and i believe it’s a bad thing. he will probably feel soreness in his elbow (if he’s not already) and i think he opens up too early which makes him throw mostly with his arm.

You could also say that he looks like Joel Zumaya or Aaron Heilman, which some people (e.g. Paul Nyman) think is a good thing, but which I happen to think is a bad thing.

I believe that this kind of arm action works in the short term but doesn’t work in the long term because I believe it’s the equivalent of consistently running a car past the red line. Guys with this arm action end up either blowing up their arms in HS or college or working as relievers (especially closers) in the pros.

Some may say that that’s no big deal, but it can cost a guy millions of dollars when it comes to being drafted or signed (because it’s starters and innings-eaters who everyone is looking for and who make the big bucks).

Has he been taught to break his hands with his elbows or to make the Inverted W?

[/quote]

He just starting working with a private pitching coach who has him making the Inverted W.

Up until last December (2006), he had never worked with anyone, he just pitched with what he had.

He’s not really complained of any arm pain. But maybe that’s something that would develop later?

Like the subject line says, his 14 years old. He throws a 70 mph fastball with good movement and a killer circle change with a lot of movement. He’s just started learning to throw a curve.

The whole arm postion thing is a little confusing. Some have said it’s a problem. Some have said leave him alone because it’s his natural arm position and there is no point changing it now. I don’t know! His pitching coach hasn’t said anything about it to me.

If he were my son, I would change pitching coaches.

If you want to do that, then here’s how I suggest that you go about the process of finding a new pitching coach…

It sounds like his current pitching coach may be an adherent of a school of thought that I think is destroying the arms of young pitchers.

This school of thought idolizes guys like Billy Wagner and Joel Zumaya. I think better role models for young pitchers are Roy Oswalt, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, and Nolan Ryan (none of whom make the Inverted W).

Yes.

If he were my son, I would hold off on the curveball for a couple of years. Stick with the FB and CU.

I’m not talking about his arm slot. I don’t think his arm slot is a problem and wouldn’t mess with it.

What I’m talking about is what his Pitching Arm Side elbow does. The whole Inverted W thing.

HOOSIERDADDY,

I also noticed the apparent short-arming. But, before jumping to the conclusion that the short-arming needs to be corrected, we need to decide if that is a problem in and of itself or if it is a symptom of something else. Specifically, does he throw that way because that’s the way he throws or because something else in his mechanics is causing him to throw that way? I feel that anything that takes away timing for the arm to do its thing can lead to short-arming as short-arming provides a quicker arm motion which allows the arm to play catch-up. In looking at the rest of his mechanics, I see something that I think might, in fact, take away the timing he needs to extend the arm more.

What I noticed is that, at release, his head and shoulders are way out front. Ideally, you should be able to draw a vertical line through the front foot, front knee, chest and chin at release. The hand should release in front of this line but the rest of the body should line up right at this line. The ramification of getting out front is that the body wastes the energy transferring up the kinetic chain and the ball is thrown using mostly just the arm. That’s extra wear and tear on the arm over time.

Now, does this relate to the short-arming? I don’t know for sure but I think it is a possibility. Getting out front makes it more difficult to get proper delay between hip and shoulder rotation. (That’s easier to do when you stay stacked into shoulder rotation.) Could it be that the lack of a delay in shoulder rotation forces the arm to have to be quicker? Could be.

So, why is he getting out front in the first place? I think he opens up the front foot/leg a bit early and that contributes to it. He also may lack the functional strength and/or flexibility in his low back required to stay stacked. To keep him from opening the front foot/leg early, you could have him focus on striding sideways longer although I’d recommend his focus be on leading with his front hip a bit longer rather than focusing on the foot.

So maybe try making this adjustment and then see what that does to the arm action.

Good input. Thanks guys!

70mph fastball at age of 14? Hm…Well, I am 24, and I am a total biginner (baseball is not popular sport here), and i tought that my fastball is around 60s or less…
Well 70 mph at that age is really impresing!! Or am I missing something?

Can u guys tell anything about my pitching speed by just looking at video clips that I uploaded?

I’ll try to upload new videos soon.

Why is it “good input”?

Is it good input because your son reminds some people of Mark Prior (his arm action)?

Is it good input because your son is headed on the road to rack and ruin because of the inverted W?

Is it good input because your son resembles Tom House mechanics more than any other mechanics “school of thought” (extension forward and pushing the ball).

Is it good input because you been told to change or pitching instructor?

Just exactly what are you going to do with this “good” input?

I asked these questions because I personally don’t see how anyone convert this mishmash of opinions into something that is going to help your son. First and foremost because I don’t believe anyone has identified the real problem. And secondly because unless this player is willing to devote a heck of a lot of time other than taking an occasional “pitching” lesson, and has someone constantly working with them who really does know how to identify his deficiencies, he’s probably better off just going out and throwing the ball the way that he feels most comfortable.

Which begs ( To me anyways) the question why do you want your son to pitch or to get serious about pitching when it appears (to me) that he is probably at a stage in his playing career ( demands of competition) where making any significant changes to how he throws the ball is very difficult and in most cases next to impossible.

Almost without exception I found that no instruction is far better than flawed instruction. Forums such as this one are a good place to have fun. But in terms of serious instruction ( information) they can do far more harm than good, my opinion.

That being said.

This player does look a lot like Mark Prior (Tom House linear mechanics).

For example:

But there are at least two rather significant exceptions.

  1. Mark Prior is a 6’5" “Baby Huey”.

  2. Mark Prior THROWS the ball completely different than the player does.

One of the problems with the video posted of this player is that it’s either missing frames or shot at a frame rate significantly less than 30 frames per second. Is very difficult if not impossible to do any meaningful analysis on this poor quality video.

But there is enough information ( what I see) for me to say that none of the opinions/advice given addresses the real problem That this player has. That is if you define “problem” as not doing what is necessary to maximize his throwing potential.

Simply put this player (your son) does not know how to throw the ball effectively. And throwing the ball means how he uses his upper body. And until he can figure out how to use his upper body more effectively to throw the ball, everything else is almost a waste of time. My not so humble opinion.

And for those who would really like to find out more regarding some of the “individuals” who are so willing to give their detailed opinions here I suggest you check out the following links:

I found the following particularly “entertaining” (dougmac is a long time professional baseball scout San Francisco Giants/Washington nationals):

[quote]dougmac

[i]"Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris O’Leary

The whole point of my pitching injury analysis project is to look for consistencies between pitchers who had long, relatively injury-free careers and those who didn’t. Zumaya’s mechanics do not resemble the mechanics of any of the pitchers that I have labelled the great’s…

  • Nolan Ryan
  • Sandy Koufax
  • Roger Clemens
  • Bob Gibson
  • Greg Maddux
  • Tom Glavine
  • Tom Seaver
  • Steve Carlton
  • Juan Marichal

All of the pitchers above had long, successful careers “despite” their cookie cutter mechanics and “despite” the fact that their mechanics look nothing like Zumaya’s (or Heilman’s).

Zumaya’s mechanics resemble those of Billy Wagner, who has had a fairly long but injury-plagued career.

If I had to choose, I’d take any one of the great one’s careers over Wagner’s.

You’re contradicting yourself. If Ryan hit 100 MPH, then this obviously ISN’T everything that it takes to hit 100 MPH. It’s just one way, and in my opinion an inferior way, of hitting 100 MPH.

My question with Lincecum is whether he’ll be able to scale; whether he’ll be able to be successful over time. Just because you can do something when you’re 21 doesn’t mean you can do it when you’re 25.

I remember this guy named Rick Ankiel… "[/i]

You may be the most negative guy I have ever read. Have you ever seen Lincecum Pitch? How do you know if a MLB pitcher has tendonitis and how he got it? You could get sued for malpractice. Who have you taught and where are they at?

You talk about Michael Main, and you have never even seen him. You don’t know how old he is, what his body is like or what kind of a delivery he has.

If you want to prove something, pick 10 pitchers who are in Class “A” ball and tell us if they will have long and successful careers. You now use Maddux as one of your guys, but about a year ago you were trying to tell me he had a poor delivery. [/quote]

And

[quote]dougmac

Originally Posted by Chris O’Leary;

[i]"I love speed as much as the next guy.

However, I think that pitchers have to generate it the right way and know when they’ve got enough of it.

IMO “enough” is around 90, assuming you’ve got a good breaking pitch, a good change-up, and solid control.

At a minimum, Koufax and Maddux could throw harder than they did when they were in their primes but they didn’t, in part for reasons of improved control."[/i]

When Koufax was in his prime, he had the best fastball in baseball. Upper 90’s.
Drysdale’s delivery is nothing like Prior’s. His delivery was very similar to Jeff Weavers delivery…almost sidearm. He also went 12 straight years without missing a start which is a record.

You try to use Wakefield as a reference, and he is a knuckle ball pitcher for goshs sakes!!! The reason he throws a knuckleball is that he could not get anyone out with his fastball because he did not throw hard enough.

You use 90 as a point…I see 40-50 guys every year in amateur ball that throw 90. It is no big deal, but 95-98 is a big deal because guys have trouble reacting to it.

The Rec league is exactly the right spot for your story. I have seen your delivery, and if you teach it to anyone they should file suit. [/quote]

http://hsbaseballweb.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1491034941/m/6461066681/p/1

Roger = Roger Tomas

As you might be able to tell I have little or no use for “career forum posters” whose only mission is to show how much they know but in the process demonstrate how little they actually understand Other than whatever instructional religion they subscribe to. Or that their intellect ( ego) is at such a high level that they are an authority on everything and anything including throwing and swinging.

The following from www.chrisoleary.com

[quote]ABOUT CHRIS O’LEARY

1/9/2007

I am an author, speaker, and consultant in the areas of innovation, marketing, and new product development. Over the past few years, I have also become something of an expert in the area of baseball pitching. I have put together a document that describes my experience with baseball, if you are interested.
My consulting clients have included the Boeing Chairman’s Innovation Initiative and the Boeing Leadership Center. I frequently speak about the relationship between pain, change, and innovation to students in entrepreneurship, new product development, and marketing classes in the MBA programs of Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis University, and the University of Missouri.
I have also served as a judge for Washington University’s Olin Cup competition and have held seminars on elevator pitches and other subjects.
My writings have been featured on Garage.com and MarketingProfs.com.
I was a key member of the team that designed and built SalesLogix, the leading middle-market CRM system. SalesLogix grew from $0 to $100 million in annual sales in just 5 years and was sold to The Sage Group in 2001 for $263 million.
I have also worked for a number of other startups including Heuris and Tsunami Research.
Earlier in my career, I was a consultant for Cambridge Technology Partners, Ernst & Young, and Andersen Consulting.
.[/quote]

And if you really would like a chuckle regarding those who post on multiple forums under multiple names you might find the following of interest:

http://www.setpro.com/stuff/internetgurus.wma

Enjoy!!

Steve Ellis,

Just to inform you that many of the clips that you have in your Pitching Video Library are from the SETPRO and or Pitching-Mechanics.org websites by Chris O’leary. I will say one thing about Chris, he does do everything in his power to promote himself often the expense of others…

Just to be clear, I’m not concerned with short-arming.

Greg Maddux could be described as short-arming the ball (if you describe short-arming the ball as taking the ball close to the ear).

What I am concerned about is what is Pitching Arm Side elbow does; how high above the level of his shoulders that it gets. It reminds me of Joel Zumaya (or Billy Wagner or Mark Prior or Aaron Heilman).

Paul,

You may not know this, but I too am involved in scouting at the major league level.

When I finish updating this forum, I’m going to cross-check a HS prospect that a team is considering drafting.

If you look at clips of Wagner it is interesting to note that he does extend his arm back before getting to the inverted W. He just does it so quickly it isn’t easily noticeable.

I prefer to see an arm action more like Smoltz’s where one gets to the W as part of the overall motion more smoothly, and yes Smoltz had elbow surgery at one point in his career as many MLB pitchers have. I believe Zumaya works with my son’s throwing coach but that’s no guarantee he won’t end up with an elbow or shoulder injury. It happens, especially to people who throw that hard.

Once again, let’s face it throwing hard hurts arms. Condition the arm as well as possible, listen when there’s pain and rest but if a pitcher throws hard the possibility of an arm injury is always there.

As far as Chris “dangerous” O’Leary’s advice goes it is a bit too early to be worrying about being a MLB starter or closer. I think any 14yo who was could be guaranteed a career as a MLB closer but could never be a starter would jump at the chance. To be realistic a 14yo throwing 70 is not on the MLB track unless something happens along the way to increase their velocity relative to their peers.

Hard to believe dangerous could profess to be an expert and yet not know what short arming is. Look at the clips that Steve currently has running. Doc Gooden, love his action, short arms a tiny bit unless we’re missing the one frame where his arm gets fully extended. Marichal, hate his action but it sure worked, doesn’t at all. Prior doesn’t at all, that arm gets fully extended going back. Catchers short arm because they don’t extend the arm when going back to save time. Cocking the ball by the ear isn’t short arming in and of itself.

Just sold about half of my Boeing stock (not kidding). All those airplane orders don’t match up to having execs listen to people who don’t know what they are talking about.

… is how many players have you ACTUALLY helped using your methods.

Chris O’Leary (anyone) can “analyze” till hell freezes over, but analyzing does not equate to player development. Scouts typically do not instruct. They “possibly” can recognize high-level performance when they see it, but they have little or no clue as to how to develop it. That’s especially true at the major-league level.

I can point to literally hundreds of players who have benefited significantly using the exact same methods (inverted W, scapula loading, pelvic loading, etc.) that you THINK are a problem or what you THINK causes problems.

The ASMI has been at this (attempting to reduce pitching injuries) far longer and with far greater expertise than you possess and yet all they can say with any degree of confidence after 25 years is that overuse potentially leads to injury. With respect to mechanics the only thing the ASMI has achieved is to publish a number of studies in an attempt to quantify kinematically and kinetically what is happening during the delivery. With respect to pitching mechanics the recommendations ASMI does not have a definitive position on what constitutes good mechanics.

Yet you think that somehow you have far greater insight into what causes injuries to the point where you think just by looking at a pitcher you can predict their injury potential. I don’t really think so.

You base much of your “expertise” on the teachings of Mike Marshall. The same Mike Marshall who has made a career out of training on people’s fears. The same Mike Marshall who in 25 years of working with literally thousands of players has only developed one player (Jeff Sparks) who had a cup of coffee at the major-league level.

But again the real question is what advice can you offer in terms of improving that players abilities to throw the baseball??

From what I’ve seen in your numerous posts on many different forums, my conclusion is not very much other than to tug at the heartstrings and play upon their fears regarding injury.

Is my opinion that you are nothing more than a marketing machine, with little or no substance (actual player accomplishments) to support your verbiage with respect to how to develop high-level players.

As an example I have seen nothing from you or anyone for that matter that will help Nikae09 other than to send him chasing rainbows.

It is one thing to offer an opinion. It is something else again to offer opinions disguised as fact. Something that you and Marshall seemed to do quite well.

You have no real world Player developmental experience other than working with a group of rec league 10 or 11 year olds. How you can be so convinced of your expertise borders on delusions of grandeur and is particularly dangerous to the uninformed. Especially when you’re dealing with something as important and precious as a player’s career (hopes and dreams).

I will say this again and what I’ve said many times before no instruction is better than poor/bad instruction.

Enough said.

Paul Nyman

Paul,

What do you mean by “linear mechanics”? In what way are House’s mechanics “linear”?