Opinions on a couple of my guys

Just want to try this out and see if anyone sees anything that I don’t. The first kid is as good as I have. Should be a ligit D1 kid, class of 09’. I think he Could maybe generate a little more momentum and I am not quite thrilled with his posture at release. The second kid is very raw and never really been coached. He’s got a pretty live arm and locates well so I am hoping to really help him. There are some posture issues and a real lack of glove control as evident by his arms crossing. I also don’t like his stride very much. He sort of bounces on his post leg. I think I’d like to see his back leg a little firmer and keep his center of mass back a bit longer. What do you guys think?

Sorry, the video quality leaves a little to be desired.

Ask the youngster on the top video not to shuffle his pivot foot so much to the side. The youngster in the bottom video seems to have that portion well under control. And control is gained at the starting blocks for the youngster in the top video if he would simply keep his pivot foot planted, turn slowlly with his pivot foot against the rubber then work from there.

I’d like to see that youngster do this first before suggesting anything upstairs.

The youngster in the bottom video is a flamethrower to be sure. You have two quality guys on your rotation Skipper. At this time I would suggest bringing the glove hand together with his pitching hand down just below his rib cage … just off his back hip, when he turns and starts his delivery.

I hesitate to go into further detail because both of these guys are power houses - heaters to say the least. They do need you there during live time, along with your skills at monitoring “big guns.” If your organization has a trainer, a pre-session and post session interview is advisable.

Roger works a lot with youth ball, he can help you greatly I’m sure.

Coach B.

To be honest, that footwork at the top is something that I like. Granted I would never “teach” someone to do it, but it is very much part of his fluid tempo which I think is very important. I stress athleticism with my guys and that is probably the biggest difference between these two kids. The top kid is probably the best athlete in his class (i.e. WR on the football team and guard on the basketball team). The second kid isn’t as naturally athletic (i.e. offensive tackle on the football team).

Funny you should say that. The kid on top is 86-91. The kid on the bottom is 76-79. Pretty deceiving I know.

Thanks for the imput.


I think number 1 looks quite good (I really don’t see any problems) and wouldn’t mess with him.

Number 2 comes to the balance point when he needs to get his hips moving forward through the top of the leg lift ala Nolan Ryan…

The top guy is good…maybe the glove up a little better…bottom guy I’d work on the lower half, he isn’t getting much out of it, looks stiff. Grades and scores are the only thing that’ll keep the top kid out of D-1. How does he fit on his HS team…(1st year numba 1, multi-year varsity…)?

I don’t know if it’s just me, or having seen a lot of BJ Ryan this year, but that first guy reminded me of Ryan instantly. Anyone?

Well if this is true, HasBeen you got a lot of work trying to fix someone who has mechs like B.J. Ryan. Uck. :x

The suggestion of solictiing more stability with his pivot foot and reducing if not eliminating the slide and suffle motion is to promote less movement upstairs when he initialy steps back, and thus reducing the chances of the stride foot planting itself more towards third base as the youngster progresses inning after inning. Very few college and pro clubs encourage this kind of motion and (one of) the reasons that you mentioned, was with respect to tempo. Stability during the set up portion of a pitcher promotes a relaxed tempo that’s less prone to "rushing ’ things during the deliver phase. It’s kind of difficult to put into words here, but as a suggestion, ask your player not to slide and shuffle, but keep the pivot foot where it is, lightly turn and place the pivot foot against the rubber - be relaxed, then deliver. Then, see if his other motions seem more to your liking.

I know this is a small thing, but I’ve found that pitchers with a great deal of heat in the making, when they slide and shuffle like your youngster does here, they tend to get tired during later innings (as most do), and this movement back by the body… then sliding and shuffling … tends to swing the body’s momentum out (during and through the leg lift) not forward and the stride foot starts to plant itself less and less towards their target. Some guys even start throwing accross themselves as a result.

However, if the youngster is set to this style and wants to continue regardless, then that’s his grove and so be it. But, don’t allow him to close the door completely on suggestions. Some youngsters develope a “dig-my-heels in” approach to coaching that doesn’t serve them well as they progress upward.

Both youngsters look really strong and they should do well if they both stay healthy.

Coach B.

I thought he looks a lot like a right-handed David Price.

I’m terrible at comparing motions though.

Thanks Chris. I agree, he is pretty static when he comes to the top of his leg lift. I might toy with having him step straight back when he starts his windup. I just hope it doesn’t make his arm late.

Man, I never get rid of the Nolan footage.

As Chris suggested, I may try to get more out of the bottom half through a little momentum generation. I can’t seem to get his hips to open up very aggresively, thus his post leg just seems to drag along. I think you said that you have used the back shaping drills with your son. When we do drill #2 (torques) he really struggles to get good trunk rotation. I don’t know if he just isn’t flexible or what. What do you think about this theory? It appears to me that his hips start to open pretty slowly right when he begins his stride (looks like he is leading his stride with his toe instead of his heel). I think that gradual rotation might be preventing him from snapping the hips open. What do you think?

The top kid is the best pure prospect on his team and 1 or 2 in the rotation. The other half of the “1 or 2” is probably a little more polished so he gets a little bit better results. I haven’t had the chance to work with him so I’m not sure about his velocity, he is another 2010 grad so I hope to get my hands on him sooner than later. The trouble I have and the only reason that the top kid wouldn’t go D-1 is due to our location. We our in the northern states so exposure is limited. He was fortunate to land a spot on a team that wanted him for Perfect Game in Jupiter so he got noticed there. Prior to going to Fla. he had heard from one D-1 school, since he has returned the phone has finally started to ring. That’s one of the reasons I started doing what I am doing now. I want to help these kids get noticed and there high school/legion coaches won’t do it.

I actually wasnt fooled by looking at the too. I could tell right away the kid on top was the flamethrower because he has nearly no flaws in his delivery. I like his fluid motion and there isnt a point in his rotation where you would say “hey he needs to do this instead of that.”

The kid on the bottom, like everyone else has stated, is not using his lower body enough and to me, it almost seemed like he was throwing across his body at points in the beginning, and then stopped doing it after a few more pitches. Obviously getting his lower body to work for him will be his greatest task ahead.

Keep their grades up first, then get them pitching.

Here’s my take on these guys. For some reason, I had a tough time getting a read on the bottom guy.

Top guy:
Looks very nice from the front. But the side view reveals that he’s not getting out over the front leg. His weight stays behind the font leg and his release point is even with his front foot instead of out in front of his front foot. There could be a lack of momentum but it looks like his shoulder rotation happens too soon after hip rotation so I’m thinking the glove side dropping early like JD mentioned is causing early shoulder rotation. Staying closed a hair longer will let him track forward further to get out over the front leg better. That may put him in a better position to get good hip rotation. It could also improve his posture though I don’t think it’s bad enough to worry about. The toe taps could possibly be stalling him out over the rubber and delaying his initiation of forward momentum. While I can appreciate developing a rhythm, not at the expense of other important aspects.

But generally he looks pretty good.

Bottom guy:
I agree with theothers that he is late in getting the hips moving forward. I also think his posture at release is worse than the top guy. I think he turns the glove/arm over a bit early which may be initiating shoulder rotation early. I also noticed his back foot lifts early - could be caused by early shoulder rotation but I wouldn’t put any focus on it as it is a result of other things.

Agree with the others…the top kid gets more momentum that the bottom kid by far. The bottom kid comes to the notorious old balance point very well, but he has no momentum as DM and Roger have schooled me in it, over the last few years. This can be causing his back toe to pop up right prior to release point or at release point. It is actually 8 inches up in the air when he is releasing the ball. The problem with the momentum issue may be that the top kid is such a great athlete he can suvive it more…I’m not so sure the bottom kid could keep his control if you get him moving out earlier. I’d suggest watching to ensure he can keep up with his hands if you get him moving out earlier with the lower half. He may start out getting the ball up a little.

Top kid was tough to find any problems with but what Roger suggested and Coach Bake would be worth looking at.

The last thing I noticed was the bottom kid lands open by 4 to 6 inches it looks like…which may not allow the seperation of the top kid

What Roger alluded to with respect to the side view of the youngster at the top, and NOT a release posture behind the front foot, is one of the foundations for consistency from everything from throwing strikes, to functioning within the context of healthy body progression and completion.

I like to explain it this way:

All the energy that a pitcher is building up to has to go somewhere. And the main objective of building up that energy and releasing it – is to pass it on to the ball, leaving as little as possible behind.

Now that’s a tall order for someone as young as the two youngsters in your video – in fact that goes for any youngster. But, one of the tell-tale signs of not doing what Roger was referring to, is the shotgun affect that your pitcher at the top is demonstrating upon his release.

Now the senses of the body have to be deliberately trained to accept this method, and for many youngsters, a bit of apprehension is totally normal. Assure you pitcher that this portion of his release is doable. In fact what can help him understand the development of this phase, is to place a portable pitcher’s mound next to a wall, place a wide white strip graduated in segments along the length of the mound - on the wall at various heights, and using video – allow your pitcher to experience each phase of your instruction like Roger suggested, then sit back and witness the results with your pitcher and discuss it. I had a full booth designed for just this – and other critiques, and most instruction sessions do well with it.

Coupled with a better glove side discipline as suggested here, your pitcher should experience more stability after release also.

Best wishes with your pitchers, coach.

Coach B.

First kid looks pretty good, the only thing is his stride. The way he kicks his leg out stiff then swings it to the target, it deprives power from the hips. I like leading with the hips, taking the heel to the target and allowing my hips to explode through. He is quick and viiolent, but under control, that is very good.
Second kid, his leg swing when bringing it up to the balance point I dislike. I like lifting with the quad and being under control, leg swing can lead to the upper body becoming off balance, leading to bad direction which I can see also. His stride when he lands is a little to the left of his back foot, which is opening up his hips, losing velo, and having his head jerk out to the left. Thats what I see, the leg swing, eh, doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on him, but make sure he goes directly to the target and stays on a straight line towards it.