I am a junior in high school and want to develop a 90mph+ outfield arm. I know pitching mechanics are somewhat similar to outfield and was wondering how I can develop smooth arm action and a cannon like players like Ichiro and Shin soo Choo. They were once pitchers so that may have helped them but I want to have a cannon like them some day! Any tips or personal experiences are all helpful, thank you!
Although this not in direct relation to your question, perhaps it can help you refine your game as you progress with your desired strength and ability to throw at 90 +.
I’ve taken every opportunity to listen and learn from all coaches, inside and out of my particular line of work. So, a fielding coach that I saw working with defensive plays coming in from outfielders caught my eye and I jotted down some notes that might be of help to you.
One of the biggest things that I witnessed was the control of the ball once any outfielder got possession. What to do next and why was a keen point by one coach that really drew my attention.
We had great fielders, all with howitzers for an arm. On the other hand, knowing what to do with the ball once they got their hands on it was, for some, another matter. I took notes of some very basic do’s & don’ts that you might find interesting.
I noticed that this particular coach divided the outfield into three areas - shallow - midfield - deep. He also gave strict instructions on what he wanted his outfielders to do once they got possession in any one of those areas. Here’s what I remember him saying:
- Generally, any fielder who got possession of the ball in the shallow outfield should already have a plan of getting the ball then getting rid of it - get it in quickly. Possession in the shallow outfield required hitting another fielder (cutoff) and a fielder on a bag, with a direct throw, on target 100% of the time. I remember his graphics with a red circle alone as a fielder covering a bag, and a circle with lines representing a cutoff fielder wherever that fielder happen to be.
- If an outfielder gained possession of the ball in either midfield or in the deep outfield, his target was to a general area for any fielder covering the a bag, indicated by a broken circle, and that throw should be a controlled throw with one hop to it - BUT , to a cutoff fielder the throw was still direct without any hop. Also, that cutoff fielder had better be going out to direct that outfielder’s decision of where and why to throw. Why an outfielder in midfield and in the deep outfield would not hit a cutoff man but throw directly to a bag was, I assume, because of fielder placement at the time. Plays happen quickly, thus a decision to throw or not to throw to a cutoff man must have particulars to it beyond my observations at the time I was taking note.
As with every season and every kind of play, things change and outfielders decided to go or not to go with the program, as coached. If and when this was the case - not going with the program as coached, when things went without a hitch, no problems. However, if an outfielder decided to act on his own, apart from what he was told to do, and things went bad, he’d better have a pretty good reason(s).
This narration that I just posted here was from my observations only. I am not a field coach, nor do I have any experience in that area.
Adding to the responses that you get directly addressing your question(s), I hope this helps you in some way.