When I get some time off around the holidays, I’ll check out various baseball forums on websites and look at unanswered posts. It’s amazing what you can find where no one made a comment.
I was surprised no one commented on this one.
Throwing strikes at 80-90% clip–
I’d say having the ability to throw at an 80-90% clip is important but you wouldn’t want to throw at 80-90% strike rate. Having control like that allows you to work the edges and, more importantly, just off the edges by design. This would put you into the ideal range of 60-70% strikes (in my opinion). Thought on strike three – the hitter should make it a strike; not the pitcher
Throwing low strikes–
Low strikes when the situation calls for it is a tremendous weapon in any pitcher’s arsenal. I remember one of my coaches telling me, “Aim low; miss lower”. Having control to hit your spot with 80-90% success rate is probably the point the coach in the video is trying to get across. I’m fairly certain he’s not advocating for a 90% strike rate. I don’t think anyone has ever achieved that in competition. I know some BP pitchers who are automatic strike throwing machines–actually better than machines.
Just don’t forget about the benefit of the controlled high strike. There aren’t enough fingers on the entire field at any given time to count the number of times we all have gotten batters to chase a pitch up and out of the zone.
Moving the ball in and out–
I think this is a great point of emphasis because lots of pitchers shy away from owning the inside. This is engrained early due to rules in youth leagues about hitting X number of batters in an inning or game equaling removal from the game. The result is that youth pitchers who throw hard will avoid the inside because the hitters don’t have the reflexes to avoid heat. My thought is, at what point is the batter going to own some of the responsibility for protecting himself or developing the reflexes necessary to get himself back off the plate in time to not be hit. Most of the times that I hit someone it was either due to the person not having coordination or ability to get his arse out of the way or they just stood there and took one for the team. Very rarely did a hitter attempt an honest effort to avoid a pitch and still get hit. However, I do remember a few kids trying to duck a curveball–very stupid since it behaves like a heat seeking missile and follows them downward. If you want to escape the hammer don’t squat on the head of the nail.
Moving the ball in and out or up and down changes the visual velocity of the pitch. Unless a hitter has a difficult time with a specific pitch, it’s not usually good strategy to repeat pitch and location. Change something about each pitch and upset the hitter’s timing.
I wish I could go to Pitch-a-Palooza, but just can’t pull away from overloaded work and family commitments. I’d blow some vacation time on it, but my wife would disown me.