Pitching Help


#1

Hi, I’m Christian and I’m a Junior in High school. I’ve played baseball since I was five and I had one year off from baseball in 7th grade, but that was it. However, I’m in need of some advice to become a better ball player. I’ve played both Varsity and JV since my freshman year. I lettered last year but now I’m not getting any time on Varsity this year and I’ve only struggled with my pitching everything else is pretty good. What is the best way to get my coaches attention on this, as he is pulling up players that haven’t been as successful as me and I’m not sure how to fix this.

The problem with my pitching is a couple of things. First off, I’ve struggled with leaving the ball up in the zone. Lately I haven’t had as much of an issue but when I just throw the ball hard I leave it up in the zone. I’ve heard a lot about striding more and holding on longer, but for some reason I can’t shake the higher in the zone thing. In certain situations I just take off speed so that way I remain at the knees. A great example of that was last year in the state championship game I got put in and took 7 mph off at least from my fastball and I was just guiding it into the zone.

My second issue is my speed. I’ve had speed issues since I came into highschool ball when my arm developed. It seems like when I’m on the mound I just throw so much slower compared to when I just have my dad catch for me. When I’m throwing with my dad I’m in the low 80’s, high 70’s, but when I’m throwing off the mound to someone else, I just throw so much slower. low 70’s usually.

I throw a 2/4 seam fastball, curve, and slider. I’m over the top and not sidearm, so no need to worry about that.

My mechanics are pretty sound from what I think. My hand separation does need to wait a bit longer then I’ve been doing it and this has seemed to help with keeping the ball down. From what I know I’m driving pretty far off the mound. I’m 6’ and I know you are supposed to drive around 80-90% of your height so i try and keep driving to about 5’4" off the rubber.

So hear are the details about me:
17 years old
6’
160 lbs
2/4 seam fastball (mostly 4 seam), curve, and slider

If anybody can give me suggestions, everything is welcome on here. I will get a video of me pitching up when I can. Got to find the video camera.


#2
  1. Start throwing from a mound exclusively even to your dad. I think the problem your having is landing foot related. The mound should help you not hurt you.

  2. You maybe be getting under the ball by trying to over stride. Mke sure you are staying on top of the ball and drive it downward.

  3. If you are throwing truly over the top, I would suggest dumping the 2 seamer. Its not going to sink very well from straight overhand.

  4. Asess if you are over powering. If not, and you do not want to change your arm slot, try taking a page from Reds reliever David Weathers, pound the lowoutside corner of the strike zone. You can do this with a 4 seamer. Low and away , its a small red blur. Then you can bait guys with your slider and curve ball (which for you works as your change up). Master this first with your fastball, then slider, then curve.

  5. Take your Dad out to dinner and thank him for catching you, he will appreciate the gesture.

Ian


#3

make your when your landing with your front foot your landing on your toe not your heal. when you land on your heal you lock up and you get real siff there for your follow through is nonexistant witch makes it hard to get the ball down in the zone as youd like to do


#4

I know this will take a lot of work but I would say develop a change up and drop either the curve or slider.

It doesn’t happen to everyone but there is always the risk of when throwing the curve and the slider of them turning into a very hittable slurve which is essentially a slow flat curveball that if thrown to the wrong person at the wrong time will get hammered.

The changeup when thrown correctly and in the right situation I believe is the most devastating pitch in baseball, a great pitch to get that second strike.

I don’t know if everyone will agree with me or not but I believe that should help you out as far as you effectiveness as a pitcher goes.


#5

If you’re looking to develop a changeup, let me suggest the palm ball. That is a very nice pitch and easy to pick up. Basically, you grip the ball with all four fingers on top and the thumb underneath for support, way back in the palm of your hand (hence the name)—but don’t grip it too tightly, because you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of the ball! And you throw it with a fastball motion.
If you think you need to choose between the curve ball and the slider, go with the latter. The curve is a very problematical pitch for anybody; even some major leaguers have problems with it, can’t get it to break the way they want it to—but the slider, when thrown correctly, is a pitch which is easier to throw and to control than just about anything else. I learned that pitch when I was sixteen, and it became my strikeout pitch, and it was a honey. Ed Lopat taught me that pitch; he said “Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don’t snap it,” and after showing me the off-center grip he used and demonstrating the wrist action (which really IS easier) he handed me the ball and told me to try it. I got the hang of it in about ten minutes, and over the winter of 1951-52 I worked on it and refined it, and the first time I had a chance to use it in a game I struck out two batters! A lot of very successful pitchers use the fast ball-slider-changeup combination.
And if you really want to get cute and mess up the hitters, how about a knuckleball? :slight_smile:


#6

Christian,

Your stride foot can contribute a lot to your control, 60’ away. The more closed your stride foot lands ( to third base for a right-hander, to first base for a left-hander) the more prone you’ll be to pitching across yourself. In fact, it’s not unusual to see a pitcher who does this, bending in at the shoulders and semi-locking his legs cross-wise.

Check out the picture below and notice the control problems, usually, when the stride foot plants either too shallow or too wide.

Just be mindful that this is only one of the many reasons for the lack of control with any pitch.

Coach B.