“I am a dad of a Senior in High School.”
What is his biological age in your best estimation? Is he advanced, equated or delayed? compare this with his chronological age where if he was equated his elbow growth plates completely solidify at 16 cyo,byo. you may need to be more patient and explain to him how biological age in males may very by as much as 5 years!
“His top end is about 81mph.”
If he is also delayed, plus his young chronological age would mean he is throwing very fast for his biological age and needs the time to mature and become robust… This means both his arms is 15 or 16 biologically.
“D1 schools will not look at him seriously unless he pitches 85 +. “
D1 schmeeone, 1/3 of those players see few or no innings any way. He needs to pick a College that fits him educationally. Those players are drafted also. if he turns out to be that good anyways, he will stick out like a sore thumb!
“This is what a Recruter said in his evaluation:”
These guy’s are always playing the little scout that could, by telling you all the flaws in your son so you will expect less from them when it’s time to belly up!
“Mechanics are ok, but there’s not great timing or explosion involved in pitching motion;”
Only his shortening phase should be ballistic, his lengthening phase needs to be contemplative and perfectly timed for Humeral/forearm arrival in outwards rotation simultaneously with glove side ball of foot plant (benchmark) after a heal touch down.
“At height of leg kick, there’s no “DRIVE” off the mound”
Drive off the mound has been proven not to assist in any way with Velo!
Driving down the mound is how we lengthen our muscles in preparation for shortening them.
When pitchers perform the leg lift then drop in with the splits drive approach they loose all this inefficient push towards 2nd by braking this momentum back down to nothing as seen by the glove leg pushing dirt towards home plate (Newton likes you to push towards second base while driving the ball)… After this momentum killer there is a period of time where you are still attaining length by now trying to get your arm ready to throw because it was late getting there. You cannot throw until the Humerus is fully outwardly rotated this happens long after traditional pitchers bodies have stopped all forwards momentum.
This is why he has great command.
He’s only doing the splits like everybody else and that uses a tiny skinny muscle (tensor fascia latae) on the outsides of you legs to drive down the hill.
“you need to generate momentum and drive off mound w/ momentum;”
This is what you have been told and it is yard myth!
A friend of mine named Rob Nenn attained 104 MPH by dropping in and touching his foot down to the ground then moved it the rest of the way forwards minimally. This should tell us all something.
“Also yanks front side at plant, which makes his arm lag.”
If this means what I think it does, he is probably pulling against an extended glove side leg actually correctly to attain the walking response to use rotation during drive. With this the taller he stays the faster he will get. if he leads his elbow to throw and forearm pronates his drives, this is the look you will get, lengthened looks lagged, nothing wrong with that if his elbow drives high and pops up to recover.
“I need to fix that burst.”
Be careful about what you think you need to fix. Are you aware of the simpler pathomechanical tenets?
“When he pitches he is not focused on throwing hard.”
You will see this in bull pens but during competitions he can’t affix a level of adrenalin he pumps under those conditions and will max out even if it looks effortless. Are you aware that one of the most positive scout designations is he “throws effortlessly” meaning to them he has more to gain, this is another yard myth!
“His focus is getting the batter out.”
This kid needs 3 pitches that break laterally to the ball side and 3 pitches that bread laterally to the glove arm side of home plate all forearm pronated.
“He also weighs 155 and is 5’11”
height and weight have nothing to do with where he is at with velocity ! The fastest overhead pitcher was 5’9” Steve Dalkowski.
“He just turned 17 last Saturday and will graduate at 17”
This is what happened to me and I was also 2 years behind biologically, I pitched my first College game at 17cyo. I kept growing until I was 22. All chips pretty much fall in line at the end when they are 21 cyo.
“What can I do to help him?
Don’t make it a Sin to go to JC first so he has the opportunity to catch up!!!
He can even train for a year after HS (no competitions, only training regression) and start College sport the next.
If it were a perfect world an overhead pitcher would overload and motor train for 2 years before starting any competitions! I have seen pitchers who have had the opportunity to train this way “sport specifically” and they come in bullet proffed and maximally fit.