Road to the Campus


#101

Well I have been battling unfortunate injuries this year, so I have not been able to pitch much because of my coaches reluctance to let me due to the injuries. I injured my back and right elbow about 1-2 weeks ago, as well as my ankle just today. Due to have a limited amount of guys yesterday, I came in relief yesterday, and pitched pretty well. The first inning I pitched was great, as I retired the side on 11 pitches, all strikes. my changeup was really working yesterday, but unfortunately coach calls our pitches and he didn’t call it once. I got roughed up in the second inning, as a jetstream to right field allowed a pop up to hit the base of the fence down the line. That hit scored 2. The next inning the wind carried a ball all the way to the very top of the fence, but luckily it stayed in the park and the guy only got a double. After that I was able to get three groundouts and the game was over. We won 14-8 against a top 10 team in the area. We are now 5-6 going into a tournament this weekend. I did not walk anybody in my appearance but only struck out one. My curve wasn’t working well enough to give me strikeouts, but It worked well enough that the other team rolled over it every time. I felt like I was throwing really slow. My line from last game
3 IP
4 H
0 BB
1 K
2 ER

SEASON:
6 IP
8 H
2 BB
5 K
5 ER

My K/BB ratio is good, but I have allowed my ball to stay up in the zone, so unfortunately that has hurt me in the ERA department. I should get some innings this weekend. My finger is feeling good, as I have used my new fastball grip to a lot of success. I feel my pitches don’t have as much movement as before, So I will switch to my old grip in the summer when colleges come to see me.
-RM


#102

It can be very frustrating to be slowed by nagging injuries. Injuries not bad enough to keep you out of your uniform but they do effect how you play. At least your coach is aware of it or cares enough to want to make sure you are good to go. My sons senior year the team was in a tournament, they played game one at one school then game two at another. The coach forgot to arrange for a bus to carry the students. So one kid drove himself and a couple of teammates to the second game. He got rear ended at a stop light. His truck was totaled and he was late to the game. Not only did the coach make him run because he was late he played him for the first several innings of the game despite him complaining of a very stiff neck from the accident. The kid finally removed himself from the game and asked a parent to take him to the hospital after the game where it was determined he had a neck strain and some whiplash…a guy doesn’t have to be a great coach but at least be a decent human being.
Anyway, your situation can be tough. It sounds like you’re pitching pretty well considering the lack of consistent innings. You should be able to or feel comfortable to tell the coach (if he is calling pitches) that your change is working today, I would be willing to bet he gives it a chance. Reality is he is managing a game, he more than likely has no idea what was working or not while you were warming up.
Keep working hard.


#103

Just wanted to update you guys on what has gone on the past few years. I finished off my junior year with these stats:
13.1 innings pitched
14 hits
4.73 ERA
11 k’s
5 bb’s
I was disappointed in my performance as well as the amount of playing time I had, but I was confident going into summer that I could do well.
In the summer, I started playing for one of the best travel teams in St. Louis, and pitched very very well. I was used only in relief, for one or two innings spurts. I don’t have the stats for this summer, but I know my ERA was below 1.7 in probably around twenty five to thirty innings pitched. The winter before, I sent out a ton of emails to colleges I was interested in. I had set my sights high, too high, and emailed mostly Division 1 schools. I received interested emails from a handful of schools, all asking to see my schedule. Around this time I was throwing 78-79. None of the schools that showed interest in me showed up to any of my high school or summer games. I was angry and dejected that I hadn’t received any interest at all after the promising emails.
My senior high school season I had the honor of being named co-captain. I pitched a good season, but I pitched angry the whole season because of some disagreements with my coaches pitch calling. He called almost exclusively fastballs, never called my changeup, and only called sliders in the obvious counts. My stats ended up looking pretty good, but if not for all the 0-2 and 1-2 fastballs he called I felt I could have done much better.
40.1 innings
42 hits (only 9 xbh)
28 k’s
16 bb’s
2.78 ERA
At the beginning of the season I had decided to end my search for college baseball and head to a large state university in a neighboring state. While I was sending in my common app, my Dad told me to send a D3 school my application just to give myself an option of college baseball. A day later I sent the coach an email, and he asked me to come visit. A small school in Ohio, I was underwhelmed during my visit but decided that it wasn’t time for me to give up playing baseball.
During our fall season, I performed really well in our intersquad scrimmages, and ended up being named the fall ball world series co-mvp. I consistently threw 79 in the fall, only 2 more mph than what I was consistently throwing summer of junior year.
Now, I have gained 12 pounds since I have been at college (5’11 171 currently) and I have followed the extensive 12 week weighted ball program given to us by the pitching coach. I am unhappy with my school choice, but I am happy that I decided to not give up baseball quite yet. I am hoping to transfer after my sophomore year to somewhere on the west coast to play baseball, and that has been what has motivated me since the end of fall ball.
Thanks,
RM


#104

RM, Appreciate the update. Many of us read although we don’t comment. Sounds like you’re doing well & have motivation, keep at it. Just curious when you mentioned no increase in velocity but aged and grown. Have you measured long toss distance & crow hop velocity? Just asking because if you’ve increased there but failed to gain on the mound could be mechanical issues. My son’s struggled with “flying open” over the past few years. When he does he looses 5+ mph real velocity & breaking pitch looses its bite (not to mention command &control). He’s spent late fall & early winter focusing on this area alone. He’s about your size, velocity has been 85-87 range then can drop down to the lower 80’s. Time will tell whether the work he’s putting into the offseason will payoff but it’s worth a shot. We spent a lot of time comparing older videos to more recent ones, throwing well vs not throwing well to figure out the difference. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months reading Dick Mills articles. During his lifetime I was mostly dismissive of his information but have come to appreciate it now. One thing he encouraged is to videotape and review regularly, only way to know if corrections you’re trying to make are working. Best of luck to you & keep the determination.


#105

RM. Awesome blog. Keep up hard work. Many more games To go. It’s Never the place it’s a State of Mind. Get there. College and baseball are fun-fun-fun. Don’t forget to have a bunch of it.


#106

Thanks for the encouragement guys. Pitcher17, my coach has been talking to me about flying open and it is something we are working on. I did pull downs about a week ago and got 82.1.
Threw a live pen for the first time since the fall. Went horribly, none of my pitches were working, and I was hovering around 72 mph. Our practices have consisted of weighted balls and throwing almost non stop, so my arm is very sore and fatigued. Hopefully that is why the velo has gone way down. Tomorrow I’ll work on staying closed and hopefully that will solve the velo problem.


#107

One thing I’d encourage you to do is be yourself and don’t try to work on too many things at one time. What I mean is I think in a lot of cases many well intentioned people tell you a lot of different things that give counterproductive results. No two pitchers are the same, what works for one might not work for another. When you get conflicting advice and attempt to implement it may cause more harm than good. If you throw 82 you should be capable of generating upper 70’s velocity from the mound. If you are flying open that is certainly a velocity killer & great place to start. I’d just avoid trying to do too many things at once & don’t make yourself robotic. Clinched muscles won’t help you produce velocity so stay loose. Best of luck!


#108

Hey guys, long time no see. I’ll get right into it. Frankly, this year was the worst baseball experience of my life. I pitched a grand total of seven outs all year, which is a far cry from the playing time my coach had promised me. I was used as a situational lefty reliever, which would oftentimes mean that I would come in for a lefty batter and then come right back out. Luckily, my longest outing of the season (1 2/3) came when my dad was in town to see me. I got up to siting 79 and hitting 82. While these aren’t the gains I was hopeful for, it’s a start.
About 3/4 of the way through the season, I was looking to transfer after the school year, but unfortunately due to money, transferring after this year is not an option. Luckily though, I did receive some interest from some D3 schools in California, so I am hopeful that they will still be interested next year. To receive that interest, I filmed a recruiting video on one of our off days, which you can see here. Unfortunately during the video I must have pulled something in my forearm area, as the very next day I was unable to pitch because of a great pain in my throwing hand’s pointer finger, and this injury lasted long enough that I was unable to pitch again the rest of the season. I am playing summer, but my forearm and ucl area have been tight and haven’t recovered as quickly after my outings as they have normally.
Part of the reason I hated this year so much was because of my coach. On my recruiting visit, I was promised immediate playing time. Even after the fall, I was told I would have a chance to relieve with an opportunity to increase my playing time if I performed well. While 2 1/3 of an inning is a small sample size, I did have a perfect era, and only allowed a bunt hit. I felt as if I was lied to. My friend, who has since transferred, was in a similar position as he too was promised playing time that he never received. When he went to confront coach about it, coach point blank lied about what he had said, and became defensive. I asked around the team and found that the coach was a consistent liar about playing time and giving people opportunities. This is the main reason I want to transfer as soon as possible. Anytime I think about playing baseball next season for coach I become angry.
Because I haven’t had very much fun playing the last couple of seasons, I am very much considering giving up baseball after next year. I am thinking about transferring to a bigger university out west and continuing my studies as just a student. Does anyone have any experience with quitting college baseball and transferring? I have never not played baseball, and I am just worried that I will have a really hard time making friends and getting the most out of the college experience that I can.
-RM


#109

Just wanted to give an update on my summer. I was able to stay injury free luckily. My finger feels better now and I believe the problems are in the past, hopefully. Here are my summer stats:
11 2/3 innings
0 runs
4 hits
6 strikeouts
7 walks
.105 Opponent BA
.239 Opponent OBP
.94 WHIP
Overall, I was happy with the stats except for walks. Due to being injured at the end of college season and still being tender during the first half of the summer, I haven’t thrown a bullpen since probably late April. My mechanics suffered, and I was often falling off the mound instead of driving off it. My arm also became fatigued quickly as i wasn’t used to pitching more than a couple batters. Hopefully during college a few bullpens will help right my mechanics and my location will be good again.
One thing I’ve noticed for most of last year was that my slider had left me. My changeup did too to an extent. While my fastball moves enough to be successful in a wood bat league but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sustain the success I had this summer. While playing catch with someone, he told me on my slider I was more flinging it sidearm instead of following through and bringing my arm to my opposite hip. This helped improve my slider, but it is still nowhere near as devastating of a pitch as it was my senior year. My changeup showed up in spurts, but really was nonexistant for about half our games this summer. My dad says movement on my fastball has declined as well. I’ve been practicing my mechanics in a mirror recently and noticed that i don’t really bring my shoulder down to my opposite hip when i throw. Could this be a reason for less movement?
I have also been extremely dedicated in my lifting this summer, and I am now up to 180 pounds. I am hopeful this will add some velocity to my pitches. I hope to be in the 185-187 range by the time the season rolls around in February. I am really hopeful that some increased velocity and control will give me the ability to transfer to some pretty good baseball schools after next year. I obviously would love to go d1, but I am hopeful that i can atleast get some d2 interest.
-RM


#110

Was just looking at my tape from last year and noticed something. Both pitches were sliders. Guess which one was the good one


#111

Have an update for you guys after being gone for so long. I have now transferred to a D2 school out in California. One of the biggest changes since last time I posted was that I figured out my forearm issue. The problem was that the forearm was getting so tight it was cutting off circulation to my hand. Obviously the tightness also prevented me from getting good wrist motion on my pitches, so I have been stretching every day and the problem seems to be a non-issue for now. Last year, my sophomore year, was a big disappointment. I got the opportunity to pitch that I had wanted but I was focused on intent all year, so I was just throwing the ball as hard as I could. In 7 innings I got 8 strikeouts, but also gave up 11 hits and 7 runs. On a positive note, I did hit 85 once. After the season, I decided not to play summer ball and just worked to save up money. This fall I was unfortunately out for a big chunk because of concussion problems. I still as able to pitch twice in our intersquads, and I did really well. Coach has told me he sees me as a important reliever for this upcoming season, so I am excited to try and finally have a good season. I am hopeful that all the hard work I have put into lifting these past couple of years will pay off with an increase in velo. I am hopeful to sit 83-84 during the season. I sat 80-81 last year. I am currently 174 pounds. I got mono my sophomore year fall, so unfortunately I lost 20 pounds, and had to work my way back up to where I was. After this summer I was up to 182, but I still have trouble eating, and my meal plan wasn’t the best, so I dropped to 171 while at school. I do have a video I shot last year, which I will link to below. Hopefully I am not forgetting anything. My slider in the video is really bad, but my fastball and change-up were both good that day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDzPAXOSLGQ