Senior Season (Last Chance)

This is my last year of high school. So far I have no offers but my goal is to get an offer to anywhere by the end of the year. I’m going to keep updates of my games and anything else on here.

Position- RHP (sidearm)
Height- 5’10
Weight- 195
FB- mid 70- low 80s

I’m not going to sugar coat anything on this for you guys because I have to be real with my outings to make progress. Today was our first scrimmage and so I threw the last two inning of the game. I was sitting somewhere between mid to upper seventies. Maybe touching 80.

I came in with the score at 0-0
This was my stat line for this inning:
1 IP 1 H 0 BB 2 SO 0 ER

we scored 1 run at the bottom of the inning

My stat line for the second inning, (if they don’t score we win the game)
1 IP 3 H 3 BB 1 SO 3 ER

We ended up losing 1-3

Starting in the bullpen, I started off a little rusty but I felt like I had good control on the last five pitches so that’s when I stopped.

The first inning, I didn’t feel very much pressure. I went in and threw strikes and I was pretty confident after a strikeout on the first batter. There was a groundout next then there was another groundout that resulted in an error. Then there was a hit. So it was runners on second and third. Then I struck out the batter for the third out. This increased my confidence going into the dugout. We scored in the bottom of the inning.

The next inning I got the batter to a full count and he fouled off two pitches and then I walked him. Looking back I do sort of feel that my focus was gone after the walk but what happened next is where I lost it. I got the ball back from the catcher and as I was walking to the mound the batter was already in his lead. So I stepped on the rubber and immediately threw over and I threw it too low and it resulted in him on second. Looking back this was two things I did wrong that defined the inning, the lead off walk was absolutely awful and then to try and pick him off was stupid. After that they racked up some hits and I walked a couple. So finally my coach came to the mound to tell me this was my last batter because my pitch count was at 48. He said “treat this like it is two outs bases loaded and we need you to be mentally strong enough to get the save” After he said that I struck the batter out on three swing and misses. Although this was an awful outing I do still see there was good in the first inning and in the last batter.

It is important for me to remember this us just a scrimmage and it’s our first one at that. I think the idea of getting the lead off batter out is the most important lesson from tonight, the difference between a runner on first with no outs and nobody on with one out is two completely different worlds. I’m still beating myself up about this outing but I’m ready to go again and try to make each pitch count.

First…I’m not a coach. I’m a player who has gone thru this all. Now being recruited by power 5- D1 programs and a couple MLB scouts. So take my personal advise for what it is worth…simply my opinion.

(IMO). Honestly your stats are not the issue. Not the first thing coaches look for necessarily when looking to recruit a player. Important yes, but I’ve seen more players recruited that could not hit the broadside of a barn, yet they could throw hard, were very athletic and competitive. So…I’d be more focused on your athleticism, competitiveness, strength, explosiveness, mental toughness & confidence right now. As long as your command remains good…the stats should take care of themself.

1st- I’d suggest setting measurable goals that are more inline with improved performance, strength, and overall outcome. Not just a goal of getting an offer. An offer is just an invite to a dance…you’ll still have to be able to dance.

2nd- An increase in velo would help get you more noticed. Get a good pitching coach & have your mechanics evaluated via video. Put a plan in place for evaluating your weaknesses, adding a strength training program & watch your velo increase. I’ve seen a simple grip change add 3MPH to a players FB. So maybe you’re not that far off. Set a goal of no less than 85 and keep increasing that number when you reach it. As a sidearm-er that number may be OK lower… but without seeing your mechanics it’s hard to know what action you may be getting as a softer thrower. Again…let your coach determine all that for you.

3rd- Do you post videos to twitter & tag flatground? If not…do that and then do it again, and again and again… If you do nothing else…do this weekly. Game video, bullpens, training, lifting, etc… Keep it professional. Offers will come if you can show promise & progress. After that…you then need to perform. So be prepared to fight to keep a spot! Best of luck to you!

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Senior year is one you will remember forever, good or bad. A significant increase in velocity, is probably an unrealistic goal for this year. An increase in velo will probably be necessary for a college career, at least sitting low to mid 80’s. You can and still should continue to work towards arm strength and velocity, but you probably won’t see a real gains by the end of this season. You still have time this summer to get recruited, and don’t count out walking on your Freshman year.
One thing you can work on this year, to be more effective, is movement. As a sidearm pitcher, your ball should be running arm side. This is why most kids go to sidearm. Make sure you are getting depth ( downward action) on your fastball also. A flat pitch is easy for batters to figure out. If you are not already, add a 2seam to your arsenal, and make sure you are putting pressure on your index figure through release. That should get you a pretty good sinker. Then learn to start it just above the knees and have it end up cutting down and in to a righty’s back foot. Let them pound it in the ground all day. It ain’t sexy, but it works.

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Thank you both for the feedback and what you guys say makes complete sense. I really appreciate what y’all are saying. We have a scrimmage this week on Thursday and Friday and I am scheduled to throw the last inning in both. These may get rained out but our first official game is on Monday and we are playing on a college field so I am excited to get to pitch in somewhat of a collegiate atmosphere.

Just scrap D1 altogether for now. Go the JUCO or CC route. That will buy you a couple of years to get stronger and add velocity. Where are you from? Do your parents have some cash they could invest in a JC or CC in a warmer weather location? I would say get on Driveline and work on velo. I was D1 and we had this lefthander that threw sidearm. He threw low 80’s. I would love to tell you he was effective, but he got his tits ripped every time he toed the rubber. If you can get into the 87-89 range, that will give you an opportunity to learn how to create movement and at least a really good change up. I wish you the best of luck, but situation is a bad spot. Have you ever seen a really hot chick with a rocking body and thought, “if she got to know me and my personality, I might have a chance.” Well in that scenario, that guy just wasn’t good looking enough for the chick to even try to get to know him. Same here. A scout would never take a second look with the lower velo, regardless of how effective you are. People always use Maddox as an example that you don’t have to throw hard. When he first came up with the Cubs, I saw him hitting 95 mph when he needed to. Work on the velo and it will open doors.

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I said that I am trying to get a college offer but by that I did mean JUCO only as I doubt it would be wise to go anywhere else. I am in a really difficult situation when it comes to why I am throwing sidearm and I think I’m going to explain that in the next post. Here is video from that first scrimmage. I was sitting around 80 in this.

So my junior year I started the season overhand and was sitting around 85 and I could touch upper eighties when I wanted to. Although I was extremely struggling with control. I couldn’t throw a strike to save my life. I would get walk after walk and hbp. Eventually halfway through the season my coach decided to try making me throw sidearm and I was on board. So I did it and I had much better control although I was throwing about 65-70. I am finally getting my velo back to 80 and I have pretty good control now. So now my coach is extremely proud of me throwing sidearm and thinks it is amazing. So I don’t know what to do. I would like to try throwing overhand again just to see where my control is at. But I don’t know what to do.

Use your drive leg and load your scap. You are a big kid but you aren’t using any of it, looks like a short stop starting a double play more than a pitch delivery. Don’t muscle up, be fluid, relaxed, and throw hard easy. Looks to me that all your velocity is coming from your front leg stabilization. You said sidearm is new to you, so it stands to reason it’s going to take a while.

Thank you for posting the video. We can see a lot going on with it. The glaring issue I see is the reverse weight transfer at delivery. You can see your landing leg pushing your weight backwards as your arm goes forward.
Try using a step behind drill, or “crow hop”, to get your body and weight moving forward more as you move toward your target. As you get comfortable with that movement, increase the speed of your body through the step behind. This should force you to start transferring your weight over your landing foot. Then, think of your arm as a whip and get that thing cracking out in front of your body.

Again, take your time and enjoy your final high school season. Don’t expect overnight changes, you still have some time to work though things.

Thank you guys for the help. I appreciate all support. Next scrimmage is tomorrow and I am scheduled for one inning, the last one. I am curious if anyone has any pregame routines they follow to get focused. Diet, music, anything.

Also just some updates. In our two scrimmages we have played we have faced a starting pitcher committed to Ole Miss and then a starting pitcher committed to University of Memphis so it was nice to be able to see what a D1 commit looks like.

What did these D1 commits look like? I bet they threw very hard. Or were they lefty’s? How did you guys do against them? Do you guys have a decent team this year? I hope you do well this season and get to play ball in college.

The first guy (Ole Miss commit) was a lefty and they said he was able to hit 91 over the summer but I doubt he threw over 84 when we faced him. He threw good stuff but nothing about him screamed D1 ball. He wasn’t super tall but he was good at competing in counts. The second guy (Memphis commit) was a right hander and he was sitting around 85 and touched around 87. He was about 6’ also and he threw pretty well. Also nothing just super amazing but both were good ball players. We have a good team this year, I think, although you can never really tell until you start playing.

That’s interesting. Thanks for the reply.

3-6-20

The scrimmage last night was not exactly what I wanted. The team we faced was another pretty good team. There leadoff hitter was committed to Alabama and then they had some other college commits. When I went in the score was 0-4, we were losing. This is my stat line:

1 IP 2BB 1H 1SO 1ER

This is pretty hard to write down because it is so far from what I wanted from that night. My coach recorded me pitching because when we got back to the dugout he made sure I got that my arm angle had gone up from the last scrimmage. He wants it to go back down and so today I’m gonna do my best to get low. The two walks was just completely awful and bad. The scrimmage today I am going to try and get to a better spot.

In all of my recent starts my goal has been to hit spots because I only throw a fastball. But the scrimmage today I’m just going to try to throw it down the middle every time and see what it gets me. This isn’t a very good team so I’m gonna try to force them to get a hit. Not worry about strikeouts or anything except keeping them from scoring.

Keep in mind that these D1 commits are not likely going full tilt in February or early March in a highschool game. We have a pitcher committed to a Power 5 top 25 team on our highschool roster. He has been told by the college pitching coach to ramp up his effort and pitch count slowly coming out of winter. That coach has also talked to the highschool coach and got him on board with the plan. This kid was 92 over the summer and has sat 84 to 86 mostly so far this season. Pop a couple of 89’s when he really needed it.

You may have seen a D1 committed kid pitch but you probably were not seeing his full effort at this point.

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That makes total sense now, I never thought about the college telling them to work slowly into the season.

The scrimmage last night was a decent one. First here is my stat line:

1 IP 1H 1BB 1 ER 1SO

We won 8-3

In the bullpen I felt pretty comfortable. I’m pretty sure my velo was down this game though. I was probably only high seventies. Our first game is on Monday and I do think I feel comfortable for that game. I am just going to use extreme intent with each pitch and take it slow.