T. Goldsmith Pitching Analysis, May 2015

Hi, if there is any advice you could give to correct my mechanics to help add some velocity, along with any drills to solidify better habits would be much appreciated.

Good size, strength and intent. How hard are you throwing now?

A couple of points:

  1. I’d prefer to see you come set with your hands closer to your body and lower.
    – Hands closer to your body: It’s important to keep everything as close to along midline as possible so there’s no wasted energy as you generate momentum toward the target. Every inch off midline throughout every part of the pitching delivery is an inch that needs to be corrected later in the delivery, which kills momentum. Stay compact.
    – Hands lower: Generally MLB pitchers come set with the hands between the belt and the chest. You’re at the highest end of the spectrum (your hands come set near your chin). Just like the previous stated, every inch up is an extra inch that your hands need to come down before they separate as your body moves toward the target, so it’s wasted movement and kills momentum.

  2. You separate your hands way too early, way too high, and way behind the center of your body. See photo below. The hands should separate after maximum knee height approximately 25%-40% of the way into your stride, but you separate them around 3%-5% into your stride. They should also separate in the center of the body around the belt or belly button, but you separate them back behind your body in-line with your throwing shoulder and at shoulder height.

Fix the arm action and with your size and intent I guarantee you’ll really see some significant gains because you’ll be able to get your motion in sync and your momentum moving uninterrupted toward the target as efficiently as possible!

Thank you very much for the analysis. I am currently 6’3" 195 lbs, but am only reaching mid-upper 70’s. I feel that with my size that I should be throwing much harder than I am.

Earlier in the year, I was told to attempt to break my hands higher and earlier due to having slow arm speed. So, if I break my hands later and set them lower will I have a problem with my arm dragging behind? Also, are there any drills that you know of that can help bring where I break my hands down to waist level?

I don’t think you’ll have a problem with your arm dragging. As it is, you get to the high cocking position early so your hand has to wait for your body to catch up.

Alright, thanks. I’ll work on that and likely post a follow-up video. Are there any drills to break this habit? Will this fix likely improve my velocity by a little?

This is exactly opposite of reality. Later hand break causes faster arm speed. Like Steve said,

Steve, what’s your opinion of his hip after MER, as well as before, at, and after release? From this video it seems like his hips are still rotating toward 3rd with his shoulders after foot plant. I would say this could cost him some velocity since he doesn’t appear to be locking down his front side and rotating around his front hip. That has to cost him velocity if it’s reducing hip/shoulder separation and causing an energy leak.

He seems to have much better control of this from the stretch.

Another point that could be slowing arm action is that he’s in high cocked position early so he must stop his arm to let his body catch up. That is totally robbing him of all benefit from his great early intent. His arm is slow and lacks fluidity after MER while his forearm is coming forward.

There is no way you should be only upper 70s with that lower body energy. You have a leak to plug.

Thank you very much for all the help on my delivery. This are all parts that have never been mentioned to me to attempt to fix. Do you know of any possible ways to break these bad habits and hopefully see a jump in my velocity? And please keep the feedback coming. I am driven to improve, I just lack the knowledge on how to go about plugging the leaks. Thanks again.

Hey Tanner,

I just sat here an went frame by frame with your mechanics against Aroldis Chapman. There are some nice similarities, but the differences are what we care about.

I’m not going to prescribe a fix, but I think the comparisons I’ve attached in a PDF are worth looking at. I picked frames that show you two in basically the same stage of your mechanics, but where he differed from you meaningfully.

Let me know if you can’t see the PDF. I’m not sure how uploads work here.

TG vs Chapman.pdf (113.4 KB)


Very nice points. PDF download worked perfectly, too.

Thanks, the PDF brought up some more great points and allowed me to see exactly the differences and where I should be in my delivery.

In summary, it seems like these are the different issues that I should work towards fixing in my delivery:

  • set w/hands closer to body
  • set w/hands near waist
  • separate hands 25-40% into my stride
  • separate hands in the center of my body
  • improve lead foot angle (keep hips closed)
  • get to arm cocked position later
  • improve hip/shoulder separation
  • firmer front leg

Thanks for all these areas of improvement. If I am missing anything or if you discover any more, please let me know.

Once again, if you know of, or stumble across any ways to fix the above issues, I’d love to know them. Either way, I’m going to begin trying to make these fixes and upload an updated video soon.

Glad the PDF helped. I had a good time putting it together.

I think it all boils down to exaggerating staying closed as long as possible and then exploding the hips and letting THAT trigger the upper body to follow. Instead of a “one-piece” move where your lower and upper half rotate together, create that separation where the hips fire before the shoulders come with them.

If all else fails, google some of the keywords in your list above. There are plenty of resources online to help.

The hand positioning thing and breaking a bit later will be the easier fix I think, as we naturally have more conscious control over our arms and hands.

Keep us updated. It’s fun trying to help someone who obviously is talented and who cares!

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When I begin to fix the issues in my delievery that were mentioned above, do you think that any of these mechanical flaws are serious enough that once they are fixed a jump in velocity will occur? If I am throwing mid-upper 70s now, with my fairly large build (6’3" 195lbs), what would be a realistic velocity expectation/goal?

Totally ballparking but I’d say mechanical issues can suppress 3 to 5 MPH - especially since your flaws aren’t THAT major. Anymore is going to come from conditioning, especially core and legs. Hit the weights hard and maintain rotator cuff health and general flexibility and 85-88 is a reasonable stretch goal.

Thanks, so when I correct my mechanics I hope to be touching 80 then. But, I’d love to get to 85-88. That seems a while down the road though. I was working out all winter and I managed to go from 175lbs to 195lbs; however, there was no change in my velocity. This made me think that there was a large mechanical flaw that made my added strength not correlate to added velocity.

This is my second video. My main focus for this bullpen was to set and break my hands lower. Please feel free to analyze my mechanics further, I want to get better. Thanks.

One thing I noticed in this video is that you start on the left side of the rubber and you stride even further to that side. This can cause a couple of issues.

First, imagine a line drawn from the center of the rubber to the center of home plate. When you throw to a target, your shoulders want to square up to that target. But when you start on the left side of that line and stride further away from it, your shoulders have a bigger corner to turn to get square up. That can create a tendency to tilt to the glove side in order to get squared up which will probably pull the shoulders open early as well as pulling the release point back. Early shoulder rotation prevents maximum hip and shoulder separation which affects velocity.

Second, it’s very hard to get the hips fully opened to the target when you’re striding away from that center line. Failure to fully open the hips prevents maximum hip and shoulder separation which, again, affects velocity.

A hard solution would be to change your stride direction. An easier solution is to move to the right side of the rubber so that you’re striding towards the center line instead of away from it. That will create less of a corner to turn to get squared up. And you don’t really have to change anything else about how you throw the ball.