Thought I would share a lesson my son learned last weekend. He is our “Ace” pitcher for our select team. We just moved up to AAA this season. He throws very hard for his age, and last year ( in AA ) he was able to just throw it past everyone. Last weekend he faced a well coached and talented team, that was not intimidated by him. He left the ball up, and was wild over the plate. That team thought him a lesson. They didn’t care how hard he threw, it was consistently up and they just put the barrel on the ball. Unfortunately I was not there to help him with his mechanics and get him back to hitting spots. We talked for a while about how things were going to be as he moved along in baseball. He needed to understand that pitchers, no matter how hard they can throw, need to be able to move the ball around the zone and change speeds. The key to getting batters out is getting them out of rhythm, and off balance. Plus, in order to change speeds, it helps to get ahead in counts.
We played in a 12U PG invitational tourney with some top ranked 12U teams a couple of weekends ago. One of which boast several members of the USA Baseball 12U National Team. PG runs a Stalker radar gun on every pitch of every game. Most kids were throwing low to mid 60’s. One team brought a kid in that was throwing 76 mph with a 69 mph breaking ball. They started the flame thrower against the top team with the team USA players. One of his 76 mph fast balls got deposited about 100 feet into the parking lot beyond dead center field in the 1st inning and he lost his composure, couldn’t find the zone after that.