Toeing the Rubber


Hi Aaron, I’m 5’ 11 1/2" and weigh 138. I’m still growing - slowly but surely.


I pitched tonight and lost 7 - 2. I got pulled after 5 innings down 5 - 1. I gave up 3 hits and 3 walks and struck out 11 in 5 innings. We also had 4 errors. They had 1 earned run. This was one of the best teams in the league.
I pitched well enough to win. Our catcher must have had 15 balls get past him. That’s how the runners advanced around the bases. My coach said I threw too many wild pitches because my curveball was in the dirt. My curveball was swung at though too. 2 runs scored on a two out strike 3 and the catcher was too slow getting the ball and threw it to first too late.
Here’s my question: should I conform my pitching to my catcher? If I throw fastballs down the middle of the plate so my catcher can catch them? This is the same catcher as last year that couldn’t catch me. My high school catcher couldn’t catch me. Do I change my way of pitching because my curveball is too filthy? What a dilemma. Lol.


Heck no.
The call is for a curveball. You throw your best pitch and compete to beat the batter. If he swings and misses and the catcher can’t handle it that is on the catcher. He is not doing his job.


Thanks. I was beginning to doubt myself. The catcher tries to stab at the ball instead of getting in front of it. I dont think anyone could hit me if I just threw my curve. I struck out their best hitter all 3 times - nothing but curves. I need to find a team with a good catcher!!! Lol
We’re moving by the end of summer it looks like. We just haven’t decided where. Someone give us a good baseball area to move to. We have relatives near Myrtle Beach, but haven’t decided yet.


Florida haha!


Good baseball states from my experiences, are Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, states like that. Competition down in the geographical sun belt is pretty good.


15U league is over. We started out good but didn’t win many after that. We had a couple of guys on our team that also played Jr. Legion. Our coach tried to make sure they got to play during the week because their Legion games were on the weekend. I got to pitch when they were gone, which caused me to miss starts if it happened to rain on the weekend. Which it did often.
We had a terrible defense, and weak hitting. I ended up batting .527 for the year and another player batted over 500 too. Nobody else batted over 300.
I pitched 55 innings and had 118 Ks, for a 2.22 K per inning average. My ERA was .345.
We had too many errors and the usual passed balls. One game I had 8 strikeouts in the 1st 2 innings with 6 of them making it to first. That helped the strikeout/inning ratio. Lol
I’m looking to play fall ball but there’s no league for 16 year olds around here, unless I travel 75 miles each way. My dad isn’t down with that. I’ll just practice on my own I guess.


You are probably better off training and developing your skills on your own rather than spending time playing in a such a weak league.


I was able to work on my 12/6 curve ball and have improved my change-up this season.
I am not going to play soccer this fall in high school so I can work on core muscles and pitching muscles. I may not play basketball this year either. I want to focus on pitching.


I got a text from my 15U coach that I was just voted an “Honorable Mention” on the “All Area” high school varsity baseball team. My dad ran out and bought a newspaper to see for himself. I’m shocked! I wasn’t sure anyone was watching - the team went 1 - 17, the worst record in the area. The “area” is made up of 18 high schools. There were two 1st team pitchers, two 2nd team, and three honorable mentions - so to be considered in the top 7 of all area pitchers makes me feel pretty good. It makes me want to work even harder. I want next season to start right now. I think I’m throwing harder and have improved my curve ball and change-up since last season ended. I’m stoked!


Great job Drake, congrats.
Don’t be satisfied kid, get after it!!


I have posted this before on this site, but, it is a good comparison to your season. My son played for a pretty bad HS team, not quite 1-17 bad, but, typically won about 5 games a year. Many of the good players zoned for his school would find ways to transfer to other schools to play for winning teams. We never really considered anything like that, besides, he wanted to play with his friends.
Anyway, he had a stretch were he threw consecutive 2, 3 and 1 hitters. The 2 hitter he went 9 innings instead of the regular 7 and out dueled a hard throwing righty that was drafted in the 11th round by the Astros. He ended up with an 0-1 record for those three games. Baseball is a team game for sure, but, you can still excel as an individual even if the team doesn’t win a lot.


Drake, congrats! Good job man. Certainly nice to be recognized for your hard work. Use these accolades as motivation to continue to work hard. Keep it up!


Thanks Steve!
Here is my latest video (a short one) of my delivery - I’m throwing harder and I think it’s an aggressive delivery that intimidates some batters, so I think it’s working. I’ve added a 12/6 (closer to 1/7) curve that is a good change of pace from my hard knuckle-curve. I also have improved my circle-change that tails in and down on a right handed batter. Now I need a place to play fall ball!


I’ve been practicing since the season ended with a catcher who I played travel ball with a couple of years ago. He’s probably the best young catcher in my area. I’ve been trying to get him to transfer to my high school, but he’s trying to get me to transfer to his high school. I’m planning on going to a “Prospect Camp” at the U of MD in a few weeks with him and a couple of other local guys. The camp is run by the head coach at MD and I hear they run you through different drills, check your pitching skills, and time your base running, etc. I may finally find out how fast I’m throwing.
Here’s a video of a recent practice session. Since this video, I’ve developed a slider to add to my pitches. We’re going to throw again tomorrow. I hope to post a video showing each of my pitches.


Pretty good intent to throw hard. Lot to like.
I like the feedback from the catcher too. Good to see a backstop that is into catching a bullpen and offering feedback. A lot of times guys just seem bored catching a pen.


Have you spend time doing the towel drill? I ask this based on something I see in your mechanics.


I have never done the towel drill.


I’ve been practicing with 3 guys from 2 other schools that are going to the Maryland “Prospect Camp”. We’ve been doing BP, fielding, and bullpen. There’s no fall ball for kids my age, so these practice sessions are a good substitute - maybe better. We’re practicing 3 days a week. I’ve changed my rocker step slightly (similar to Yovani Gallardo) and think it gets me better rhythm and I’ve been more accurate. My catcher says my slider is “filthy”, so it’s going to be part of the arsenal. We’re are planning on throwing again on Sunday, so I’ll try to get a video then.


I much prefer training and working on skill development than playing fall ball.