do you see throwing say 90mph as something thats in your genetics - fast twitch muscle fibers - or something that can be achieveable through hard work?
Took me 7 years and 50 pounds and 10 mph but i got to 90. next step is keeping the velo there consistently
There’s no doubt that a pitcher can gain mphs through the hard work you just mentioned. Even without gaining velo, all that hard work can allow for a more consistent delivery and better pitchability overall. That being said, genetics do play a part. Without saying it can’t be done, I will say that the journey can be much more difficult for some.
seriously, you need both and people who vote and believe either of those only are ignorant? you can’t just based on 1 factor.
a mule never won the kentucky derby, and you can look it up.
Kind of both in my opinion.
I got to 90 from 70 or less, without growing or adding a pound, in just 4 years or so just from throwing a lot, with a lot of intent and really working hard on mechanics, figuring out what worked for me and what didn’t. That was still god given though in my opinion; god gave me the ability to work hard and the ability to pay no attention to the people who told me I couldn’t add veloctiy lol.
On the other hand, a good friend of mine and my throwing partner now, was a first baseman as a kid, he was cut his freshman year of highschool playing 1b. Sophmore year he comes down again, the coach asks to see him throw off the mound, and it turns out he’s throwing 88 mph at 15 years old. He now throws 95 mph at 22, and has never worked a day in his life on it. God gave him the natural ability to throw hard.
In my experience, some people are born with it, some people have to work for it.
some are just lucky enough to ingrain the right (efficient) movement patterns early enough that they stick. Without the right movement patterns, your room for improvement is much lower.
Once you’ve taught your body to use suboptimal mechanics, it becomes an uphill battle to break free from that.
For example, I basically knew that as a sidearmer my ceiling was set in the mid 80s, maybe just barely touching upper 80s, TOPS. I was just barely hitting 81 at the time. I decided to break everything down and RETEACH myself how to throw the ball to raise that ceiling. I knew that, genetically, I should theoretically be capable of mid-upper 90s, but I wasn’t going to get there as a sidearmer, no matter how strong or “fast-twitch” I got.
Needless to say, this process of deciding to rebuild, when i was a 16 year old, is nearly (but not entirely) hopeless, and inevitably wrought with dozens if not hundreds of frustrating failures. But it has been done before. People who everyone said had reached their genetic potential at 80 mph and 18 or 19 years old have gained 12-13 mph over a couple years just by improving their movement patterns. (Bryan Rider comes to mind)
So I reject the notion that some people have the god given ability to throw 90 and others don’t. I think nearly all (probably excluding some physical outliers like the 5’3" 130 kids) have the ability to throw hard, just some are lucky enough to discover the proper movement patterns earlier than others. Most develop improper movement patterns that they are then stuck with, and try to make up for in strength improvements. The hardest throwers are those who find good mechanics early on (or in some rare cases later on) and then use strength type training to reach that high ceiling they have made for themselves.
I wish my little league coaches had drilled into me “throw the crap out of the ball”
maybe then i wouldn’t be amidst this rebuilding process, but rather already at the 90 mph mark and beyond.
that’s my theory/opinion on the issue.
I think we are losing sight of reality here a little. There is a reason why so few people are able to throw a baseball 90 mphs. Most ball players work on throwing harder throughout their careers. Some reach that plateau and others don’t.
A pitcher won’t ever achieve his full potential without consistent hard work. This is made up of his velocity, his secondary pitches, and his ability of to get hitters out with those pitches. So no one should be discouraged from working hard just because they may not be “blessed” with the genetics to throw 90. There are plenty of pitchers that are able to get hitters out with a variety to techniques that are achieved by doing the same drill work that helps a pitcher throw harder, i.e. smoothing out the mechanics, long toss, dry run drills, towel drills, ect.
Let us remain aware of the true goal of a pitcher… to get hitters out no matter the path.
Let us remain aware of the true goal of a pitcher… to get hitters out no matter the path.[/quote]
keeping in mind that, to be drafted, a pitcher all but needs a 90 mph heater to even stand a chance
sorry… but there are plenty of stories to the contrary (such as myself). Throwing 90 helps… but is not required.
If you get hitters out, consistently, scouts will take notice.
Where’s the “it could be from any number of factors” button.
It’s definitely a combination of genetics and hard work that produces velocity. Some people will never have to work a day in their lives and be able to throw in the 90’s, while others will train hard and never get there. As a 5’11 lefty weighing 190, i’m not sure if I’ll ever throw 90 (I was around 85 before TJ, and am currently rehabbing). But I can tell you I’m working my tail off right now and it’s definitely a goal of mine.
That said, I feel that too much emphasis is placed on velocity nowadays. To the guys saying that getting outs is the most important thing, I could not agree more.
Take a look at Mariano Rivera’s cutter. In this case, it might just be a “gift from God”—at least, that’s what he says. Nobody taught him how to throw that pitch; it was just there—so maybe in this case it is. The rest is hard work, refining mechanics, throwing strikes, what have you. My guess is that Mr. Rivera is simply a freak of nature, as many have described him. Some freak!
Mariano’s got a cool velocity story to now that you mention him it reminds me. If you ever get the chance to see his Yankeeography you’ll see it. He was originally throwing in the upper 80’s and was more known for being Rueben Rivera’s cousin than anything. Brian Cashman even says he was real close to trading him or releasing him or something. (I forget which one)
Than, as the story has it, the head scout I believe (or someone else in the organization, I don’t remember exactly who but its not important lol) well whoever it is gets a report every week of every game that has been played and all the pitches that were thrown and all of a sudden he sees Mariano Rivera, he’s pitching phenominally, and he’s throwing in the mid 90’s. They didn’t believe it and had to send for a backup confirmation, and sure enough it was true, and he was soon brought up to bigs.
They said it literally happened over night though. When they asked Mariano he says that he didn’t do anything different, it just seemed like one day he woke up and he was throwing harder. He says it was a gift from god. Velocity is a strange thing.
Lincecum was similar. He threw hard back in '05, but like low to mid 90’s and than that summer his velocity just seemed to jump in to the upper 90’s. I saw an interview where they asked him about it and if he did anything different, and he said no, it just seemed like one day he went out there and he was thowing a little harder and it just stuck. So it is really weird.
Pedro Martinez has a story that I’ve heard him tell where he threw much slower growing up, but he always wanted to throw harder like his brother. He says he started praying to god that if god couldn’t make him a doctor, if he could make him a baseball player. Than like magic he says his velocity just started increasing, hitting 80 one day, later at 85, suddenly at 90, before he knew it in the mid to upper 90’s. This story was told on the 700 club, an article about it is out there I believe if you google it.
Than you have loss of velocity stories, like Bobby Brownlie a few years back. The guy was drafted throwing in the upper 90’s and than he strangly just lost it all and started throwing in like the mid 80’s. No one could figure it out, he was released and started to play independent ball. He finally got back into affiliate ball last year I believe and he’s back into the 90’s, but just breaking it I think.
So moral of the story, velocity is weird. I think you can achieve better velocity through work just because I gained 20+ mph on my fastball while in college, without growing or adding a lb, at just 5’11", with I think just work. But than again maybe some of it was luck, I don’t know. Because there are some people out there who probably deserve to be throwing harder and aren’t, and some guys who seem like they shouldn’t be throwing harder and are. Velocity’s a strange thing.
Achievable but having a god given talent helps…
If I look at myself and around me the low 90’s are achievable with a lot of good training and discipline. The high 90’s or even 100+ mph is a god given talent WITH a lot of good training and discipline.
Like many of you have said, some have naturally got the right build and mechanics for throwing hard, others must work hard to get to the same place, the ones who work hard will always pass the guys with natural talent that take it for granted. Good work ethic good results