Velocity in the pre-season

I’ve been watching a lot of analysis on ESPN and MLB Network lately, and I’ve heard this comment being made a lot:

“His velocity isn’t where it’s normally at during the season”


“Once the season gets going he’ll see the radar guns light up again”

Is there really much of a difference of your velocity during the pre-season/spring training as mid-season? Does your arm need a chance to “warm-up”?

I’m talking about throwing your hardest. I’m sure some pitchers take some off of their pitches during spring training to work on other things, but if they did throw as hard as they can, how much would their velocity change now versus say mid-season in June?

I’m curious because I haven’t been throwing much this winter, and was just clocked on the gun earlier this month. Now that I’m getting back into the swing of things with more and more pitching and throwing, can I expect my velocity to improve a bit during the season?

Thanks in advance.

Without being fully adrenalized and the arm being 100%, it’s hard to reach your top fastball velocity numbers. So you see guys in ST throwing 88 mph meatballs just to get their mechanics down and stretch their arm out, but on opening day those fastballs are coming in at 95+!

Right you are, Kyle. Especially if a pitcher has taken a little time off during the late fall and early winter, he can’t expect to just jump in there and throw at full speed, but has to work his way back into it. Unless his name is David Cone, who it seemed never stopped throwing—it was after the Yankees’ 1998 World Series victory, and the team went on a cruise. On the second day out Coney was on deck playing some serious catch with a few of the guys, and it looked as if he were ready to go right there and then. :slight_smile:

I actually think it really depends on the pitcher. Guys who work seriously hard in the off-season and pre-season generally do not report to Spring Training throwing less hard, particularly relievers. Some starters, in my experience, do start out with their velocity down as their build up their base levels of throwing – but these guys also tended to be guys who didn’t hit work out hard anytime of year, let alone the off-season. So it’s tough to say. There is no question, though, that my velocity increased all the way to July when the temps outside really heated up, and then waned a bit in the final two months of the season due to wear and tear.

True enough. I bet the established guys are the ones coming in throwing soft, while the NRIs are the ones hoping to make the team and therefore are busting their butts!

I saw AJ Burnett in a ST game the other day. He was bringing it at 94-95 MPH. Good for him, since I think he realizes he needs to live up to that big contract.