Velocity vs. Movement (Hand Angle)


#1

Hey

Every person who has ever given me pitching instructions has tried to correct the angle in which my hand is at when i release the ball. I am a right handed pitcher, and every time i go to pitch a fastball my hand is slightly to the right (or facing toward the left handed batter) which causes my fastball to spill differently. I could Correct it if i worked on it, but anyone who has ever seen me says i have phenominal movement on my fastball. It has also made learning the curveball incredibly easy and so id prefer to throw the curveball over my fastball. But that is mainly because my fastball has never been fast. The last time i was clocked i was at 65 Mph (when i was 14, at a tryout for an aau team), but since than i have worked out nonstop and think my velocity has increased some.

My question is, Does this hand angle hinder the velocity of my fastball? Would it be worth it to sacrifice the movement for more velocity? Also, can thisway of throwing be of any concern for the health of my arm? I have been in physical therapy a lot the last few years. They say it is because I learned my curve at age 12 or 13 and used it extensively to make up for my lack of speed. But I was wondering if maybe the way i throw has contributed it all?

Thanks a lot,
Ryan.


#2

have you tried the other wrist angle? does it increase velocity? if so then its really whichever you feel most comfortable with. I personally, have the opposite problem. i throw hard but with little movement.


#3

Velocity versus movement all comes down to how force is applied to the ball. The more you keep your hand behind the ball and impart force through the ball, the faster it goes. The more you impart force around the ball to make it spin, the more it breaks.

It sounds to me like your fastball is really a cutter or, more likely, a slider. With your hand rotated, you are imparting some force around the ball. Could you throw harder by keeping your hand behind the ball? I’d bet on it. Will throwing with your hand rotated cause health issues? It sure could - especially if you don’t maintain the initial angle through release (in other words, if you let your hand rotate all the way into a curveball position as you throw).

I definitely think you should correct your hand position for your fastball because, depending on your current age, you may be too young to be throwing a slider. Also, correcting your hand position will let you achieve more velocity which will make your offspeed pitches more effective. And, regardless of your age, if you’re really throwing a slider instead of a fastball then you’re throwing sliders as much as most pitchers throw their fastball which means you’re throwing way too many of them.


#4

Hey thanks for the replies. right now i dont really have time to out much. I have to leave for a game in 5 mins, lol. its a double header so i have a feeling ill be throwing today. If i dont and sit, maybe ill take some throws in the bullpen and see what happens when i correct the angle. thanks, more will come later.