16 years old, 6’4” 215 lbs. Gave up playing for the last couple of years, this is his video from today, threw 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run. He has decided to play his last two years in HS, so any help is greatly appreciated.
Good start on the mound for not playing the last couple of years. Out of the slide step delivery I like how your hips and shoulders stay closed and in your driveline, but the one thing I noticed was your lead leg foot opening up. Your goal should be to move your entire body sideways long as possible going into landing so that rotation occurs as late as possible. Driving the sole of the foot toward the catcher will help.
Because you open up early, your landing foot lands open which causes 2 other early rotational issues: lack of hip/shoulder separation and possible reduction of velocity and control. Your goal should be to land with your toes slightly pointed in and your landing knee should be positioned over your foot or to the inside of the ankle.
Finally, your glove side arm control. The idea is you want to be athletic and active with that glove arm (not stiff), but control your glove and bring that lead elbow right down to your side as you rotate and throw.
In all, work on keeping your drive foot closed. This will help with some of the other issues I discussed. Also work on your glove side as well. Like I said not bad at all for someone who hasn’t played the game in a few years.
Any questions feel free to ask
Thanks for the reply and will def be working on that. Anything besides reps to help with that, like drills or just reps? Also how would you recommend building speed? Long toss, heavy balls, something else?
I find that proper loading of the hips does help pitchers stay closed longer into their delivery. So what is loading of the hips? This quote from baseballbrains describes it very well.
"Okay so let’s talk about what loading the hips means. Essentially loading the hips means that they are closed to the direction you’re moving. Loaded just means that there’s energy there that you can use to rotate into a throw or swing. There are more technical anatomical explanations, but we’ll save those for another day.
As I said above, the more momentum that has been generated prior to the front leg stabilizing the more energy there will be into rotation. The more energy there is in rotation, the more energy there will be in the throw or swing.
So we’ve got to keep our hips loaded (closed) during our pitching motion for as long as possible. That way we can build momentum down the mound prior to footstrike, thus building the maximum amount of energy that we can use in our final rotation. If we unload (open) our hips too early, we leak all of that momentum that we could have turned into rotational power in the throw.
The takeaways from this article are that a pitcher needs to keep his hips loaded (closed) until just before foot strike. Keep the toe closed, keep the front knee behind the front hip longer, and don’t release the hips until you get to the end of the motion."
Since you uploaded a video of the slide step, I will upload a video of Fernando Rodney courtesy of BetterPitching who mainly pitches out of the slide step. Now I’m not suggesting you imitate his mechanics, but I want to show you out of the slide step how the front foot should stay closed as long as possible. Also take a look at Rodney’s glove arm side. Watch how he uses his glove arm side to help maximize rotational force in his delivery.
I will get back to you on some velocity info questions you have
Steve C. did a great job. I will just add that you can get much better lower/bottom contribution if you lift your lead leg a bit higher and allow yourself to glute down on the back leg as your momentum builds towards home plate.
You tend to stay standing up in your delivery. This will make your lower half work better, drive a bit linger to the plate, and add rotational movement to your delivery.
New video, see any progress?