Monday, November 22, 2010

Pitching Velocity

Is pitching velocity overrated?

Yes, maybe. Young pitchers with a strong arm often have trouble locating the fastball in the strikezone. An experienced umpire commented that pitchers would do better if they took a little off the fastball - maybe 3-5 mph and controled the location of the pitch. The best pitchers have success locating the fastball low and away for strikes.

It is more important to locate a pitch, have movement and change speeds. This will keep a hitter off balance and mess up their timing.

My son prefers to have a low pitch count inning - under 10 pitches.  By locating his pitches and changing speeds, he is able to get out of an inning quicker than the power pitchers.

A Little Leaguer can use three pitches to keep a hitter guessing:
4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball and change up (10 mph slower than the fastball).

Add in a splitter or a knuckle ball and watch the hitter walk back to the dugout shaking their head. Remember, a ball with movement is very hard to hit.

Why can't anyone throw a baseball faster than 100 mph?
By Noam Scheiber, Slate Magazine
When baseball's elders swap stories about fireballers, the name that ends the conversation isn't Nolan Ryan or Sandy Koufax. It's one that never appeared on the back of a major-league uniform: Steve Dalkowski. Legend has it that the 5-foot-11-inch, 170-pound lefty threw his fastball well in excess of 100 mph. We don't have an exact number for the same reason Dalkowski, who toiled in the minors in the late 1950s and early 1960s, never made the big leagues: He was too wild to time. 
In the last two decades, baseball managers and GMs have focused less on speed and more on injury prevention. According to Fleisig, whose clinic has diagnosed mechanical problems in professional pitchers since 1990, "[Baseball executives] don't come to me and say make this guy a few miles per hour faster. They say, help this guy stay on the field."
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