Friday, December 20, 2013

Trevor Bauer Pitching Tips

Videos of Trevor Bauer explaining his pitch grips and how he throws each pitch.

Trevor Bauer Pitch Grips
4-seam fastball, cutter, 2-seam fastball, slider, reverse slider, change up, curveball, split finger fastball

Trevor Bauer Pitch Design - Slow Motion Video
Note how the arm pronates on every pitch

More videos of Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer is a right-handed pitcher with the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. 
Bauer had a 38-8 record with a 2.36 ERA as a pitcher for UCLA (2009-2011).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ambidextrous Pitchers - Perfect Game Profiles


Alexander Trautner RHP, LHP, 1B
Hometown: Danville, CA
San Ramon Valley HS 2014

College commitment: none

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 210 lbs
Bats/Throws: S/B
FB: 84 mph  (RHP touches 87 mph)


Aubrey McCarty 1B
Hometown: Doerun, GA
Colquitt County HS 2013

MLB Draft: Round 35 by Giants in 2013
College: Vanderbilt University

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 205 lbs
Bats/Throws: S/B
FB: 90 mph
60: 7.19

More about Aubrey McCarty


Ryan Perez BHP, 1B, 3B
Hometown: Hampshire, IL
Westminister Christian HS 2012

MLB Draft: 
College: Judson University, IL 

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 180 lbs
Bats/Throws: S/B
FB: 90 mph


Andrew Pullin OF, RHP
Hometown: Centralia, WA
Centralia HS 2012

MLB Draft: Round 5 by Phillies in 2012
College Commitment: Oregon 

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 185 lbs
Bats/Throws: L/B
FB: 91 mph


Hometown: Tacyton, WA
Central Kitsap HS 2010

MLB Draft: Round 1 Comp by Rays in 2010
College Commitment: Oregon State

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 185 lbs
Bats/Throws: L/B
FB: 91 mph
60: 6.98

Derek Hoagboon C, LHP, OF
Hometown: Mayfield, NY
Mayfield HS 2010

College: University of Albany

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 195 lbs
Bats/Throws: L/B
FB: 78 mph
60: 7.45

Thursday, December 12, 2013

High School Fastball Velocity

High school pitchers often ask the question:

How fast do I have to throw to be recruited by a college team?

   Division I recruits throw in the high 80s to low 90s

   College recruits who throw 92+ often get drafted

Velocity Examples:

RHPs on the UCLA 2012 roster threw an average of 91.5 mph, while RHPs on the Washington State roster threw only 85.5 mph in high school. Both teams play in the PAC-12 conference, which is one of the premiere leagues for college baseball. UCLA won the College World Series in 2013 with their dominant pitching.

RHP vs LHP velocity
In general, RHPs throw 3 to 5 mph faster than LHPs in high school. In the MLB, RHPs average about 1 mph faster than a LHPs.

Switch Pitcher
A switch pitcher with good mechanics usually throws 3-5 mph faster with their dominant hand (typically right-handed). Switch pitchers tend to throw in the low to mid 80s in high school.

Perfect Game USA posts information on the average velocity of several graduating classes.

Average fastball velocity in high school

   Class of 2013: 80  (best 98)
   Class of 2014: 80  (best 99)
   Class of 2015: 79  (best 96)
   Class of 2016: 76  (best 93)

source: Perfect Game USA (2014)

Year to year Velocity Progression - HS Baseball Web

The HS Baseball Web forum gives examples of HS fastball velocity,
including these observations

HS Fastball: 78

HS RHP: 80
HS LHP: 75

D1 RHP: 88
D1 LHP: 86

Drafted HS RHP: 90
Drafted HS LHP: 88


Velocity of high school pitchers who signed to play college baseball ---

Pac-12 conference - 2012

RHP: 88.7 mph (85.5 - 91.5)

Pac-12 RHP average velocity by team: 

#1 UCLA ave = 91.5, #4 Arizona ave = 89.7, #6 Oregon ave = 86.7, #11 Stanford ave = 90.9, #27 Oregon St. ave = 91, #15 Arizona St. ave = 88.8, #55 U of Wash ave = 86, #59 Wash St. ave = 85.5, #99 USC ave = 89, #200 Utah ave = 87.8 

Remember: These are ave. velocities of RHPs when they were in HS, before they found their way onto a Pac-12 baseball roster.  (source)

West Coast Conference - 2012

LHP: 84  +/- 4 mph
RHP: 86.5  +/- 3.5 mph


2013 West Uncommitted - Perfect Game
14 pitchers: 4 LHP; 10 RHP

LHP: 78 mph
RHP: 82 mph

These velocities are relatively low, but are close to the high school average velocity.
(source: Perfect Game)


More Information about Velocity


Pitching Speeds for what age and thinking to college

- lists the average HS velocity of pitchers recruited by D1 college teams

How fast do kids throw?

Switch Pitching 101: How to increase throwing velocity in six weeks


How to throw a cutter

In this baseball training video, Steven Ellis shows you how to throw a cut fastball. The grip is like a two-seam fastball but with the index and middle fingers shifted toward the seam. When thrown by a RHP, the cutter will have late movement away from a right-handed hitter. 

How to throw a cutter - by Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

To throw a cutter or cut fastball, you will throw a fastball but get a slight amount of side spin that makes the ball move in or out a few inches.
This gives you a pitch somewhere between a fastball and a slider, and, thrown properly, that's how the pitch will move, like a very tight slider. You do this by moving your fastball grip (usually the 4-seam fastball grip) slightly off-center. Some pitchers bring the thumb slightly up the inside of the ball and the index and middle fingers slightly toward the outside. 

Switch pitcher Henry Knight throws a cutter to a lefty batter

Throwing a cutter like Mariano Rivera 

Rivera used a four-seam grip, with the index and middle fingers shifted a little off center. He throws the cutter like a fastball, but with more pressure on the middle finger. 

For a RHP, the cutter actually cuts into a lefty batter. For a LHP, the cut fastball will have late movement into a right-handed hitter. The pitch looks like a fastball to the hitter, but the late movement makes it difficult for the batter to put the sweet spot on the ball. 

The Buzzsaw
The sharp movement on Rivera's cutter frequently results in hitters breaking their bats. Chipper Jones called the pitch a "buzzsaw" after witnessing teammate Ryan Klesko break three bats in one plate appearance against Rivera in the 1999 World Series. (Wikipedia)

Former Yankee's closer, Mariano Rivera, throws a cutter with lots of movement - making it very difficult to hit.

Nicknamed "Mo", Rivera has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career, and since 1997, he has been the Yankees' closer. A 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's all-time leader in saves (608) and games finished (892). 

How Mariano Rivera Dominates Hitters

The closer has confounded hitters with mostly one pitch: his signature cutter
Read "Mariano Rivera, King of the Closers"


Ryan Perez, a college switch pitcher, uses a cutter as an out pitch when throwing right- or left-handed.

Henry Knight, a high school switch pitcher, throws the cutter from both sides. The cutter has late sideways movement, so the catcher needs to stay focused when receiving the ball.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Switch pitchers who are good switch hitters

Are switch pitchers also switch hitters?

Yes, several switch pitchers have the ability to switch hit. 
But, many switch pitchers bat left-handed only. 

A few ambidextrous pitchers continued to switch hit in high school, while others decided to focus on hitting only right- or left-handed. Many switch pitchers, like Drew Vettleson, are solid left-handed hitters.

Some switch pitchers become "pitchers only" in high school – especially on summer teams.

List of ambidextrous pitchers who can switch hit

Marcus GarciaRoseville HS 2013, Roseville, California
Garcia is a 6'2" switch pitcher who plays for Sierra College in Rocklin, CA.

Daulton HopkinsDesert Christian HS 2014, Tucson, Arizona
A natural lefty who can pitch with both arms - plus he's a switch hitter.

Henry Knight, Franklin HS 2015, Seattle, Washington
Starting shortstop and ambidextrous pitcher on varsity since his freshman year. Commands four pitches from both sides. A natural switch hitter – with a .500 BA – who prefers to swing a wood bat.

Aubrey McCartyCoquitt County HS 2013, Doerun, Georgia
McCarty is a 6'4" switch hitter and pitcher who can throw up to 92 mph.

Ryan Perez, Westminster Christian HS 2012, Elgin, Illinois 
Switch pitcher at Judson University. Perez was a solid switch hitter in high school.

Edward Phillips, Charles Page HS 2010, Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Phillips is a switch hitter and ambidextrous pitcher

Why are switch hitters rare?

The Smartest Pitcher Who Ever Lived

Greg Maddux - Future Hall of Fame Pitcher
Greg Maddux RHP

(The Professor, Mad Dog)

Rob Neyer tabbed Greg Maddux "The Smartest Pitcher Who Ever Lived"

Greg Maddux won 355 games!

Maddux is one of only 10 pitchers to achieve both 3,000 strikeouts and 300 wins. Plus he won the Cy Young Award in four consecutive years! 

Personally, I think that Greg Maddux should be elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. 

Maddux was a good natural athlete who won 18 Gold Glove Awards.

David Schoenfield writes ...

If you're too young to have seen Maddux pitch, go over to YouTube and check out some highlights. Here he is pitching eight shutout innings in Game 2 of the 1996 World Series. He threw a low-90s fastball with great movement, making it cut or sink, but with impeccable command and precision. 

In 1997, he issued just 14 unintentional walks in 232 2/3 innings; I'm sure several of those were intentionally unintentional. He varied his speed so every pitch was a different velocity from the previous one. He mixed in a changeup to further keep hitters off-balance. My old colleague Rob Neyer tabbed him The Smartest Pitcher Who Ever Lived, an apropos moniker; he was always one step ahead of the hitters, even if he didn't have the overpowering fastball of Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson

Fans don't show Greg Maddux respect
Dec 2, 2013, ESPN

Leo Mazzone on Maddux:

"He is so smart, he makes everything so simple,'' Mazzone said. "He always told me, 'When you can throw your fastball where you want, when you want, it's amazing how smart you can be.' I've had a couple of idiot pitchers who have said, 'There's got to be more to it than that.' He's the smartest pitcher I've ever seen. He's the greatest pitcher I've ever seen. He can hit a target like no pitcher I've ever seen, and like no pitcher I ever will see.'' (ESPN)

Career statistics
Win–loss record355–227
Earned run average3.16

Greg Maddux Statistics and History -



Neyer: Maddux one of greatest since World War II - ESPN

Many years ago, not even halfway through his career, I hailed Maddux as the smartest pitcher who ever lived.

Maddux's success driven by his impeccable control - MLB - ESPN

Craig Breslow LHP - 
Breslow was given the nickname "smartest man in baseball" by Minneapolis Star Tribune Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal III

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jeff Dusek, Pitcher at BYU 1970s

Jeff Dusek
Hometown: San Clemente, CA
Born: 1949

Position: LHP/RHP
Height: 6-2
Weight: 178

College: BYU, 1970-1972
First-Team All-Western Athletic Conference
26-7 record

Pro: Chicago White Sox's minor league team
5-3 record, Appleton Foxes, Wisconsin

In the summer of 1971, Jeff Dusek was a switch pitcher in the old Basin League in Mobridge, South Dakota.  He threw harder left-handed, but was a better pitcher right-handed, according to John Hughes who played summer baseball with Dusek. 

Jeff Dusek, a pitcher from 1970-72 is one of BYU’s more prolific pitchers with a 26-7 record. Now retired, Dusek received national attention as the prosecutor in his role as assistant San Diego County attorney. Dusek graduated from BYU in 1972 with a bachelor’s in history and earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University.
Dusek was one of the most notable of BYU baseball players to excel in the legal profession.

BYU athletics: Going pro in something other than sports

Jeff Dusek was listed as RHP on his BYU Bio, and LHP on the minor league bio.

Jeff Dusek Athlete Profile | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Year     ERA  W-L APP  GS  CG  SV    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO
1970    3.88  8-1  13  11   3   0  71.2  84  35  31  13  40
1971    4.04 10-3  13  13  10   0  82.1 106  44  37  22  72
1972    5.03  8-3  15  11   9   0  94.1 100  43  30  18  48

In 1971, Jeff Dusek was the winning pitcher in a 3-1 victory over Mississippi State in the College World Series, striking out four in eight innings, aided by a three-run homer from Gerald Cardon in the eighth

Jeff Dusek -


Monday, December 2, 2013

Ambidextrous pitchers - Iowa

Switch pitchers - Iowa

Clark EgdorfSouth O'Brien HS 2004, Paullina, Iowa
Egdorf became used to throwing both ways in Little League and switch pitched in high school. He played left field right-handed and batted left-handed.
Colleges: Iowa Lakes Community College and Loras College.

Stephen KenkelIKM-Manning HS 2011, Manilla, Iowa
Kenkel used a custom ambidextrous glove TPX $400. Switch hitter in high school.

Austin Stuber, Lenox HS 2010, Lenox, Iowa
Pitcher for the Vikings at Missouri Valley College, Marshall, MO, NAIA

Alex Urbanek, Roland-Story HS 2014, Story City, Iowa
Throws a fastball, curveball and change-up with both hands.

High school ambidextrous pitchers from the state of Iowa

Complete list of Switch Pitchers >>


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Clark Egdorf - ambidextrous pitcher from Iowa

Clark Egdorf
South O'Brien HS (Class of 2004)
Paullina, Iowa

College: Iowa Lakes Community College, Iowa; 
Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa (2009)

Postions: Switch Pitcher, OF, 1B
Bats: Left
Throws: Both
Pitches: Fastball, curveball, change-up, plus a slider (lefty)

Ambidextrous pitcher Clark Egdorf became used to throwing both ways in Little League. He had better control as a lefty but threw hard right-handed. He played left field right-handed and batted left-handed.

"I did a lot of switching in Little League," said Egdorf, who learned to pitch both ways from his father, Todd. "In between innings, I would think about changing to the other hand. I just got used to it. But in high school, I changed."I guess it's like switch hitting," he added. "You use muscle memory. I don't think about it, I just do it." (
As a senior, Egdorf was the Wolverines' leading hitter at .383 with four home runs and 31 RBI. He led the South O'Brien HS team to the state playoffs with a 4.83 ERA. His high school coach said that Egdorf mainly pitched left-handed. 

The versatile Egdorf later played P/1B/DH at Iowa Lakes Community College and Loras College. He posted a 2.72 ERA over 22 innings in 2006 for Iowa Lakes CC. In 2007, Egdorf had a 3-1 record and posted a .380 BA hitting left-handed.

Ambidextrous pitcher helps South O'Brien reach state

Jerry Giese, July 28, 2004 |

Clark Egdorf figures it's too late in his baseball career to try switch-hitting.
However, since his Little League days, Egdorf has been pitching with either hand.
If he gets the starting assignment today, the South O'Brien senior will likely pitch left-handed when the 18-13 Wolverines face top-seeded Western Dubuque (29-6) in a first-round Class 2A state tournament game in Marshalltown.

North's best season ends with three all-staters - Sioux City Journal

South O'Brien's surprising 2A state runners-up -- who won six in a row after a modest 14-13 regular season finish -- landed ambidextrous pitcher Clark Egdorf on the third team.

South O'Brien surprises top-seeded Cascade - Sioux City Journal

Egdorf, by the way, is ambidextrous and has pitched with either hand this season. The victory on Wednesday ran his record to 6-4 as a lefthander.

South O'Brien is once again an underdog - Sioux City Journal

Baseball: Where They Went - Iowa Lakes Community College

Clark Egdorf, Loras College, NCAA III