Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pitching velocity matters

"If you're going to make it as a pitcher, kid, you've gotta have a fastball. Develop a good one, and you'll go far."

"Unless you are already at the professional level, velocity is what matters for continuing your career." 
– Ben Brewster, pitcher - Chicago White Sox organization

Velocity is very important in college
"If you want to pitch in college, then you need to spot a good fastball (87-90+ mph)" 
– D1 college pitching coach

Are You Ready to Pitch in College?
In order to have real success as a starting pitcher in college, you will likely need to throw above 80 mph. -

Why they are not recruiting you

You do not throw hard enough. College coaches are looking for pitchers who have college velocity.

Average College Fastball (Stalker Gun)

  • Pro Level: 90-92 mph
  • Top 25 Division: 89-91 mph
  • Division 1: 87-89 mph
  • Division 2: 85-87 mph
  • NAIA:85-86 mph
  • Division 3: 83-85 mph

  • High School: 78-80 mph 
  • Read more 

    How fast is the major league fastball?

    According to FanGraphs, the PITCHf/x tracking system listed the league-average four-seam fastball in 2013 at 91.8 miles per hour.

    What Sets an Elite MLB Fastball Apart 

    from the Rest of the Pack?

    A well-located fastball that has some velocity is a pitch that's very hard to hit, but you know what's even harder to hit?

    That would be a well-located fastball that has some velocity and some very wicked late movement.

    The Fastball & Velocity
    by Jerry Ford, Perfect Game | March 16, 2009

    First of all we need to address the fact that there is much more to pitching than having a Major League fastball.  The fastball alone is far from good enough when it comes to reaching the higher levels.  There are many very successful pitchers who lack outstanding velocity.  ... Most of what is written here concentrates on one pitch, but it is undoubtedly the most important pitch in baseball.

    Articles on pitching velocity

    Fastest Pitchers Ever Recorded in the Major Leagues

    MLB Does pitching velocity matter? - ESPN

    Velocity Matters: Fastballs vs. Offspeed Pitches

    Jonathan Papelbon Doesn't Think Velocity Matters Much.

    Pitchers thriving with faster fastballs, more K's -

    Future Outlooks for Top MLB Pitchers Dropping Velocity in 2013

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Yankees ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte

    Watch to see what New York Yankees ambidextrous minor league pitcher Pat Venditte has in his repertoire. 

    Venditte pitches for the Trenton Thunder, Double-A Eastern League

    Pitches Thrown

    LHP: fastball, slider, changeup
      Velocity is low to mid 80s, go-to-pitch is the slider

    RHP: fastball, slider, changeup   
       Velocity is low to mid 80s, go-to-pitch is the slider
       Throws a little bit harder from the right side, using a side-arm delivery

    Mentality on the Mound:
    One out at a time.
    Execute the next pitch.
    Do what you have to do to get the team in the dugout and get the bats going

    Learn about Pat Venditte >>


    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Albert Trujillo ambidextrous pitcher 1900s

    Albert Trujillo 

    Perris, California

    Perris baseball - Perris Valley Historical Museum

    From an oral interview with Norman Hughes (a long time Perris Valley resident) in March 2004 a glimpse was given of some members of these teams. Norman remembered the names of three players. They were Elmer Rieger, Jimmy Kincannon and Albert Trujillo who were all pitchers. Norman reported that Albert was ambidextrous and won both games of a double header.
    He pitched one game right handed and the other game left-handed. 

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    Tommy Merkle ambidextrous pitcher


    Talk about baseball bloodlines. Kellenberg's Tom Merkle signed a letter of intent to play for New York Tech next fall, meaning he and his dad, Larry, a pitcher and 1970 grad, will be the first father/son combo in school history.

    Tommy Merkle hit .340 last year and is also blossoming as an ambidextrous pitcher. "Tech plans to use him as a lefty pitcher and as a righty," Larry Merkle said.

    Read more

    Coach Keith Sell was ambidextrous

    Sens HOF inductees announced

    June 24, 2014  By CURT SYNNESS Independent Record

    The Helena Senators American Legion baseball program has announced the inductees in its inaugural Hall of Fame class. Those selected were Dick Muffick, Herb Plews, Clayton Linebarger, Terry Screnar, Kirk Johnson, Kim Hurley, Ace Kindrick and Keith Sell.

    Keith Sell has been involved with Senators baseball in various capacities off and on for more than 40 years. Beginning in the mid-1960s, he has served as an assistant coach, head coach and general manager.
    A former Copper League pitcher, Sell was ambidextrous, and would throw batting practice for the Senators with either hand “with something on it,” according to a former player. The annual Keith Sell Tournament bears his name.

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    How to Throw an Eephus Pitch

    How to Throw an Eephus Pitch - lob the ball 15 to 20 feet up in the air and have it land in the catchers mitt.

    The Eephus pitch is easy on the throwing arm, but it takes practice to master the arc and location of the pitch.

    The concept is to change the batters eye level and mess with their timing. It's difficult for a batter to sit back and wait on a slow pitch.

    Dave LaRoche "La Lob" Eephus Pitch Strikes Out Willie Wilson

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    The Screwball

    Screwball Grip of Hector Santiago
    The screwball enables pitchers to throw a ball that breaks away from opposite-handed hitters. It's moves in the opposite direction of a curveball.

    The Mystery of the Vanishing Screwball

    Hector Santiago of the Los Angeles Angels was sitting at a restaurant table in Glendale, Ariz., in March, holding an orange in his left hand. He formed a circle with his thumb and forefinger, then spread his remaining fingers around the fruit with half an inch between each one. He was demonstrating how he throws his screwball, which is the best in baseball mostly because nobody else has one.

     The secret, he said, is to exert no pressure with the pinkie or ring finger. As he moved his arm forward in a slow-motion simulation, he pushed hard with his middle finger on the inside of the orange until much of his hand was beneath it, creating a clockwise spin. “Like driving on your right wheels going around a curve,” he said.

    Read more

    Is the screwball hard on the arm?
    “The word on the street is that the screwball is hard on the arm,” says Don Cooper, Chicago’s pitching coach. “But listen, there’s no documentation on that. Maybe that’s why a lot of people don’t throw it, but I believe no pitch is any more dangerous than any other if you have a good delivery. If you have a bad delivery, every pitch is freakin’ dangerous.”
    Fernando Valenzuela

    Screwball pitchers

    Warren Spahn
    Juan Marichal
    Mike Marshall
    Mike Cueller
    Willie Hernandez
    Tug McGraw
    Fernando Valenzuela
    Tom Browning

    Fernando Valenzuela learned the screwball from Bobby Castillo, a reliever in the midst of an otherwise-forgettable career. “It took me a while,” Valenzuela said. “But it ended up being my best pitch.” In the 1981 season he won his first eight decisions and ultimately became the only rookie to win a Cy Young Award.


    Sunday, July 6, 2014

    Overuse of young pitchers

    Stories about young pitchers who threw too many pitches  ...

    Some experts attribute rash of pitcher surgeries to overuse as kids

    Updated Sunday, June 29, 2014

    The numbers keep getting updated. Fifty-two professional ballplayers have undergone Tommy John surgery this year, including 48 pitchers, 22 from the big leagues.
    The reasons keep getting debated. Overthrowing. Underthrowing. Throwing too hard. Throwing too many sliders. Throwing with bad mechanics. Throwing year-round in travel ball. Youth coaches doing a poor job monitoring the throwing. Ditto for parents.
    Overuse of young pitchers fueling MLB's Tommy John surgery problem

    by Tom Verducci | April 15, 2014

    The elbow of Jameson Taillon gave out last month at the age of 22 and after just 382 professional innings, all of them monitored with extreme caution by the team that handed him $6.5 million out of high school, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Taillon had been throwing more than 90 miles per hour since he was 16 and a sophomore in high school. He threw as hard as 99 mph as a senior.
    The story of Taillon's elbow has become a common one. The epidemic of elbow and arm injuries to pitchers will get worse, and there is almost nothing major league teams can do about it. That's because much of the damage to pitchers is occurring before they sign professional contracts. The greatest threat facing pitching in the major leagues is the American system of treating teenage pitchers, with its emphasis on velocity, travel tournaments and showcases.

    Read more

    In Rochester, Famous Fosnacht's Arm Feels Fine After 194 Pitches

    Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 

    ROCHESTER — Dylan Fosnacht's right arm, contrary to the collective assumption of the online community, has not fallen off, but the Rochester senior is getting a kick out of the attention he's received since throwing 194 pitches earlier this week.

    Fosnacht started the Warriors' District 4 1A Baseball Tournament opener against La Center on Tuesday. He struck out 17 and allowed seven hits, two of which started the 15th inning and prompted coach Jerry Striegel to go to the bullpen.

    After 232-Pitch Outing, 16-Year-Old Tomohiro Anraku Throws 159-Pitch Complete Game

     by Ben Badler |
    Tomohiro Anraku is just 16, but he’s quickly become Japan’s newest pitching sensation, both for his talent and his workload.
    Anraku’s 232-pitch outing on Tuesday in “Spring Koshien,” Japan’s major spring high school tournament, put him on the international radar. A sophomore at Saibi High in Ehime Prefecture, Anraku led his team to a 4-3 victory with a 13-inning complete game, touched 94 mph with his fastball and struck out 13.
    The encore came today—on three days’ rest—when Anraku threw 159 pitches in Saibi High’s 4-1 victory in front of 43,000 fans at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya.

    Friday, July 4, 2014

    Switch pitcher throws a Circle Changeup

    Ambidextrous pitcher Henry Knight throwing fastballs and changeups during a bullpen session at the K Center in Seattle. Watch the circle changeup at 0:30

    The circle change looks like a fastball on release, but comes in 8-10 mph slower to the plate and then drops low in the strike zone. From the side it can look like a curveball to the spectator – due to the drop the ball makes in front of the plate.

    UW starting pitcher, Tyler Davis, gave Knight valuable tips on throwing the circle changeup.

    Jamie Moyer proved that the changeup is one of the best pitches in baseball. The changeup keeps hitters guessing and off-balance during the swing.

    Pitches in video: Fastball (4-seam & 2-seam), Circle Changeup


    Pro pitcher Tim Collins demonstrates two changeup grips:
    Palmball and Circle Changeup.