Saturday, July 30, 2016

Top High School Switch Pitchers 2018


Henry Knight switch pitcher
Henry Knight throws 6 pitches for strikes from both sides

Switch Pitchers - Class of 2018


A few very talented players have the ability to pitch with either arm in high school baseball games. Switch pitchers are extremely rare, since it takes coordination, dedication and a lot of practice. 

Check out the list of ambidextrous high school baseball players from the class of 2018. Two players have already committed to top D1 programs.

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Kristofer ArmstrongThe Benjamin SchoolJupiter, Florida
Armstrong is both a switch pitcher and a switch hitter. A natural right-hander, he started throwing left-handed when he was 9 years old. He plays shortstop and throws 87 mph right-handed. His father, Jack Armstrong, was a professional pitcher for seven years. 
College Commitment: Florida


Anthony Seigler,  Cartersville HS, Cartersville, Georgia
Seigler is an infielder, catcher and pitcher who throws in the high 80s. Switch pitcher on varsity as a freshman, including pitching in a double-header. Also a rare switch hitter.
College Commitment: Auburn


Roland Ryan, Knoxville West HS, Tennessee
Ryan won two games in a day, one throwing left-handed and the other right-handed. The 6'3" 210 lb pitcher has more movement from the left side, but more velocity on the right.


Andrew Wilhite, Stillman Valley HS, Illinois
Wilhite is an ambidextrous thrower who mainly pitches right-handed. Only pitches with one arm in a game. Plays shortstop and hits left-handed.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pitch Counts in High School

Most states have rules on the total number of innings that a high school pitcher can throw in one week. In Kansas, a kid is allowed to throw 12 innings during a 48-hour span.

A good high school pitcher might average 15 pitches per inning.

12 innings x 15 pitches/inning = 180 pitches

That's a lot of pitches in a short time - especially for a young arm. But is the inning limit the best formula to protect a young pitcher's arm?


Extended Innings ...

The big problem that I see is with the long innings, where a kid throws 20+ pitches. 
The pitcher starts loosing control, looses velocity, rolls their eyes, takes long walks around the mound and shows general signs of fatigue. And the 30 pitch innings are really tough on the arm. Most kids don't have the strength and conditioning to handle this type of load. 

Plus, there is the mental fatigue of long stints on the mound. It's hard to face a big hitter twice in one inning - with the bases loaded - after the entire team batted around. 

I have seen HS kids throw 75+ pitches in only 3 innings. Not good.

Baseball tournaments are a special problem where players throw extra innings and don't get enough rest between outings.

Some pitchers recover faster than others, especially if the follow a good warmup and post throwing routine (like used at Driveline Baseball).

Pitcher and Catcher ...

I have seen HS pitchers who threw several innings, then they switched positions with the catcher in the same game. Yikes! Give the kid a rest.

Some catchers also pitch in relief for the team. This is a lot of throwing – without rest and recovery – in between pitching, so maybe they should just stick to one position.

Quick Estimate ...
Around 100 pitches would be plenty for most HS pitchers in a 7-inning game. 
7 innings * 15 pitches/inning = 105 pitches

How about using a closer for the last inning of the game?

A starter who goes 6 innings, would throw about 90 pitches.
6 innings * 15 pitches/inning = 90 pitches


Each pitcher is unique, so it's hard to set a specific limit on pitch counts. Guidelines could be helpful, since some coaches only focus on winning and not the health of players.

I think it's important to track the number of pitches thrown each inning. Avoid the 25+ pitch innings that can cause arm strain.

Rotate Pitchers

Coaches tend to rely on a handful of pitchers during the season. But, there are other guys on the team who are would love to pitch a few innings. Why not give them a chance.



JULY 13, 2016
Pitch counts replacing innings thrown as new standard for high school baseball


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Anthony Seigler - switch pitcher


Anthony Seigler
Hometown: Cartersville, Georgia 

Cartersville HS (Class of 2018)
Team: Purple Hurricanes

College Commitment: Auburn

Positions: C, 3B, BHP
Ht/Wt:   5-11, 195 lbs.
Bats/Throws: S/B

Velocity: 84 mph (80-84)
Pitches: FB, CB, CH

FB 89 mph 7/8/2016

Pop 1.78 sec 12/28/2015

2016 Underclass High Honorable Mention 


Anthony Seigler is an infielder, catcher and pitcher who plays varsity for the Purple Hurricanes team in Cartersville, Georgia. @CHSHurricaneBSB

Based on his size and fast pop time, I would think that he might play catcher in college.

An article in The Daily Tribune News reported  that Seigler was a second baseman / ambidextrous pitcher on varsity as a freshman, including pitching in a double-header: 

Seigler pitched that game left-handed, but came back in game 2 later that day and helped Cartersville get through game 2 right-handed, something he has done often this season as an ambidextrous pitcher. As a result, Chester has referred to having Seigler at his disposal is like having an extra pitcher on the staff. 


“I tell people that I’m naturally lefty, but I don’t really know. I write with my right, so I guess I’m naturally right handed,” Seigler said. “I think it’s the same for both sides, which I think is really good because it helps me maintain speed from both sides. I would rather go on the mound left, but if I go righty, I’ll do whatever it takes.”  (daily-tribune.com)


2015 Year in Review - Perfect Game Events
by Jeff Dahn

The Astros’ 2018 catcher/both-handed pitcher Anthony Siegler was a one-man tsunami at the 15u PG WWBA, slashing .414/.441/.655 with four doubles, a home run, nine RBI and six runs scored at the plate. He made four appearances on the mound and went 2-0 for the 11-0-0 Astros, and allowed no runs on four hits while striking out 11 and walking four in 14 2/3 innings of work.The ambidextrous Siegler worked four innings right-handed in a semifinal round victory, and then made his way through the entire five-inning championship game using both his right and left arms. He pitched a two-hit shutout and was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI in the title game.“Siegler’s performance was big for us today,” Jordan told PG after the championship game. “If I have one way to describe him, he is a gritty gym rat. He does everything really well – throws and hits both ways – and just competes.” Siegler and 2018 shortstop/outfielder/right-hander Hudson Haskin were named to the all-tournament team as both hitters and pitchers. (perfectgame.org)


by Jason Greenberg | The Daily Tribune News 16 May 2015



by Jason Greenberg | The Daily Tribune News 13 May 2015


Game 1: Cartersville 12, Wayne County 1

Freshman Anthony Seigler got the start for Cartersville and was facing Wayne County senior ace and Georgia Southern commit J.D. Paul.

However, it was Seigler who looked like the playoff veteran in game 1 Wednesday as he pitched a complete game for the win.
Seigler pitched left-handed for the first time in the playoffs and allowed just three hits, two walks and no earned runs while striking out six.



2015 AAAA semifinals

GAME 2: BUFORD 10, CARTERSVILLE 3:
Gibson finished with two perfect innings, while Cartersville pitcher Anthony Seigler (9 H, 9 ER, 2 K, 3 BB) was ousted after four innings of work. Read more

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Anthony Seigler Baseball Profile | Perfect Game USA

Catcher, LHP (84 mph)







Thursday, July 7, 2016

Baseball Glove Options for Switch Pitchers

Custom made
 Mizuno ambidextrous glove
Looking for a glove for a switch pitcher?

Before spending hundreds of dollars on a custom glove, please think about age of the player and how much time they will spend pitching.

Here are glove options for ambidextrous pitchers, based on age:

Age 3-5

Kids don't pitch at this age. They should be learning the proper way to throw.

Young kids should try catching the ball with two hands. Use tennis balls or foam balls for throwing. Forget about the low quality plastic glove - it's in the landfill within a year. Gloves are awkward for young kids. If they learn two hand catch when they are young and continue with the skill, they will do well fielding balls when they are older.

Learning to throw with both arms is easy at this stage. If a child can throw with either hand when they are three-years-old, it doesn't mean that they are talented or ambidextrous - it just means that they are a typical kid.

Gloves: Buy a small leather glove for the player when they are around five-years-old. You might find a nice used glove at a local thrift shop or second-hand sports store that will work.


Age 5-7

Most of these kids play in tee ball or coach pitch. My son started pitching as a 7-year-old, but most kids don't have good throwing mechanics at this age and have trouble throwing strikes. The catchers having trouble catching and can't block balls in the dirt.

Hitting Tip: This is a good age to teach kids how to switch hit. Many of the switch pitchers started out as switch hitters. Switch hitting helps with balance and learning the strike zone, which will come in handy when pitching.

Pitching Tip: Please don't force the your child to pitch -- even if they are left-handed. Not all kids want to be a pitcher. Pitching can be very stressful to kids. They really have to enjoy pitching to become good.

Gloves: Two gloves work fine for an ambidextrous thrower. 9-10 inch size. It's better to use a small infield glove than a large outfield glove.

No ambidextrous glove is available for this age.

Have fun learning to throw a baseball.

Throw hard daily to a target.

Watch a 6-year-old practice throwing with both arms


Age 8-10
Switch pitcher using two gloves

Ambidextrous throwers in this group can use two separate gloves since there is rarely a situation where having an ambi glove on the mound will help at this age. Have the kid pitch one inning with each arm and see how well they do facing hitters.

In a game, if the ambidextrous pitcher needs to switch gloves, then the coach can call time and get the other glove from the dugout. Using two gloves worked well for the best ambidextrous pitchers. There is no need to switch gloves for one hitter. Winning just isn't that important at this age. Remember the game should be fun.

Gloves: Use two separate gloves for switch pitching. Different color gloves make in easy to gab the correct one. 10-11.5 inch size

Don't think about ordering a custom ambidextrous glove until your child can throw well with boths arms or else you are waisting money.

Training glove: Valle Baseball makes a nice ambidextrous pancake glove. This flat training glove does not have a pocket, so it forces you to use two hands.  My son loves his pancake glove and his teammates find it challenging to use. Cost is around $40 for the Valle Flat Ambi Pancake Glove  www.vallebaseball.com


Age 10-12

Players this age should really work on throwing hard and developing a smooth throwing motion.

Switch Pitchers can use two separate gloves without a problem. Pitch lefty one inning, then switch to righty the next. Or pitch two innings left, then the third inning right. Lefties are valuable in games since they have an advantage over most hitters. Make sure to spend extra time throwing left-handed.

The exception might be in tournament play where pitchers mainly throw with the dominant arm.

Let the umpire know before the game that the player is planning to use both arms for pitching. Check to make sure the umpires know the rules regarding switch pitching. Note that the pitch count is still the same for one player - they don't count each arm separately.

Most umpires really enjoy calling games with a switch pitcher. It's something they can share with their buddies.


Gloves:

Most switch pitchers will use two separate gloves that are different styles or colors. 11.5" size is common (range 11" - 12").

If the kid has adult-sized hands, and is a solid pitcher from both sides, then you can order the ambidextrous glove from Akadema (see below). This is the only "stock" ambidextrous glove available and it is ready for delivery from Amazon from around $100.

Custom made gloves are $200-$600+ and it takes 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. That's just too much money to spend on a glove at this age. There are only a few manufacturers that will make a custom ambidextrous glove.



Switch pitcher Henry Knight using an

Akadema ABX-00 Ambidextrous Glove


Age 13-14

If the player really can pitch well in games with both arms, then you might consider using an ambidextrous glove. Kids are playing more games at this age and owning a quality glove is a good idea. Many of the utility players own multiple gloves for different positions - pitcher, first base, catcher, infield or outfield. It's amazing the money parents shell out for sports equipment (but it won't make the kid a better player). One ambidextrous glove could cost less that two quality right- and left-handed gloves.

Gloves: 
Many switch pitchers use two separate gloves that are different styles or colors. 11.5"-12" size

Six-finger Glove:
A quality ambidextrous glove is available from Akadema (ABX-00: Ambidextrous, 12" model $135 list; Amazon $100 with free shipping).

Note that the Akadema ambidextrous glove is in high demand and might be out-of-stock following the debut of MLB switch pitcher Pat Venditte.

My son uses the 12" model - which is the only option available. This is a stock glove, but you will not find these in any stores. Order online from Akadema or Amazon. Akadema only produces about 100 ambi gloves per year (made in China). You can have a smaller custom glove made by Akadema for around $200. Visit www.akademapro.com



This six-finger ambidextrous glove is from the Akadema Pro Soft Series. The leather glove features four finger slots, plus two adjustable thumb loops (using velcro tabs). Like most quality gloves, this ambi glove is very stiff at first. If you follow the old-time break-in process, with glove oil and playing catch daily, then the glove works fine after a couple of weeks. Learn about Breaking in Your Glove

The Akadema ambi glove is a bit too large for an 11 or 12-year old player since it is an adult size glove. The glove is symetrical with no webbing, so it looks different and a lot larger than the 11.5" style of infield glove. Be prepared to use two hands on every catch until the pocket is formed since the ambi glove does not have the conventional webbing. Young fielders should try to use two hands to catch the ball, since they often have trouble squeezing a glove with one hand. So this turns out to be a good training glove.

The Akadema Ambidextrous Glove in Action

Switch pitcher Henry Knight using an Akadema ambidextrous glove


After about two weeks of regular use, the pocket breaks-in and the ambidextrous glove works really well in practice. It might take a month of regular use to make the Akadema ambi glove game-ready. The glove spreads out nicely for scooping up grounders. It's large enough to use in the outfield.


Custom Crafted Ambidextrous Glove


This cool looking ambidextrous glove, crafted by Carpenter Trade, uses state-of-the-art synthetic materials making it stronger and lighter than conventional gloves. The ambi glove was designed by Scott Carpenter after consulting with Pat Venditte the famous switch pitcher with the NY Yankees organization. All Carpenter Gloves are custom made to fit each individual. The glove maker is based near Copperstown, N.Y.


Carpenter Trade on Twitter @CarpenterTrade


Carpenter gloves are unrivaled in craftsmanship, performance, and customization. If you dare to be different, visit  CarpenterTrade.com


High School

Using two separate gloves is still a good option for games. There just aren't that many left-handed hitters playing baseball, so most of the pitching will be done right-handed against righties. The advantage of switching sides at this stage is to rest the dominant arm.

Two Pitching Gloves

The top high school player in Washington state, Drew Vettleson, was a switch-pitcher. Vettleson used two gloves and his strategy worked well for switch pitching.

"Drew Vettleson would take two baseball gloves with him out to the mound when he pitched for Central Kitsap High School in Washington. If he was pitching with his left arm, he tossed his left-handed glove to the back of the mound. Pitching as a righty, Vettleson would switch gloves and toss the other to the back of the mound". (source: milb.com)

Vettleson, a power hitter, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays as an outfielder. The Tampa Rays named Drew Vettleson the MVP of the Princeton (W.Va.) Rays, their rookie league team in the Appalachain League.

Ambidextrous Pitcher Glove

Ryan Perez, a dominant switch pitcher in college, used an inexpensive six-finger glove from Akadema. His fastball tops out at 92 mph from the right side and up to 94 mph left-handed. Perez was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2015. Now, he uses a custom Mizuno glove in the minor leagues. Watch Ryan pitching.

According to a report in the Chicago Sun Times, Perez threw a complete game no-hitter left-handed, then came back later in the day and threw four innings of two-hit, shutout relief right-handed.


College switch pitcher Aubrey McCarty uses a custom Mizuno ambidextrous glove. McCarty signed a letter of intent to pitch for Vanderbilt University in 2014, and threw in relief in 2015. Aubrey McCarty was drafted in 2013 by the SF Giants, but he decided to get a good education and is playing in college. Vandy won the College World Series in 2014.


College

If you pitch in college, then it's time to buy a custom ambidextrous glove with your name on it.  The custom six-finger glove could bring you some extra attention in the press.

New Glove Option
44 Pro Ambidextrous Custom Glove $230

Pat Vindette used a custom Louisville Slugger TPX Ambidextrous glove at Creighton University. The  leather glove has 6-fingers, with 4-finger holes plus two thumb loops. It looks cool and was easy to change from one hand to the other.

You can custom order the Louisville Slugger ambidextrous glove for $399.99 by calling 1-800-282-2287 and a representative would be happy to assist you. (updated June 2012)

The Mizuno GMP1A ambidextrous glove is $450 and it takes 4-6 weeks to deliver.  

Carpenter Trade crafts custom gloves to fit each individual. Gloves range in price from $500 for a conventional style to $600 for an ambidextrous glove. Learn more at CarpenterTrade.com



Big League

Pat Vindette, a major league pitcher, uses a custom six finger glove made by Mizuno. Ryan Perez who plays in the minors with the Cleveland Indians also has a custom Mizuno glove. (Contact Mizuno by phone or email).

A big leaguer can arrange a sponsorship deal with the glove manufacturer.




Good luck.
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Friday, July 1, 2016

What does pitchability mean?

The pitchability of a player involves all of the following:
  • He can throw any pitch anytime which makes him unpredictable.
  • The batters in the other line-up that he should get out, he gets out.
  • He doesn’t let their best hitters beat them.  He’s not afraid to walk or pitch around them.
  • He minimizes fastball counts by getting ahead and staying ahead.
  • He can throw strikes on both sides of the plate.
  • He makes his best pitches when it counts the most.  Anyone can throw a good breaking pitch on the black when they are facing the eight hitter with nobody on and his team is up 6-0.  Can he hit the black with the bases loaded and the third hitter is up with the winning run on second?
  • He consistently repeats his delivery.
  • He throws just as well from the stretch as he does from the wind-up.
  • He works quick but doesn’t rush.
  • He is consistently around the knees with all his pitches.

...

Switch-pitcher Carter Kieboom selected in the 2016 MLB Draft

Kieboom selected in the 2016 MLB Draft 
http://www.cbssports.com/
28 Washington Nationals
3B Carter Kieboom, Walton High School (GA)
The Clemson commit is said to have good power and hit tools to go with a strong arm from third base (he's actually been a shortstop in high school but he profiles as a third baseman in the pros). There are some good bloodlines here, as Kieboom's brother (Spencer) plays in the Nationals system and yet another brother is playing for the University of Georgia. Carter is known as one of the best pure high school hitters in the draft, especially being singled out for his maturity at such a young age. Oh, and this is an awesome baseball name, no?

Nats go against recent history with early 2016 draft picks
By Noah Frank | @NoahFrankWTOP, June 10, 2016
“Very good tools, from above average to solid average, Kline said. “[He’s] going to be a really good big leaguer.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia batted a solid, if not overwhelming .366 as a senior, but notched an excellent .504 on-base percentage. He hit five homers and stole seven bases, decent numbers in a short high school season that could easily double or even triple in a full season of pro ball. That makes Kieboom something of the anti-Giolito or Fedde, a safe, reliable pick with a higher floor and lower ceiling.
Interestingly, Kieboom also pitched from both sides of the plate in high school, much like history-making hurler Pat Venditte, whom we profiled last season upon his arrival in the Major Leagues. Unfortunately for the ambidextrous pitching enthusiasts among us, it doesn’t appear that we’ll have the chance to see him continue to do so as a professional.

Baseball tryouts: Tips for making the team


Are you getting ready for a baseball tryout?

Here are some helpful tips from baseball coaches on making a good first impression.

Preparation
- practice hitting, throwing and fielding, a least two weeks before the tryout
- be prepared, have everything ready the day before the tryout
- dress like a baseball player (baseball pants, jersey, cap, cleats)
- wear a shirt with your name on the back
- plan to learn something new
- show up 30 minutes early
- relax and have fun

Attitude
Coaches are looking for skilled players, with a positive attitude - who are coachable

- listen carefully, be coachable
- introduce yourself to the coaches, shake their hands
- pay attention and look the coach in the eye
- ask and answer questions
- focus on the skill
- have a positive attitude
- hustle everywhere

Bonus Points
- be a leader
- support your teammates
- show your love of the game


Pitching
- talk with the catcher before you pitch
- make sure to warmup first
- take your time and use good mechanics
- make adjustments
- change speed and location
- follow through and finish the pitch
- keep the ball low in the strike zone
- first pitch strike

Hitting
- have a plan before you step in the batter's box
- wait for a good pitch to hit
- trust your swing
- focus on hitting line drives
- 65% of pitches are on the outer half - hit to the opposite field
- make solid contact - don't swing for the fences
- run the bases hard

Fielding
- make the routine plays
- move on every hit
- stay focused
- talk on every play - communication is important

- footwork is very important
- be ready and in position to make the play
- call the fly ball by yelling - "ball, ball, ball"
- set your feet, make a good throw, follow through
- take your time to make accurate throws
- backup other fielders
- chase after missed balls
- show you can play multiple positions


Mental Game
- set goals for the season
- don't think too much
- try not to over react when you strikeout or make an error
- stay positive 

Make a Good Impression
- set yourself apart 
- do something to make a good lasting impression
- help the coaches carry equipment
- volunteer to fill a spot in the field
- hustle - run fast on and off the field

Communication
- listen carefully
- look the coach in the eye when they are speaking
- shake the coaches hand and thank them after the tryout
- let the coaches know why you want to join the team
- talk with players on the team, see what they like and don't like about the team


Recommended Reading

Is your son or daughter looking for a new select baseball or softball team? Here are some tips to get your kid on the team he or she wants.

Making Your High School Team
A seven part series on how to give yourself the best opportunity. Tips and information by high school coaches from across the country.



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