More often than not, pitchers should focus solely on velocity (and rightfully so) until they get to at least equal their peer group. Typically, scouts and coaches are more interested in the pitcher who throws 90+ rather than the pitcher in the 85mph range. However, having great velocity means very little if you can't locate your pitches. Hitters at higher levels can hit fastballs, regardless of velocity, if you throw it down the middle and coaches want nothing to do with pitchers who are nowhere near the plate. My take-home point: Pitcher's need to be able to command the strike zone and their pitches efficiently with a velocity base.
As most of you know if you've been following me on twitter (@PitchMechanics) I've been releasing some research on a couple athletes I've been working with here in my new setup at Prime Performance. I've gotten some great feedback but wanted to have a central place for everyone to go back and see the data, testing methods, etc. in case anyone wants to replicate any of it themselves.
Testing Method: After the thrower completed a full warm-up, we began to play catch with a weighted baseball. He made 15 throws with each ball (11, 9, 7, 5oz in this order) and the Motus sensor recorded the data. The first 15 throws with the 11oz ball were "warm-up" throws while the remainder were "shuffle" throws where the pitcher did a simple shuffle into the throw, similar to how an outfielder may make a long throw.
By Cameron Castro (@Castro_Turf)
In my last article, How to Start a Weighted Ball Program, I outlined a generic template for the Weighted Ball program our pitchers follow - in a follow up I thought it would be beneficial to lay out some of the things that they do daily for warm up and recovery. As stated in the previous article:
I want to be clear, throwing weighted balls is taxing, but then again so is pitching. Pitching is inherently stressful, so we aim to train the body at slightly higher levels of stress than what is experienced in competition…
By Cameron Castro (@Castro_Turf)
I recently reached out to Josh about writing something for the Pitch Mechanics site and we settled on how to go about implementing a throwing program that uses weighted baseballs - ya know since everyone will be asking Santa for velo this year. Especially considering Dr. Glenn Fleisig’s newest paper on weighted balls, Biomechanical Analysis of Weighted-Ball Exercises for Baseball Pitchers. Soon to follow are the days of the “Completely Safe Weighted Ball Program” that is ‘guaranteed to add 5-10 mph!’ Heck, there might even be a holiday discount if we’re lucky.
By Coach Kyle Nelson of Cornerstone Baseball
Pitching is different than almost every other skill in baseball. It is not a reaction. The pitcher is in total control. He decides when the ball is thrown, pitch type, pitch location, and pitch velocity.
Everyone else reacts to the pitcher.
Because of this, we often forget that pitcher practice needs to simulate the game as much as possible. This article will give you five ways bullpen sessions can become more game-like:
1.) Mix wind-up and stretch
The most important pitches a pitcher makes each game will come from the stretch. The ones under the most pressure, the ones that matter the most will come out of the stretch.
By Josh Boggs
Velocity is all the rage nowadays. Everyone seems hell-bent on throwing as hard as they possibly can. It seems every pitcher in the MLB throws 95+, so If you want to join that illustrious group, you'd better be doing the same. With that being said, there are some differences in what the radar gun reads and what the hitter sees. Essentially velocity has three different categories: Actual, Perceived, and Effective.
This is the easiest to understand of the three categories. Actual velocity is simply the reading on the radar gun. Although, just to clarify, the reading on the radar gun, especially at ballparks, is the
velocity of the baseball at or near pitch release and not in front of home plate as some have suggested to me. While the reading on a radar gun can be beneficial, understand it does not tell the whole story of velocity. To do that, we need more context.
This is where things get a little more interesting (and fun). Perceived velocity can vary from actual velocity because of essentially two factors: 1) A pitcher’s stride and 2) A pitcher’s release point.