Thursday Pitching Tips
Individual Baseball Pitching Decisions
When watching the best pitchers in the world, it is difficult to figure out the best way to pitch, as all pitchers have slightly different styles. Major league pitchers have developed their individual style that has gotten them to the highest level, but only after answering certain baseball pitching questions.
At the youth level, pitchers should keep things as simple as possible. Once they are efficient at throwing strikes, other baseball pitching questions must be answered. At some point in their careers, the following baseball pitching decisions are necessary and a trial and error process may take years to figure them out. There is no one answer fits all, for many of these baseball-pitching decisions vary from pitcher to pitcher. Baseball coaches should help youth pitchers understand the pros and cons of the technique that best suits their individual pitching strengths.
Baseball Pitching Questions to Figure Out
1. Which side of the pitching rubber to throw from?
The simple answer is the side that they are most comfortable with throwing from and from where pitchers throw the most strikes.
Advanced answer – right handed sinkerball pitchers should throw from the first base side of the rubber and hard throwing right-handed pitchers from the third base side of the rubber. (The opposite goes for left-handed pitchers)
2.How high of leg lift?
The simple answer is as high as they can while maintaining the best balance.
Advanced answer – pitchers lift their lead leg the height that gives them the best timing with the length of their arm swing. Also important is when to deliver balls with a shorter knee lift, known as a slide step, so base steal attempts have less time to get the jump.
3. Pitch from stretch or windup?
The simple answer is to pitch from the windup until runners are on base, at which time pitchers throw out of the stretch.
Advanced answer – Many advanced relief pitchers prefer to throw out of the stretch all the time because that is what is most comfortable to them, as they throw with runners on base often.
4. Best arm angle to throw from?
The simple answer is to throw from their most natural arm angle.
Advanced Answer – pitchers often change their arm angle to get the most movement on the ball, instead of going for pitching velocity.
5. Pitch high or low in the strike zone?
The simple answer is to keep the ball down in the strike zone.
Advanced answer – Many pitchers are high fastball pitchers, which leads to many easy out pop –ups, fly balls, or strikeouts.
Figuring out the answers to these baseball-pitching questions is often the difference between a successful pitcher and the opposite.