Millions of kids grow up with the dream of playing professional baseball. Unfortunately, the number of people who actually reach their dreams of playing professionally is few and far between. Most begin playing at a young age and as the level of competition increases the number of players gets smaller and smaller. To give you an example, 5.6% of high school players will play NCAA baseball, 10.5% of those players will get drafted and of those drafted 0.5% will make it to the major leagues (3). So, what separates you from the lucky few who get to play under the big lights and live the dream of getting paid to play a kids game? More importantly what in the hell do I need to do to get there? Well the good news for you is there is something you can do. It probably goes against everything that you have heard, but if you are committed to reaching your goals and don't give up it can take you a long ways.
Major League Baseball Is Filled With Elite Athletes
Much like natural selection the biggest, fastest and strongest survive. When coupling ability with athleticism you have a potent formula that equates to super stardom. You can see this in the great players today. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Aroldis Chapman, to name a few, all display elite athleticism, but even the average players in the major leagues are very athletic. In a study called Anthropometric and Perfomance Comparisons in Professional Baseball Players, The researchers conclude that the players were bigger, faster and stronger in the major leagues compared to the minor leagues. According to the study, players in rookie ball averaged a weight of 202 lbs, a 1.57 second 10 yard sprint and 10,798 vertical jump peak power. Major league players averaged a weight of 223 lbs (bigger), 1.52 second 10 yard sprint (faster) and 11,542 watt vertical jump peak power (stronger). Here is the conclusion (1).
Results of this study indicate that both anthropometric and performance variables are able to differentiate professional baseball players at different levels of competition. Lean body mass, speed, lower-body power, and grip strength were also shown to be significantly correlated with baseball-specific performance variables. Although this appears to be the first study to examine the relationship between various components of fitness and baseball performance, previous studies examining strength/power in athletes have shown that physical ability can be an effective predictor of success in college basketball (10), college football (1,2,5,6), and professional football (13,16,22).
So, this shows us that the bigger, faster, stronger players are rising to the top. Furthermore, not only was superior athleticism linked to better performance in baseball, but it was also a good predictor of success in basketball and football. Hence, why we have the NFL combine.
Elite Athleticism Increases Home Runs And Stolen Bases
The researchers also discovered a correlation between guys who hit home runs, have high slugging percentages and steal bases (1). Hmmm, to me that sounds a lot like the guys who get paid the big bucks in the majors. Here is the excerpt:
Vertical jump mean power was the only significant predictor of home runs and slugging percentage, whereas the pro-agility measure tended (p = 0.06) toward significance in home runs. The 10-yard sprint was the only significant predictor of stolen bases, whereas the pro-agility measure again tended (p = 0.08) toward significance as a predictor for stolen bases as well.
Everybody wants to be that five tool player. The guy who can hit for average, hit for power, field, throw and run. You know, guys like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Troy Tulowitzki. Well, one thing all of those players have in common is elite athleticism. Those guys are working their butts off to be the most explosive athletes as they can possibly be. Take a look at Bryce Harper's offseason training and Mike Trout talking about his offseason program. This is some of the training that you need to be doing to get on these guys level. It's hard work, but that is why they are two of the best in the game.
Explosive Mechanics Key To High Velocity Pitchers
It pisses me off when people say pitchers are not good athletes. High velocity pitchers are some of the best athletes on the field. Guys like Aroldis Chapman, Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, Jacob Degrom are extremely athletic. For example, Stephen Strasburg almost quit playing baseball in college because he was not where he needed to be athletically. By the time he finished college he turned himself into an absolute beast. Here is the excerpt from the article (4):
"I demoralized this young man," Ohton remembers. "I didn't even want him around the other players. I had never seen a college athlete who was as far behind as he was. I didn't think it was possible to be that bad." Strasburg was so depressed that he moved back in with his mother and grandmother and seriously considered dropping out of school. "I was going to find a job," he says. "We have a Home Depot and a Lowe's near our house." Instead of quitting, though, Strasburg recommitted himself to his fitness. When he arrived at San Diego State as a freshman, he weighed 255 pounds, had a 21-inch vertical leap, could bench press 115 pounds only one time, and could leg press only 560 pounds. When he left college, he weighed 220 pounds, had a 35-inch vertical leap, could bench press 135 pounds 21 times, and could leg press 1,200 pounds. The velocity of his fastball jumped from 91 to 102 miles per hour.
He left with a 35 inch vertical jump! That is turning yourself into an elite level athlete! That is exactly what you need to be doing if you want to develop that velocity to take you to the next level. If you are hoping to throw 90+ Mph you need to be training to develop the athleticism that these high velocity pitchers have. The 3x Pitching Velocity Program specializes in transforming average athletes into elite athletes. The strength training, plyometrics, olympic lifts, nutrition and mechanics is exactly what you need to be doing to become an elite athlete.
Developing Explosive Power And Athleticism
The baseball world is far behind other sports in developing elite athletes to run faster, throw harder, and hit harder. When looking at the NFL combine over the past five years you see impressive feats of athleticism. The average outside linebacker stands 6 ft 1 inches and weighs 238 lbs(2). The average major league baseball player stands 6 ft 1 and weighs 223 lbs(1). Both are very similar in size however, the linebacker averages a 33.5 inch vertical jump and the baseball player averages a 28 inch vertical jump. The football player is generating much more force! How can that be? Well, most football players have been in the weight room training to get bigger and stronger since they were freshmen in high school! They are developing maximum strength, rate of force development and fast twitch muscle fiber. All of these are crucial to become an elite athlete. By the time they enter the combine they have been developing these traits for 6-8 years.
Most high school baseball and even college coaches are not implementing explosive training into their programs. This should really piss you off because instead of developing the athleticism needed to play professional baseball they are wasting your precious time. In fact, many of these coaches can be leading you in the complete wrong direction. The sad truth is that these coaches don't know how to develop elite athletes or they are to lazy to put together a program to develop elite athletes. You need to get on a program that is incorporating heavy load training, plyometrics, olympic lifting and nutrition like the 3x Pitching Velocity Program before it is too late. Stop being in the dark about sports performance and turn yourself into an elite athlete.
- Hoffman, Jay R., Jose Vazquez, Napoleon Pichardo, and Gershon Tenenbaum. "Anthropometric and Performance Comparisons in Professional Baseball Players." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23.8 (2009): 2173-178. Web.
- "2013 NFL Draft: A Look at the Average NFL Combine Number over a 5-yr Period." Revenge of the Birds. N.p., 04 Apr. 2013. Web. 19 July 2015.
- "Probability Of Playing College and Professional Baseball."Http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/probability.htm. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2015.
- "Stephen Strasburg." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 18 July2015.