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RickI
Tulsa, Ok

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December 16, 2011 – 2:18 pm
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Probably one of the highlights of the clinic was taking a coffee break and finding Aroldis Chapman interrogating Perry Husband on how to approach hitters.  Just stood there as a fly on the wall and tried to soak it all in.

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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December 16, 2011 – 2:24 pm
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That is pretty cool!

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Coach Robo
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December 16, 2011 – 3:14 pm
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Brent,

     Your point about reconsidering #3 is valid.  I consider #6 to be an advancement from #3.  I tell pitchers that 1,2, &3 are the minimal level of competency to even get on the mound.  It doesn't mean you will start, or how much you will pitch, or certainly get into an important game – it just means you've got your foot in the door and we'll work with you.  After you master those three basics, we start working on the rest and the guys that can advance past that get to do the important pitching. 

     For the past few years, I've coached younger players trying to advance to the varsity level.  We pretty much start them from scratch and see who can master the more advanced skills.  At higher levels I would agree that just throwing strikes and keeping the ball down would be woefully inadequate.  At lower levels, sometimes throwing strikes and keeping the ball down are good enough against the weaker competition.  And in a high school program we definitely get guys who can't even do that.  One of my jobs is to find out who they are.  I think pitching strategy works on different levels just like the 3X program.  You can't jump into the middle of it. 

     I will say that when I get a pitcher who can master the concept of effective velocity, one who can throw the ball where I tell him to – I can control the game like a video game.  Hard in and soft away has worked since Christy Mathewson.  I was screaming at the television during the playoffs watching Edwin Jackson throwing 95 mph fastballs away-away-away and getting pounded without ever coming inside.  And I think it's even more important for a guy who doesn't throw hard to come inside.    

Proud father of a U.S. Marine (HOME from Afghanistan)

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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December 16, 2011 – 4:14 pm
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I am with you here! I have caught myself telling my young guys to get the ball down but that is only because they can’t throw hard. If they throw hard, I am usually telling them to get the ball up and in. My favorite pitching strategy is working the latter. First start high and in. If he swings at it then come back with it just a little bit higher and then a little bit higher again until he walks away so frustrated that he throws his bat and drops an f-bomb! That is my favorite style of pitching but it only works on undisciplined hitters.

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RickI
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December 16, 2011 – 4:17 pm
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Coach Robo said:

     I will say that when I get a pitcher who can master the concept of effective velocity, one who can throw the ball where I tell him to – I can control the game like a video game.  Hard in and soft away has worked since Christy Mathewson.  I was screaming at the television during the playoffs watching Edwin Jackson throwing 95 mph fastballs away-away-away and getting pounded without ever coming inside.  And I think it’s even more important for a guy who doesn’t throw hard to come inside.    

BINGO!!!!

This the first principle of effective velocity.  To square up on a ball inside, you have to catch it in front of the plate.  To square up on a ball outside, you have to let it get deep.  You reaction time to catch a 90 MPH fastball up and in is equivalent to squaring up on a 92 MPH FB down the middle.   The reaction time to sqare up a 90 MPH fastball down and away is equivalent to a 88 MPH fastball down the middle.  The larger the gap between the relative speeds of the pitch makes it harder to hit with the minimum difference being 6 MPH difference.

Therefore, a 90 MPH fastball up and in to a batter appears to be 92 MPH and if you can throw a 82 MPH change up down and away, it would appear to be 80 MPH top the batter and a 12 MPH spread to upset his timing. 

With the Edwin Jackson example, his 95 MPH fastball appeared to be 92-93 MPH to the batter.  Most good major league batters will pound that.

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Darrell Coulter
Bonne Terre, Mo

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December 17, 2011 – 9:55 am
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Guys,

I really believe the keep the ball down theory came from sinker ball pitchers, Aluminum bats and Million dollar contracts.

Establishing the inside of the plate and the inside of the batters box is what separates the men from the boys.  

I personally teach that pitching starts about 3 inches off the inside of the plate and works it’s way Hard up in the zone and soft away in the zone.

I believe there has as been a few successful pitchers using that approach.

You guys keep bring on the knowledge.  I am taking it all in.

Coach,

Edwin was killing me.  It goes to show that anyone can fall in to a pattern, including Major Leaguers.

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Zedoryu
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December 19, 2011 – 2:27 am
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Hey darrell I’m with you here, I too believe that the keep the ball down theory came from those things. I think it also came from the fact that when you throw down, batters have to get down to swing, of not they miss it or it will be a soft grounder. And also the fact that batters may not be able to keep the bat parallel to the ball when they swing down up. Which is why I always coach my batters to use the knob to guide the bat through and flick the bat something like that. It’s like the drill singtall mentioned about letting go of the bat so that it flies in a straight line or parallel to the ground, I think.but obviously effective velocity is probably the best way to master one pitch.

       

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drew

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April 30, 2012 – 6:17 pm
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few examples i like if the control is spotted is (lhp vs right hander) is   hard in, soft away.  work up hard, soft down.  generally change ups

 

a new combo lincecum used to have was slider/cutter, change up or a slow 2 seam

 

pretty tough to protect both sides of plate

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