In this video we are pairing up James with Matt Stites. James and Matt are similar in size, but James is throwing 72 mph while Matt is throwing 95 mph. I will be analyzing what James and Matt do differently to account for the drastic differences in pitching velocity. This will give us good insight into how to develop explosive pitching mechanics.
Hip Speeds and Timing of Mechanics
Taking James and Matt halfway through their strides (frame 12) we see that James’s hips were moving faster, but Matt’s hips were 4 inches farther from the rubber which is an indication of more energy moving towards the front foot. Just before front foot strike Matt begins to pick up his hip speed while James’s hip speed stays the same. At front foot strike we see Matt’s hip speed hits 5 inches per frame while James’s hip speed is a 3.9 inches per frame, this shows that Matt has used more power out of his back leg to push his hips through a lot faster at front foot strike creating more hip to shoulder separation.
The timing of the upper body is very similar, but James’s hips aren’t as open as Matt’s. James has very good timing of his arm cocking and his shoulders are in the same position as Matt’s, but he has a lack of energy moving through his back leg which causes his hips to open at a much slower rate than Matt’s.
The Chin, Trunk and Transfer of Energy
Looking at the chin we can again see that Matt and James are moving similarly, but Matt has used more power out of his back leg and transferred that energy into his upper body which created faster upper body speeds than James. James stabilized his front leg better than Matt which made him push his trunk out farther than Matt, but Matt was still moving faster. Matt’s shoulder, elbow and wrist all moved faster than James’s due to the better transfer of energy from the lower half.
In conclusion, the main takeaways of this video are Matt was moving faster and farther than James which is an indication of power and force. James’s trunk transferred the same way and timing was the same way, but his hips opened later because of the lack of speed and force coming from his drive leg.
James will develop more explosive pitching mechanics if he can develop more speed and force though olympic lifts, plyometrics and heavy load training to move at the same speeds as Matt and have the ability to transfer those speeds into ball velocity.