We are pairing up Brad Landers with Clayton Kershaw, but also comparing footage from his first camp with footage from his last camp. The reason we are comparing his camp footage is because in his first camp he hit 84 mph and in his last camp he hit 78 mph. This is unusual especially because he obviously added more power in the time between his first camp and most recent camp. He had an increase in power and a decrease in conversion. In other words if he was a car, he added more horsepower, but his transmission is broken. You can have all the horsepower in the world, but if your transmission is broken you are not going anywhere.
Peaking Energy Into Front Leg Maximizes Pitching Velocity
When comparing Brad’s low velocity pitch to higher velocity pitch we see that in the low velocity pitch he was moving farther and faster down the mound then in the high velocity pitch. However, he peaked his energy too soon in the low velocity pitch so he didn’t convert the power efficiently. In both the low and high velocity pitches his front foot is flying open which is causing him to peak his energy too soon. Once the front foot flies open it starts the kinetic chain and we can see in the videos, especially the low velocity pitch, that when the front foot flies open the drive leg knee starts to internally rotate initiating the kinetic chain. When we look at Clayton Kershaw we see that he holds torsion in the back leg to peak his speeds right before front foot contact. Kershaw’s front foot opens early, but he is able to hold that torsion and peak his knee speeds as late as possible. Brad peaks his knee speeds very early on and his front foot is nowhere near contact with the ground. This gave him a farther stride than Kershaw, but his front leg landed much more vertical. Kershaw on the other hand peaked his speeds right before front foot contact which allowed his front leg to go a little farther and land in a more linear position. This allowed him to efficiently transfer his energy from his lower half to his upper half.
Good Shoulder Abduction Enhances External Rotation
Brad loses a lot of external rotation in his low velocity pitch, but gains more hip to shoulder separation. In the high velocity pitch he doesn’t have quite as much hip to shoulder separation, but his external rotation is better and he has better glove side tilt. If he kept the good external rotation from his high velocity pitch and the increase in hip to shoulder separation from the low velocity pitch we likely would have seen a greater increase in velocity than 84 mph. In the low velocity pitch he falls more to his arm side with very low shoulder abduction i.e. his elbow is below his shoulder. This not only puts a lot of stress on the arm, but it also doesn’t allow you to get optimal external rotation. Watching Kershaw we see him get good shoulder abduction and glove side tilt which allows his arm to lay back into external rotation.
Leg Power Pitching Velocity Summary
Brad needs to work on the timing of peaking his lower half speeds into front foot contact. He can do this by holding torsion in his back leg longer and waiting as long as possible to initiate the drive. This will allow him to land with a more linear front leg, which will cause him to transfer the energy from his lower half to his upper half more efficiently. Brad also needs to work on his shoulder abduction and tilting more to his glove side. This will allow him to optimize his external rotation.