TopVelocity.net and the Tim Lincecum Revolution

Tim Lincecum I couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, it looks like the baseball world is seeing the light. Thanks to little giants like Tim Lincecum and his father.

His father Chris works for Boeing, which is why he produced a son with such a perfect understanding of physics driven mechanics. Tom Verducci has written the article of all articles when it comes to the revolution of the pitching delivery. Verducci writes for Sports Illustrated. In this article he expresses a better understanding of physics driven pitching mechanics than some of the best Coaches in the game. It goes to show how baseball’s ego has prevented its own evolution. MLB has been drafting young, tall and lanky pitchers for years because these pitchers can get away with more and therefore they need less coaching. The problem is their longevity is suspect. This is why Tim Lincecum is seen as a Freak or an outsider. Tim Lincecum doesn’t fit the mold of the MLB. The times maybe changing.

Here is a few examples from Verducci’s article illustrating the ignorance of Major League Baseball organizations along with some of Tim Lincecum’s astounding accomplishments in the past few years.

Baltimore general manager Jim Duquette
“There was a feeling that [Tim Lincecum] was short, not a real physical kid, and mechanically he was going to break down, that there was enough stress on his arm, elbow and shoulder. Our scouting department kind of pushed him down because of the medical aspect.”

The quickness of Tim Lincecum’s small body is what scared off most scouts

The Giants took Tim Lincecum at No. 10. Tim Lincecum pitched only 13 times in the minors, allowing seven earned runs and whiffing 104 batters in 62 2/3 innings, before it became obvious to San Francisco that it had a prodigy who was wasting his time down there.

In 40 starts through Sunday, Tim Lincecum was 16-6 with a 3.30 ERA and 264 strikeouts in 256 innings.

Tim Lincecum’s reliability at the start of his career is historically remarkable. Tim Lincecum is one of only seven pitchers since 1956 to throw 30 quality starts in his first 40 games.

Coach Dave Righetti, Tim Lincecum’s current pitching coach for the Giants.
“I treat Timmy differently from most pitchers: I leave him alone.”

The article has quotes from Tim Lincecum and his father talking about his mechanics. His quotes are almost directly out of AcePitcher.com’s 5 Components of Pitching.

“My dad and I aren’t very large guys, so it’s about efficiency and getting the most out of my body that I can,”

“Don’t open up too soon because then you lose leverage,” Tim Lincecum says. “If you twist a rubber band against itself, the recoil is bigger. The more torque I can come up with, the better.”

“My dad always told me to sit down on my back leg as long as I could and push off as much as I could. I’m trying to get as much out of my body as possible. I’ve got to use my ankles, my legs, my hips, my back. . . . That’s why I’m so contorted and it looks like I’m giving it full effort when it’s not exactly full effort.”

The normal stride length for a pitcher is 77% to 87% of his height. Tim Lincecum’s stride is 129%, or roughly 7 1/2 feet.

As for the “step-over” move near the end of his stride, Tim Lincecum explains, “That’s from my hips. I’m getting everything toward the target, and my hips want to go. My hips can’t just go and open up. I’m trying to create torque. That’s when everything kind of explodes. My body comes, and [my arm] is just kind of along for the ride.”

One secret, he explains, is what he calls his “ankle kick,” a snapping of his right ankle as his right foot, the back foot, leaves the rubber. Tim Lincecum comes off the rubber with such snap that, upon the ball’s release, his right foot is more than a foot in front of the rubber, shrinking the distance — and thus stealing precious time — between him and the batter.

When Tim Lincecum speaks of “sitting down on my back leg” and his “ankle kick” he is speaking of AcePitcher.com 2 Component Triple extension. He calls this his little secret. How many coaches out there curse pushing off the rubber. Tim Lincecum credits this to the reason for his success.

“My dad never taught me to lunge at the plate,” Tim Lincecum says. “It kind of came naturally. That ankle kick that I get and the drive that I get from my back leg will make a big difference in how I get to the plate and how I pitch that day.”

Verducci paints the perfect picture of AcePitcher.com 3 Component Separation, which he calls the Loading position, when speaking of Tim Lincecum’s success.

Here Tim Lincecum again separates himself from most pitchers with his athleticism and timing. As he reaches the loaded position, Tim Lincecum’s hips have just opened so that his belt buckle is facing the batter. His torso, however, has not yet begun to rotate toward the plate. The GIANTS on his home jersey is facing third base and his left shoulder remains pointed directly at the target. Only then, with his body essentially twisted against itself, does the torso fire, creating more rotational power as, at last, after this symphonic whipsaw action of his body, his arm simply “comes along for the ride.”

Most importantly Verducci mentions Tim Lincecum’s athletic ability.

Many pitchers are poor athletes who happen to be blessed with one very specific skill. Tim Lincecum has the body of a gymnast and can rip off a backflip or walk on his hands to prove it.

This proves my philosophy of great athletes make great pitchers. Many Coaches would also argue this with me. This is why the uneducated call Tim Lincecum a freak instead of an elite athlete like Tiger woods and Michael Jordan.

This article made me smile so big I about split my face in half. Everything Tim Lincecum, his father and Tom Verducci documented in this article I learned the hard way. It gives me closure in my own career when I learn that I may not have made it to the majors but I did overcome a serious rotator cuff injury to discover mechanics that would soon revolutionize the pitcher. I am glad such a good person like Tim Lincecum is caring this torch and bringing the light to Major League Baseball.

Read Tom Verducci’s article here.

View His delivery in Slow Motion

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hi Brent,

    This is Coach Mike(southern california)

    You smile from ear to ear and I lose sleep over this article . It mystifies me that this article has not made more of a splash in baseball. In the baseball community this should be the BIBLE or TEN COMMANDMENTS. This article should be under every pitchers pillow at night or in the bathroom for everyday reading. On my travel team and privates workouts, we work on this every practice. I see many players and parents that and are blown away by Lincecum body speed and flexibility. Yes you can admire it , but every player should give it a shot. I use to wait for young players to grow every year an get older and stronger and assume with size, age, and strength the players would throw harder. Many many times that is not the case, if players/pitchers understand Lincecum mechanics, I guarantee the player will maximize his top velocity!!!

    Reply

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