In this video we are pairing up Brendan with Yordano Ventura. Both pitchers are similar in size, however Brendan is a low velocity pitcher while Yordano regularly reaches upper 90s and touches 100 mph. Brendan is a couple of inches taller than Yordano which should give him an advantage to cover farther distances and release the pitch closer to the batter. Every foot closer to the batter is 3 mph of perceived velocity to the batter’s eye. This is an edge against competition that Brendan should take an advantage of.
Powerful Leg Drive to Increase Hip to Shoulder Separation
Taking Brendan and Yordano into their leg drives (frame 12), we see that both pitchers are syncing up well. This is a good sign for Brendan because usually low velocity pitchers are not able to cover as far of distances at the same speeds as high velocity pitchers. Just before front foot strike, we see that Brendan starts pushing through his back leg which lets him get a little farther off the mound than Yordano. He needs much more energy moving through that drive leg. Yordano is a knee slammer so he falls and slams his knee downward to create the energy that he transfers into ball speed. At front foot strike we see that Yordano’s left toe is farther from the mound then Brendan’s, but this can be due to Yordano’s front leg reaching out which is not necessarily a good thing. However, this gave him an advantage with a longer stride length than Brendan to get him closer to the hitter. We can also see that Brendan is starting early trunk rotation. Indications we see of this are his chin is pushing out over his front hip, his glove side is out of view and one frame after front foot strike he peaks his shoulder speeds. Yordano’s chin is behind his hip. We can still see his glove side which means he maintains good hip to shoulder separation and then two frames after front foot strike he peaks his shoulder speed.
Lower Half Energy Transfers Into Chin Speeds
At front foot strike we see that Brendan actually had faster hip speeds than Yordano, however the energy that Yordano produced transferred much better. Looking at the chin speeds we can see that Brendan’s chin speed decelerated very quickly and did not peak as high as Yordano’s. Yordano’s chin traveled 24 inches from front foot strike to Brendan’s 10 inches. This shows that Yordano transferred more energy than Brendan through his trunk and then up to his arm to create his high ball speeds. Seeing Brendan’s chin speed decline so quickly also shows us that he was being too rotational and his trunk was too vertical. High velocity pitchers trunks travel farther at front foot strike. For example, Yordano’s trunk pushed out 24 inches from front foot strike, while Brendan’s trunk did not move half that distance at only 10 inches.
Linear Front Leg Stabilization Increases Velocity
Looking at Yordano’s front leg stabilization, we see that he gets in a very linear position and holds that position for a few frames and then drives it back to increase his trunk tilt. He does not have great front leg stabilization, but he does a decent job. Watching Brendan we see that he lands with a very vertical front leg and does a good job of holding it and driving it back, but it just isn’t linear enough because he isn’t getting a big enough stride. Generating more power through that back leg and getting more linear will increase his stride and have him land in a more linear front leg position. Last we look at shoulder, elbow, and wrist sequencing and we see that Brendan took two frames for his wrist to peak which is typical of low velocity guys. Yordano peaks his shoulder, elbow, and wrist one after the other which shows perfect sequencing.
Pitching Mechanics Review
The main takeaways of this video are that Brendan needs to create more energy moving through his back leg in order to transfer more energy to the trunk and create more hip to shoulder separation. Brendan needs to get more explosive through the heavy load training, olympic lifts, and plyometrics found in the program. At the same time in the med ball throws and target throws you should focus on more speed down the mound and moving farther down the mound. As Brendan gets more explosive he should start to feel the transfer of energy from his lower half to his trunk which will generate higher velocities.