Study: Vertical Jump & More Increases Pitching Velocity

I decided to finally pull together over 5 years of camp data which included measurements like vertical jump, body weight and more, to try and silence all the naysayers of the TopVelocity programs. I know, a bit ambitious with the naysayers!

I had 181 pitchers who attended a 3X Velocity Camp from over the past 5 years go through a complete evaluation of anthropometrics and performance movements. This isn’t pitchers who went through the 3X Velocity Programs, just pitchers who showed up for camp on the first day when we measured them out. What the raw data revealed so far is that bigger, stronger and faster pitchers, on average, throw the hardest and are possibly the better athletes. This means it isn’t a coincidence that 6’4, 215lbs closer for New York, the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball beat 6’0, 160lbs fastest base stealer in baseball for Cincinnati, in a 100 yard dash.

Don’t get the wrong impression here, this data doesn’t prove short pitchers can’t throw hard. It just means if you are short you have to excel in these categories of athleticism. Meaning you can’t expect to throw as hard as an MLB pitcher if you are 5’9 155lbs and you can only jump 28 inches and have only 50 degrees of trunk rotation and 70 degrees of hip flexion. You need to be able to overcome your height with your speed, mobility and motor control.

In this article, I will post what measurements had a strong to average correlation to pitching velocity. Other metrics were measured, they just didn’t show a significant correlation, so I left them out of this article. I will also talk about how most of baseball will ignore this info and continue to coach that bigger, stronger and faster has nothing to do with it, or that weighted balls and long toss is all you need to discover the 105mph that you already have in you. I ask of you to help the evolution of baseball with this information by sharing this data on your Twitter or social media accounts to help it grow!

Vertical Jump Increases Pitching Velocity

This metric and its relationship to pitching velocity has always made sense to me because in my career, post rotator cuff surgery my freshman year in college, I learned the hard way that I wasn’t going to get to the MLB with just my arm. My legs had a big part to play. The careers of Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens taught me this, once I stopped listening to my coaches who were telling me the opposite.

Vertical jump is a measurement of pure leg power. What is power, the ability to not only generate force or strength but to activate it in an explosive manner? Like my mentor, legendary Olympic Lifting Coach Gayle Hatch says, “Pure strength is of little use to an athlete, explosive strength is what matters.”

Here is a bar chart illustrating this raw data and its relationship to pitching velocity. Each pitcher was put into a velocity group which is listed on the vertical axis in all the charts.

Please share this data and help change the game with me!

10 Yard Sprint Increases Pitching Velocity

This metric is also a representation of explosive strength which is once again proving its value in the act of pitching at a high velocity. It isn’t that pitchers should be fast, just faster pitchers tend to throw harder.

Please share this data and help change the game with me!

Body Weight Increases Pitching Velocity

The most important perspective at this point in the data is that not only are the pitchers who are throwing harder moving their bodies faster but they are also bigger in weight than the slower pitchers. This really changes the conventional baseball mentality that you should lose weight to gain speed to you must gain weight and gain speed to throw harder. This is why with the TopVelocity Programs we use an Olympic Lifting approach which develops lean muscle mass and the ability to move this mass more explosively.

Upper Body Strength Increases Pitching Velocity

Please share this data and help change the game with me!

Hip Internal Rotation Right & Left Increases Pitching Velocity

Now onto the mobility measurements! Yes, pitchers have to be one of the most well-rounded athletes in all of the sports. Not only must you be bigger, stronger and faster but you need elite mobility to complement this. In its essence mobility is used to increase the time it takes to generate force in an explosive manner. If you have poor mobility now you have to have more force production to overcome the loss of time. The best way to understand this is the jet and runway analogy. Let’s say we have two jets on their own runway but jet 1 has 300 feet of runway and jet 2 has 100 feet of a runway which jet will have to accelerate faster to take off? The more runway for the jet is the same as having more mobility or range of motion for the pitcher. More mobility equals fewer acceleration forces needed to throw hard.

This metric measures Hip Internal Rotation which would affect the pitcher’s ability to load his drive leg before leg drive.

Please share this data and help change the game with me!

Hip Flexion Right & Left Increases Pitching Velocity

This metric would support a pitcher’s trunk tilts moving forward over this landing leg to load the throwing arm into external rotation. More flexion means more ability to create more trunk tilts which have a high correlation to pitching velocity.

Please share this data and help change the game with me!

Trunk Rotation Right & Left Increases Pitching Velocity

This metric gives the pitcher the ability to separate the trunk from the hips to give the arm more time to effectively load during the throwing motion. It also multiples more forces to the trunk rotation as it builds core torque.

Please share this data and help change the game with me!

Will Baseball Evolve to this Information

Since I started TopVelocity back in 2007, I have seen baseball slowly evolve to this new information. It definitely isn’t in a hurry. I also worked for one of the biggest spenders in the MLB, the Dodgers, as a BioMechanics Analysis who once told me that what I was doing with baseball took too much bandwidth. So, it is evolving but not by the help of most of its influencers. If more MLB teams were behind this evolution, the MLB would be leading the world in biomechanics. Unfortunately, currently, their efforts are focused on ball and game data, not biomechanics.

Why is this information important because it will one day have the ability to predict injury and player potential which will save the MLB billions of dollars. It will do this by showing coaches and players what movements and abilities are riskier. This means coaches will actually have to coach and not just generally prescribe weighted ball programs or long toss programs to their pitchers, in hopes, they survive the extreme throwing. They will have to actually analyze them and teach them the better movements and train them with strength and conditioning programs that are focused towards their needs as a healthy well-rounded athlete.

This level of coaching actually exists today but unless you are registered for an upcoming 3X or 2X Velocity Camp, you will not experience this evolution in the game of baseball for a long time!

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4 Comments. Leave new

[…] Vertical Jump & More Increases Pitching Velocity (by Brent Pourciau, TopVelocity.net) […]

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[…] Vertical Jump & More Increases Pitching Velocity (by Brent Pourciau, TopVelocity.net) […]

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91-95 n=6
86-90 n=14
81-85 n=63
76-80 n=65
71-75 n=33

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Wait, I’m confused. I know you say that the n=181 but the way that you set up the charts you can’t actually tell how many athletes are in each group. How can I find out that number?

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