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Comparison of High Velocity and Low Velocity Pitch Deliveries

Stodden DF, Fleisig GS, McLean SP, Lyman SL, Andrews JR. Relationship of pelvis and upper torso kinematics to pitched baseball velocity. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 17(2):164-172, 2001.

Matsuo T, Escamilla RF, Fleisig GS, Barrentine SW, Andrews JF. Comparison of kinematic and temporal parameters between different pitch velocity groups. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 17(1): 1-13, 2001.

Stodden, DF, Fleisig, GS, McLean, SP, Andrews, JR. Relationship of Biomechanical Factors to Basebal Pitching Velocity: Within Pitcher Variation. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 21(1): 44-56, 2005


In three published studies, Dr. Glenn Fleisig and Dr. James R. Andrews from ASMI worked with other researchers in studying many of the parameters that affect baseball pitch velocity. Two of the studies looked between different pitchers and one study looked at variations within each pitcher. Motions during delivery were analyzed using a high speed (200 frames per second) infrared three-dimensional motion analysis system.


In the study by Matsuo and others, pitchers with higher ball velocity were compared with pitchers with lower ball velocity. Four significant differences were found between these two groups. Compared to the low ball velocity group, the higher ball velocity pitchers demonstrated less lead knee flexion velocity after front foot contact and greater lead knee extension velocity at the time of ball release. Extending the lead knee in this manner may provide stabilization allowing better energy transfer from the trunk to the throwing arm, and could be a critical factor in pitch velocity. Maximum shoulder external rotation and forward trunk tilt at ball release were also greater in the higher velocity group. Greater shoulder external rotation causes a stretch of the internal rotators allowing energy to be stored in these muscles, and creating greater internal rotation during the arm acceleration phase.
Originally posted by CADad:
There can be issues with the hyperextension of the knee but Nolan Ryan lasted a long time doing it. It may help with velocity for some pitchers.

Do you have clips to support this? I see that potential for serious injury. I believe most pitchers knees don't go past 180 degrees. I know Beckett does not.

The MLB seems to have pulled clips of a lot of players off of YouTube. MLB nice way to develop interest in future ball players.
I don't know if Ryan and others went past 180 degrees. I thought you were referring to being fully extended as hyperextension, my bad. I'm not sure I see anything over 180 degrees in that clip.

In any case, given that this pitcher uses that basic approach I doubt he has any choice as to being 180 degrees or 180+.
Last edited by CADad
In response to your Private Message.
First of all congratulations on your college news.
As to your mechanics, I will address your leg kick. It is a little high, but as long as you keep it from going behind the rubber, you will be able to keep runners at first close. Remember, the most important thing when bringing your leg up, is rolling your hips in. As long as you roll your hips in, your leg will automatically raise to a comfortable position. Do not worry about your stiff front-landing leg, that is what makes you comfortable. I am concerned with your glove dropping so low in a non controlled way. I would prefer to see it out front balancing then to a controlled manner, bringing it back either to your chest or thigh, whatever is comfortable. Whatever your right arm does, your left arm will follow in that position. An analogy: It is like an airplane, whatever the right wing does, the left wing does the opposite.
Last edited by MLBVeteran

I am trying to understand your term of "rolling your hips in". Using the video posted above are the hips rolling in when; the right leg raises to about its highest point, and then the right hip turns slightly toward first base ???

And if that is "rolling the hips in", is the desired effect to add torque ??

Thanks in advance for your answer !!

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