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roothog66 posted:

I think we sometimes get caught up in the whole "gotta hit 90" thing. In truth, there are a lot of D1 programs and not so many 90mph throwers that every school has a abundance of them. We visited two Mid-majors this weekend and watched their scrimmages. They are basically a week away from their first game. Both schools had radar displays. At school one, we didn't see their #1, but did see their #2 - #5 pitchers. None hit 90. Two of them, one a lefty, sat 82-83 and hit 85 a couple of times. The others all sat at around 85 and only a couple of them topped out at 87 and only a couple times each at that.

At school two, their #1 was a lefty sitting 90 and topping out at 92. This guy was the A-Sun pitcher of the year in 2016. However, the #2 was sitting 85, topping out at 87 twice over two innings and this guy was the pitcher of the year in the Cape Cod league last summer. He had great stuff and a very quick arm, but not a 90mph guy. The other pitchers, all freshmen and sophomores sat low-80's. 

After spreading them out over almost 300 D-1 schools, there aren't as many guys throwing 90 as you think. You can be a good D-1 pitcher without throwing 90+. 

I agree and would like to add, in my experience, while watching my "in state" SEC program go toe to toe with a top SEC program last season,  the difference was the in state had 3-90+ guys and the rest of the staff was 85-88 on average,  where the top program seemed to run freshman after freshman that were all mid 90 guys and never got to the starters.

 

I probably shouldn't have said what I did about guaranteed roster spots.  I just don't know how a competitive program can honestly do that.  I coached small college baseball for several years and never, not once, ever guaranteed a roster spot or anything else.  If someone I wasn't recruiting asked for one, I wouldn't even want that player.  How much confidence does a player have if he needs a guaranteed roster spot.  What if I guaranteed a roster spot to someone that became a cancer to the team?

Problem is, that is how I look at it and should know better that some might go about things much differently. So I'm sure there are some coaches that guarantee roster spots rather than have players earn it. Though I guess if a kid that was so good that I definitely wanted him and was only asking me to guarantee him a roster spot, I would have done that. Never remember anyone we were recruiting ever asking for any guarantees.  Then again maybe they did and it went in one ear and out the other.  When we really wanted someone, we would work with admissions, find grants and non athletic money, put together an offer, do everything possible to get him, so it was obvious he was going to at the very least be on the roster. But I wouldn't expect him to ask for a guaranteed spot and would hope he wants much more than a guaranteed roster spot.

2020Mom posted:

... I have read about the Driveline program where they use weighted balls and have heard differing opinions.  Any experience with any of your kids doing this and if so, at what age?  Other ideas or ways you know pitchers have increased velocity? ...

I am a very strong booster of the Driveline Program. My son was a devoted participant in Kyle's early iterations of the program, beginning his 13U summer when coming back from a "Little League" elbow case. He stayed with it through high school and was an extremely effective pitcher in HS. He was up to 87 off the mound by mid Senior season at (then) 5'7" 160 and surrendered one ER in his last HS season. His bat and speed got him recruited as a CF, but he still uses some of the Driveline concepts and is a +arm in the OF.

That said, and in answering your second question: the single best thing a developing HS-aged player can do for any aspect of their athletic performance, including throwing velocity, is lift heavy, correctly, under authentic supervision. Heavy is self explanatory. But lifting correctly while receiving real guidance on form, movement, and progression cannot be had just anywhere or from anyone selling memberships at the local big box gym. Add the benefits of a fully-researched, iterative throwing program and the results are synergistic.

PG,

I have great respect for your input and experiences.  I will respectfully add my two cents again around guaranteed roster spots...

My boys want to be starters on their teams.  Not roster spot holders. 

At no time did we encounter a coach who committed to my boys any playing time or position, only a chance to compete for such in the Spring.  Every coach that offered a guaranteed Spring roster spot did that conditionally, i.e., for the first Spring only, and presuming appropriate academic, athletic and off the field behavior. 

And the coaches that offered scholarships, or preferred walk on status, or guaranteed Spring roster spots, etc., did so after seeing my boys play, i.e., the kids "earned" it during the recruiting process.  And yes, it could be taken away if the players don't do the appropriate academic, athletic, and off the field work.

We did encounter many coaches recruiting kids for Fall rosters and Fall tryouts.  My boys received recruiting phone calls, emails, texts, etc., from coaches as did my boys' peers.  Some coaches were transparent about this.  Some weren't.  Ultimately just recruiting them to come to college to tryout in the Fall.  We certainly had coaches ask my boys "are you afraid of competition?".

My boys aren't afraid of competition.  They just want to play college baseball at a school that fits academically and athletically.

IMHO, if a coach is actively recruiting a player, that should be for the first Spring roster.  Nothing more, nothing less.  If a player is not recruited and just goes to an open Fall tryout, then let the chips fall where they may.

Recruiting players for a Fall roster only and Fall tryout is fine by me if the coach is 100% transparent that they are doing this.  As I mentioned, our local D2 had over 90 players out this Fall.  Most, but not all, of these players had been recruited by the coaching staff.

Some coaches are incented by admissions to bring as many kids as possible in the door.  Some coaches don't want to make any commitments until after everyone tries out in the Fall. Understanding that as a prospective college player / parent is a very important part of the process IMO.

tres_arboles posted:
TPM posted:

justbaseball hasn't been around in a while, but as some are aware, he has 2 sons in professional ball.  You all should check out Tyler Davis, attended Washington State.

 

University of Washington. Confusing the two is somewhat like confusing Wake and Clemson. 

You are right, lost my mind posting so late at night!  

No confusion distinguishing between wake and clemson!

Last edited by TPM
tres_arboles posted:
2020Mom posted:

... I have read about the Driveline program where they use weighted balls and have heard differing opinions.  Any experience with any of your kids doing this and if so, at what age?  Other ideas or ways you know pitchers have increased velocity? ...

I am a very strong booster of the Driveline Program. My son was a devoted participant in Kyle's early iterations of the program, beginning his 13U summer when coming back from a "Little League" elbow case. He stayed with it through high school and was an extremely effective pitcher in HS. He was up to 87 off the mound by mid Senior season at (then) 5'7" 160 and surrendered one ER in his last HS season. His bat and speed got him recruited as a CF, but he still uses some of the Driveline concepts and is a +arm in the OF.

That said, and in answering your second question: the single best thing a developing HS-aged player can do for any aspect of their athletic performance, including throwing velocity, is lift heavy, correctly, under authentic supervision. Heavy is self explanatory. But lifting correctly while receiving real guidance on form, movement, and progression cannot be had just anywhere or from anyone selling memberships at the local big box gym. Add the benefits of a fully-researched, iterative throwing program and the results are synergistic.

I put up 895lbs in the big 3 lifts.  Let's just say I never got anywhere close to mid 80s.  My friends could barely curl 20lbs yet touched mid 80s.  Go figure.  

hsbaseball101 posted:
tres_arboles posted:
2020Mom posted:

... I have read about the Driveline program where they use weighted balls and have heard differing opinions.  Any experience with any of your kids doing this and if so, at what age?  Other ideas or ways you know pitchers have increased velocity? ...

I am a very strong booster of the Driveline Program. My son was a devoted participant in Kyle's early iterations of the program, beginning his 13U summer when coming back from a "Little League" elbow case. He stayed with it through high school and was an extremely effective pitcher in HS. He was up to 87 off the mound by mid Senior season at (then) 5'7" 160 and surrendered one ER in his last HS season. His bat and speed got him recruited as a CF, but he still uses some of the Driveline concepts and is a +arm in the OF.

That said, and in answering your second question: the single best thing a developing HS-aged player can do for any aspect of their athletic performance, including throwing velocity, is lift heavy, correctly, under authentic supervision. Heavy is self explanatory. But lifting correctly while receiving real guidance on form, movement, and progression cannot be had just anywhere or from anyone selling memberships at the local big box gym. Add the benefits of a fully-researched, iterative throwing program and the results are synergistic.

I put up 895lbs in the big 3 lifts.  Let's just say I never got anywhere close to mid 80s.  My friends could barely curl 20lbs yet touched mid 80s.  Go figure.  

Yeah, I've always looked at weight lifting as something that can help some pitchers, but not a guarantee. My 2018 started lifting weights early first semester, but an injury put a halt to that. So, basically, other than that one week, he's never lifted. The write ups on him always include "big, strong build." He is 6' 4" / 225 (was 235). He has huge arms and legs. Looks like he could lift a barn. However, in reality, he maxes out benching 120 lbs. with effort and only benches around 200 lb. max. He took the mound last night for the first time since Labor Day and hit 92 mph. So, you can either say he didn't need weight training or he would have hit a 100 if he'd bulked up.

Branson,

I understand and I wasn't referring to your boys.  I even know that some kids are guaranteed a roster spot by some college coaches.  For those coaches that has worked out well for... Fine.  

I get it... The kid knows he is getting a chance.  I could guarantee that every kid will get a chance.  Not sure why anyone needs to guarantee more than that, though I know some do.

I stand by what I mentioned earlier regarding guaranteed roster spots. Maybe not in every case, but I know there are some college coaches that have to reach a quota.  Enrollment is the thing, baseball brings them students.  I couldn't coach at one of those type colleges, but I don't really see anything wrong with it either.

Truth is, there is nothing wrong with roster spots being guaranteed. At DI I can't imagine it happening, but guess it could.  Anyway, if it happens and it works out well, good enough.  But what exactly does a guaranteed roster spot really mean?  Is it spelled out in writing?

I have to admit, I know very little about guaranteed roster spots.  I have no experience with that.  I only know it happens, but there are players with baseball scholarships that sometimes don't make the roster.  Anyway, if it sounds like I'm arguing, I'm not.  I'm sure you know much more than I do about guaranteed roster spots.  All I have is an opinion on the subject.

tres_arboles posted:
2020Mom posted:

... I have read about the Driveline program where they use weighted balls and have heard differing opinions.  Any experience with any of your kids doing this and if so, at what age?  Other ideas or ways you know pitchers have increased velocity? ...

I am a very strong booster of the Driveline Program. My son was a devoted participant in Kyle's early iterations of the program, beginning his 13U summer when coming back from a "Little League" elbow case. He stayed with it through high school and was an extremely effective pitcher in HS. He was up to 87 off the mound by mid Senior season at (then) 5'7" 160 and surrendered one ER in his last HS season. His bat and speed got him recruited as a CF, but he still uses some of the Driveline concepts and is a +arm in the OF.

That said, and in answering your second question: the single best thing a developing HS-aged player can do for any aspect of their athletic performance, including throwing velocity, is lift heavy, correctly, under authentic supervision. Heavy is self explanatory. But lifting correctly while receiving real guidance on form, movement, and progression cannot be had just anywhere or from anyone selling memberships at the local big box gym. Add the benefits of a fully-researched, iterative throwing program and the results are synergistic.

Thank you Tres. I appreciate the advice. 

BackstopDad32 posted:

There are D1 schools (mainly private) who have generous institional merit or need based aid for the right student. I have seen it not unusual for them to offer roster spots in lieu of scholarship money that they would normally offer. All about stretching those 11.7 as far as possible. 

That would be our case were he good enough. Honestly we would get way more aid than any baseball scholarship they would offer. And since in their infinite wisdom NCAA says you can't combine the two we would have to decline the scholarship and take the aid. I think that is where guaranteed spots with no scholarship come to play. 

PGStaff posted:

Branson,

I understand and I wasn't referring to your boys.  I even know that some kids are guaranteed a roster spot by some college coaches.  For those coaches that has worked out well for... Fine.  

I get it... The kid knows he is getting a chance.  I could guarantee that every kid will get a chance.  Not sure why anyone needs to guarantee more than that, though I know some do.

I stand by what I mentioned earlier regarding guaranteed roster spots. Maybe not in every case, but I know there are some college coaches that have to reach a quota.  Enrollment is the thing, baseball brings them students.  I couldn't coach at one of those type colleges, but I don't really see anything wrong with it either.

Truth is, there is nothing wrong with roster spots being guaranteed. At DI I can't imagine it happening, but guess it could.  Anyway, if it happens and it works out well, good enough.  But what exactly does a guaranteed roster spot really mean?  Is it spelled out in writing?

I have to admit, I know very little about guaranteed roster spots.  I have no experience with that.  I only know it happens, but there are players with baseball scholarships that sometimes don't make the roster.  Anyway, if it sounds like I'm arguing, I'm not.  I'm sure you know much more than I do about guaranteed roster spots.  All I have is an opinion on the subject.

PG is definitely correct in stating that there are quotas that have to be met.  When your son shows up and there are a lot morewalk on  recruits than expected, now you know why. 

Last edited by TPM
Kyle Boddy posted:

Consider that weight lifting's biggest benefit may not be in velocity development, but injury prevention.

Oh, I agree. never meant to diminish a good weight program's injury prevention benefits. My previous comment was directed to a post concerning lift development and direct velocity correlation (or lack thereof). I do, however, believe weightlifting for baseball players needs to be closely tailored and organized. I see a lot of kids who just head to the gym and start lifting with no plan as to what they hope to achieve from it. I lift five days a week myself and admittedly am not all that well organized. But, then again, I'm a 50yo coach and not a player, so it's not going to matter much if I screw it up. 

As to velocity correlating with strength gains from weight lifting, I think it can be an immediate help for those who either don't bring enough mass or strength to generate the force necessary to bring about substantial velocity gains.

2020dad posted:

I think people look at this all wrong. Yes there are freaks like sale who can just flat bring it. But it is intuitive and common sense that strength can only help and can't hurt. Do not confuse strength with body building. Two different things. 

I'm with you and believe strength training is a very big component. Whatever works for you, do it! I wouldn't recommend anyone doing Jake Arrieta's training regimen but it works for him!

I agree with a lot of KB's teachings and know  a local college player that spent some time with him last summer, the kid was ripped, very athletic to begin with and was trying to find his true ceiling, in an attempt to earn an opportunity to get more innings. We'll see in a few weeks when rotations are set as he's a middle relief that was used very sparingly in the past. Kudos to the kid for reaching out for help and getting better!

Body mass and genetics are a funny thing. I don't pretend to know anything beyond what I've seen or observed. There are some great ideas and guidance around here, some I've taken, some I've chose not to.

There is a former MTS player, current Mets affiliate that trains at the same facility as my son. He's all of 5'-9", 160lbs ringing wet and brings it at 97!!! Who can explain, it's nothing short of amazing!

If someone were to put together a list of the 10 very best pitchers in the past 50 years or more, what would those pitchers look like?  Size? Body Type? Velocity? Command? Best Pitch? Etc.?

Just off the top of my head, others will probably have a different list...

Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Mariano Rivera, Steve Carleton.

The list above includes Tall, Short, and in between. Skinny, muscular, and in between. LHP and RHP. Pitchers that relied on high velocity, command, special pitches, etc. Even different training methods.  I think any list would be just as diversified. 

To me, it just shows that there is more than one way to accomplish greatness.

PGStaff posted:

If someone were to put together a list of the 10 very best pitchers in the past 50 years or more, what would those pitchers look like?  Size? Body Type? Velocity? Command? Best Pitch? Etc.?

Just off the top of my head, others will probably have a different list...

Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Mariano Rivera, Steve Carleton.

The list above includes Tall, Short, and in between. Skinny, muscular, and in between. LHP and RHP. Pitchers that relied on high velocity, command, special pitches, etc. Even different training methods.  I think any list would be just as diversified. 

To me, it just shows that there is more than one way to accomplish greatness.

Can't argue with that list.

PGStaff posted:

If someone were to put together a list of the 10 very best pitchers in the past 50 years or more, what would those pitchers look like?  Size? Body Type? Velocity? Command? Best Pitch? Etc.?

Just off the top of my head, others will probably have a different list...

Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Mariano Rivera, Steve Carleton.

The list above includes Tall, Short, and in between. Skinny, muscular, and in between. LHP and RHP. Pitchers that relied on high velocity, command, special pitches, etc. Even different training methods.  I think any list would be just as diversified. 

To me, it just shows that there is more than one way to accomplish greatness.

Great post.    Thanks for your contributions here PG.  They are appreciated. 

TPM posted:

Missing Dennis Martinez.

While its a great list, most of those pitchers were from a different era.  

That is true.  Just as an example, how far back do you have to go to find a Cy Young winner under six feet tall?    I believe it's Tim Lincecum in ~2009/10?

Most are of the top pitchers these days are 6'2 to 6'5 and are more power than crafty, I think.  Doesn't mean there aren't great smaller pitchers in the Bigs or college but I think your point is well taken.    

If a kid gets to 92-93 by the time the NLI signing period comes around a big program coach is going to find space for him. Chances are a kid throwing 88-89 is going to have until after post soph summer or junior year to make a decision. 

If this is all about throwing 92-93 and getting drafted it doesn't matter when the kid gets there. Not every pitching prospect (top ten rounds) plays at a ranked program. A friend's son played at a D3. He was at 84 in high school. He was drafted because he threw 93 his senior year of college.

My apologies if this is crude. But the joke is appropriate to the situation. 

A young bull and old bull were standing at the top of the hill. They looked down and saw a herd of heifers. The young bull suggested they run down there as fast as they can and each grab themselves a heifer. The old bull calmly suggested they walk down, size up the situation and have as many options as they can handle.

Last edited by RJM
hsbaseball101 posted:

Most velocity gains I'm guessing is attributed to growth spurts.  A 5'11 170lb kid is probably going to throw way harder than his former 5'2 120lb self.  I'm curious if any adult has ever tried a velocity program without a previous injury that increased their velocity?  

When asked what we did for our son my top answer was fed him and watched him grow. Once in high school he had hitting lessons to optimize his swing, pitching lessons to optimize his pitching mechanics and velocity and did a speed camp geared towards running the sixty.

Go figure he was a different player as a 6'1" 170 junior than a 5'11" 135 freshman (grew to 6'2" 195) I used to enjoy teasing him his sister was a 5'10" 140 pound freshman (played college softball at 150).

Last edited by RJM
Dadof3 posted:
2020dad posted:

My son has not showcased and will not until he hits some numbers we have in mind that would make it worth it.  He is closing in on the hitting end not so much with pitch velocity.  We have yet to try driveline but seriously considering the $400 deal.  Given the amount we have spent over the years...  I will certainly ask him to throw with his football mouthpiece in - that's free, what is there to lose?  In short we are willing to try about anything or at least entertain it.  Not mechanically though we have to keep focused on improving  mechanics and don't want to keep changing every time some questionable expert suggests something.  My son has not been recruited and likely will have to sell himself more than be recruited.  Will have to convince some team he will be the good soldier at the end of the bullpen, work hard and be a good teammate.  However even that will not be possible without a velocity increase.  He pitched in 17 games last year about 13 being starts.  He lost only one.  The last game of the year when he was completely exhausted from football workouts.  He IS that guy many talk about.  The guy who doesn't walk people (except when maybe you should), is a student of the game, throws mulitple pitches effectively and gets a lot of ground balls - he is a pitcher not a thrower.  You know who cares about all that travel ball success?  Him, his coaches, teammates and sometimes me.  That's where the list ends.  No college coach cares how well he does.  We had a total of one guy talk to us last year when he was 14 and its really questionable how legitimate that was.  VELOCITY IS KING.  Don't ever doubt that.  And you can't sit around and wait for it to happen magically.  That's all we 2020ish crowd are saying.  Nobody is ready to jump off a bridge cause their son doesn't have an early offer.  Nobody is wigging out and we sure as heck aren't naive.  If you think you can sit around and wait for it to magically happen then you are naive.  Hope is not a plan.  I would encourage all parents of 8th graders and freshmen to get the kid to work.  You are laying the foundation now for the improvements that will get your kid recruited later.  Do not be deceived into believing you are some how out of control and should just sit back and wait.

What was his velocity?  Aren't there pitchers in the Majors who aren't the fastest but have great movement?  I truly don't know the answer to that.

The pitchers with less velocity and great moment started with velocity. As they got older experience, command and savvy got them where they used to get with velocity. 

When people bring up Maddux and Colon as examples of pitchers who don't throw hard I point out Maddux once cruised 93. Colon was mid to upper 90's. He hit 100 in a game when he was a lot younger.

2020dad posted:
Shoveit4Ks posted:
Dominik85 posted:
A super lanky 6“4 guy who thows 85 might still get interest

PLENTY of bigger, lower velo guys get attention, sign Power 5 D1 and/or get drafted. Even RHPs. You've heard it here, pro ball can develop players and college usually prefers to have kids who can contribute sooner. Plenty of D1s have pitchers who may touch 90 but live below it and there are plenty from either side that are 85-88 and throw 4 pitches for strikes. 

We need to separate college from MLB.  This is 100% true.  There are a bunch of guys even D1 who aren't even capable of hitting 90.  I have said a million times on here it is a complete and total myth that everyone in D1 throws 90.  And 85 or 86 is that number I have said many times can get you there.  Not gonna pitch on sunday for a power 5 probably but some mid to low D1 will pick you up for sure if you are 85 and great pitchability.  

People often confuse cruising speed with max speed when they talk college velocity. Max speed gets you recruited. Cruise speed wins games.

Goblue33 posted:
TPM posted:

Missing Dennis Martinez.

While its a great list, most of those pitchers were from a different era.  

That is true.  Just as an example, how far back do you have to go to find a Cy Young winner under six feet tall?    I believe it's Tim Lincecum in ~2009/10?

Most are of the top pitchers these days are 6'2 to 6'5 and are more power than crafty, I think.  Doesn't mean there aren't great smaller pitchers in the Bigs or college but I think your point is well taken.    

Plus we know some of these pitchers came from the steroid era.

2020dad posted:
Shoveit4Ks posted:
Dominik85 posted:
A super lanky 6“4 guy who thows 85 might still get interest

PLENTY of bigger, lower velo guys get attention, sign Power 5 D1 and/or get drafted. Even RHPs. You've heard it here, pro ball can develop players and college usually prefers to have kids who can contribute sooner. Plenty of D1s have pitchers who may touch 90 but live below it and there are plenty from either side that are 85-88 and throw 4 pitches for strikes. 

We need to separate college from MLB.  This is 100% true.  There are a bunch of guys even D1 who aren't even capable of hitting 90.  I have said a million times on here it is a complete and total myth that everyone in D1 throws 90.  And 85 or 86 is that number I have said many times can get you there.  Not gonna pitch on sunday for a power 5 probably but some mid to low D1 will pick you up for sure if you are 85 and great pitchability.  

My son pitches at a mid level D1.... they have three consistently over 90.. BUT if they keep throwing 90-92 all game they will get hit.  Most of the upper class guys sit are 87-90.... with better breaking balls and experience.   Some of the underclass guys show potential..... but freshman rarely pitch.  They are just not mentally and proficient enough to get through 5-7 innings.   

In high school everyone wants velo.... it wins.... but in college, while velo is great, it loses a little of the importance.  If you are throwing in D1 you need "controlled" velo....command of the velo.... change the speed of the fast ball, placement, you need a faster sharper breaking ball than in HS and you need to be able to move it around.  You also need to learn the art of getting in pitchers counts, and getting the batter to swing at your pitch to be able to turn DP's  , youhave to size up a batters swing tendencies quickly... where he is at in the box, remember your scouting report. 

In HS you can throw 90 and win a lot of games and listen to the uninformed about how the kid is a at rounder..... its like that stud quarterback that goes to big U and never learns how to read defenses.... ends up a where are they now. 

There is no comparison to high school baseball and D1 ball  throwing 90 + is great in HS..... won't get many out in D1 ball.  I have seen many D1 pitchers throwing 86-87..... mid relievers with crazy curve and sliders and lefties too....  not too many starters though

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