Bloggers Without Pants (and 8th Grade Verbal Commits)
Had a kid come in for a Precision Strike One Day One-on-One Evaluation and Training Session. He’s a senior in high school who has been working with us since his freshman year.
We’ll call him Cade.
When I first met Cade he had some significant mechanical issues and physical constraints. He had a big forearm flyout, and inverted w, early torso rotation and a quad dominant lower half. After our initial encounter, I didn’t see him for a while until he returned with severe elbow pain. We got that under control, and he kept in touch with us and continued his training program. But his velocity was slow to come.
Then last summer he emerged. He began throwing much harder and got up to 93 mph. Needless to say, he began to draw some attention. But there was a problem. Since he was a late bloomer, many of the major D1 schools had already run out of money for players in his class and could not offer him a scholarship.
He took an offer from a mid-major and continued to improve to the point that he was starting to get some pro interest.
During his video analysis I remarked at how proud I was of his hard work and how far he had come since that first evaluation almost 4 years ago. We found a few tweaks we thought might help him, and as we finished he said this:
“When I throw hard, I usually finish sideways to the plate with my rear end facing the 3rd base dugout. A scouting organization wrote up a report on me and the guy said I needed to finish in a better fielder’s position. What do you think?”
I nearly fell out of my chair!
Are you kidding me?
This kid is fuzzing 93 and they want him to finish in a fielder’s position?
Who are these guys?!!
I had a similar occurrence with very high-end high school guy last year right before the draft. This is a kid I had worked with since he was a young boy, and he was doing great! Then the scouting blogs started breaking down his delivery. They said they wanted him to get rid of his “drop and drive” approach, and create more of a downhill plane. They didn’t like his short arm action and thought he needed to “get more extension.”
What the what?!
The kid was throwing 96!!!!
He tried to become what they wanted him to be. He stood tall, lengthened his arm action and tried to get extension. The result was debilitating medial elbow pain that caused him to miss his last 3 high school starts.
His draft stock plummeted.
It may have cost this kid millions.
Here’s what I told Cade today (as soon as I regained my balance and cleared my head).
“Really Cade? Do you think you need to worry about fielding your position? You’re 50 ft away from home plate and you’re supposed to play hockey goalie when you have 2 really good guys up the middle who are doing their darned well best to get you out this jam with a 6-4-3… and you’re gonna save the day with a skate save?!
Let it go!!!
And if they bunt?… good… they’re soft!
Here’s what you do… listen closely… it’s kind of complicated… you finish your pitch, then you run over an pick up the ball and throw it to first base.
(Says the guy sitting in his underwear writing this right now :).
Cade’s story illuminates 2 major problems in the game right now.
First… the current practice of committing 9th and even 8th graders to colleges is insane!! How can anyone make a projection of ability on a guy who doesn’t even have armpit hair yet? The major players all do it! They try to be the first to the dance and when guys like Cade emerge late, they get missed. Dudes who were shaving at 12 and topped out at 84 in the 9th grade plateau and the 93mph late bloomers are left on the sidelines.
Second… Can we all PLEASE stop ultra-dissecting and carving up the deliveries of young pitchers who are killing it -especially if all we are going to do is regurgitate the mainstream nonsense clichés like downhill plane, short arming, and fielder’s position?
None of that matters!!!
There are only 4 things that should be in that report:
- Is he hitting targets?
- What does the radar gun say (how’s his stuff?)
- Is he pain free
- And are the dudes with the bats in their hands going back to the dugout?
That is ALL that matters!
and little men going back to the dugout!!!
That is it!!
Beyond that, let’s leave the guy alone and let him figure it out.
Hey underwear blogger!!
Tell us about those four things, and those four things only…
Then click over to farmersonly.com and finish your night in peace.
And while you’re at it…
PUT SOME PANTS ON!!
See you at The Ranch.
Randy Sullivan, MPT
CEO Florida Baseball Ranch
P.S. Having arm pain or velo woes? Call us and schedule your own Precision Strike today