developing a new pitch

Developing a New Pitch- A Twelve Part Series

Aug 03, 2023

This series covers aspects of the pitch development process not typically presented, discussed or even considered by most instructors or pitchers. We'll go way beyond, "how do you grip your slider?" or "how many pitches do you throw?" or "how do you make your ball move that way?" as there is so much more to it than that.

Join me in this deep dive into the process to create a new useful weapon for your arsenal.

There are many good videos available on how to use the various ball tracking technologies, high speed cameras and markings on a baseball to see exactly how the ball is coming off your hand and what the spin axis is and so on. I'll go into detail on these later in this series. It's really the best way to get that kind of information on your pitches and I recommend you use it.

Your phone and a sharpie can provide you with a lot of useful information even if you don't have a pitch tracking technology available.




A little background

Before beginning the series, I think a little background will be helpful. I started playing adult baseball at the age of 38 after roughly a 15 year break from the game. I pitched in college, very little actually, except in summer leagues, and was an all-state pitcher in high school as a mid-80s lefty with one pitch; a two seam fastball. My change-up was average at best and my curveball was even worse. Jack Morris was dominating the game with his split-finger, so I toyed around with it, but it wasn't very consistent. By the end of my college career my velocity touched upper 80s, but I was still a one-trick pony. 

Before toeing the rubber again, I researched extensively everything I could find about pitching and training pitchers because I was planning to start my own baseball training company. I tested everything out on myself before actually working with anyone else. This helped me develop a pretty good changeup and regain the velocity from my collegiate days. At 38, this allowed me to have great success throwing mostly fastballs. For the first several years playing adult baseball, these were my two offerings


Fast Forward

Now, nearly 20 years later, my arsenal now includes a slider. I've been thinking lately that I might want to add a fourth pitch, but I don't want just another pitch... I want it to be a weapon.

Sometime last year, my buddy Vinny and I started playing catch regularly. That coupled with the training I did over the summer with my college and high school athletes took my throwing abilities to a new level - that's a story for another day. This progress made me realize that I can still get better.

Our catch play this year has an added twist. Vinny has decided to don the catcher's gear again; something he hasn't done since high school. So, I got to thinking. Perhaps developing a new pitch is the path to the next level of progress.

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