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Are Power pitchers born or made?

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Are Power pitchers born or made?

Postby Music2004Man » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:52 am

I'm just curious if there is a precedent for pitchers drastically increasing their SO numbers after a couple of years in the league? Brett Myers went from striking out 6.5-7 guys/9 during the minors and his first three years in the majors to striking out almost a player an inning last year. This seems like a big jump to me and I'm wondering if it's a fluke or if power pitchers generally develop over time and increase their K percentage. Thanks for any help.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:25 am

The arms are born, the pitchers are made. ;-D
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Postby raiders_umpire » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:18 am

pitchers are made,,, heck i wasn't but about 155 lbs. in high school and I was regularly hitting 88 and 89 on the radar gun,,, but a good friend of mine was near 200 lbs and mainly all muscle and the best he could muster was around 84 or 85... my mechanics were superior to his so i got more heat on my fastball....
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Postby WharfRat » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:53 am

Well, of course if you're not born without the natural ability/potential throw pretty hard, that's not something you can really "learn." I'm sure guys have added mph to their heater as they learn to pitch, but guys like Burnett have a god-given ability to simply throw hard. I'd say power pitchers are born, but good power pitchers are made. Perfect example: Unit. He could always throw hard, but he had to learn control (and talk to Nolan Ryan) to unlock all that potential.
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:01 am

WharfRat wrote:Well, of course if you're not born without the natural ability/potential throw pretty hard, that's not something you can really "learn." I'm sure guys have added mph to their heater as they learn to pitch, but guys like Burnett have a god-given ability to simply throw hard. I'd say power pitchers are born, but good power pitchers are made. Perfect example: Unit. He could always throw hard, but he had to learn control (and talk to Nolan Ryan) to unlock all that potential.

I agree. You're either born with a 95+ fastball or you're not. You're not going to take someone who can't get it up over 90 on a consistent basis and turn him into the next Roger Clemens or Nolan Ryan.
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Postby chadlincoln » Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:24 am

Pogotheostrich wrote:The arms are born, the pitchers are made. ;-D

There is some genetics in it. I'm never going to hit 100 MPH no matter how much weight lifting I do. Even if Mazonne spent every hour with me for five years I'd never hit it. So I agree. There is some raw body that needs to be there that not everyone has.
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Postby The Jury » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:33 pm

chadlincoln wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:The arms are born, the pitchers are made. ;-D

There is some genetics in it. I'm never going to hit 100 MPH no matter how much weight lifting I do. Even if Mazonne spent every hour with me for five years I'd never hit it. So I agree. There is some raw body that needs to be there that not everyone has.


On a side spin to this topic, how much of a factor do you think strength is in throwing a baseball? Just at a glance I'd say the most important factor is kinetics and arm speed, which I don't think can necessarily be improved with "buffing up." I'd say resistance training on pulleys, etc. can help develop more torque, but the bench press and the like I don't think really do much, any the added size and mass may actually slow down the arm speed.

For the record, I'm 5'7 and about 160.. I top out at 70 MPH, and I'm not sure how to (if possible) pack some more heat. I play most sports and I've got a pretty sound pitching delivery. Of course, in (high school) games I don't often bring the 70, it's usually a few MPH lower to get the location right, or some kind of breaking pitch/change. Do you think it's possible for me to say, get up to 80 MPH?
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:54 pm

I don't really think body type has much to do with it at all. Look at guys like Pedro (5'11" ~175) or Oswalt (6'0" ~180) and then guys like RJ (6'10" ~230) or (6'4" ~230). All of them can (or did at one point) bring it in the upper 90s. I still believe a lot of it's genetic like Jury was saying about arm speed and stuff like that, and I'm sure you can add a few MPH through coaching and training, but you're never going to go from Tim Wakefield to AJ Burnett no matter how hard you try.
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Postby Music2004Man » Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:58 pm

Thanks for the comments. I'm curious though have you guys seen pro pitchers jump from 7 k's/9 to 9k's/9? I'm curious if there is a fairly deep precedent for doing what Brett Myers did last year or if he will regress back to the mean. Thanks
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Postby Yoda » Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:03 pm

Music2004Man wrote:Thanks for the comments. I'm curious though have you guys seen pro pitchers jump from 7 k's/9 to 9k's/9? I'm curious if there is a fairly deep precedent for doing what Brett Myers did last year or if he will regress back to the mean. Thanks


A pitcher can gain some velocity by altering his mechanics. Also, adding another pitch to your repotiore helps in K rate.

As far as Myers goes, he always had pretty dominant stuff. I'm not sure if he developed a new pitch or not but most likely he refined his exisitng pitches and located them well as well as keeping the hitters off balance.
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