Asonas wrote =

"i have one question too. how do you think - What MPH is the lower border an athletics person should be able to throw without any special talent for throwing a ball? i'm teaching myself and other guys pitching here in Latvia where we have no coaches. i'm the fastest thrower on the team and last year I topped out at 78 MPH (my teammates 65-74MPH). i think I can improve this year, and get at least over 80 just by improwing my mechanics. but what should I expect from other who maybe are athletic but not talented in throwing? i wonder how fast jonny damon is throwing - seems to not have a lot of talent for throwing :)

I have taken wayyyy to long to write back to my friends in Latvia, but here it is. First off, thank you for reading my blog, it's good to see it is read all over the world (I even had a comment in Chinese that I couldn't post last week because it was, well, in Chinese). A couple things to let you know about Asonas, the speed of a pitch is only 1/3 of the pitching, the other 2/3 are made up of location (where you pitch it) and movement on the baseball (depending on grips and arm angles). Also, any American pitching coach wouldn't like you referring to pitching as throwing, because pitching means something much different than throwing. Pitching= art. Throwing= throwing something. Not sure if you and your friends are pitchers, but for those who aren't they can still call it throwing :)

To answer your first question, it's actually a very tough question which could have many different answers. But, the average speed of a grown man who doesn't have any pitching coaching in their life I would say 65-75 is decent. Every MPH above that is harder and harder to achieve, but the Internet is a wonderful tool, and there are many ways to read about proper pitching mechanics. For others I would say maybe only 5 MPH less on average, so 60-70MPH would be the average for a grown man (20+).

I never threw hard growing up. I was a guy who mastered his location before figuring out how to throw hard. I got a college scholarship throwing 80-82 MPH, but being able to throw pitches where I wanted to. Then I figured my body out when I was playing in Belgium at age 22, and figured out how to throw 90MPH. So, here's a couple pitching tips to maybe accelerate your fastballs a couple MPH.

-When your throwing hand splits from your glove (which should happen at the exact same time as your knee drops from your leg kick) make sure it stays in an even line behind your body, if you let it get to far behind you, you will lose power, and the batter may have a chance to see what you're throwing.

-Extend! When you release the ball, see how close you can release it to your target. Pretend that you are trying to throw the ball through the glove, not just to it.

-Stand tall. Pretend there is a string going from your butt through your spine, and out through the top of your head, attached to something in the sky, or on the roof.

-Make sure your elbows are up. When your stride foot lands, you should be at the power position. Both elbows at shoulder height, front one flat and.... just check out the picture I found on google.

Johnny Damon has maybe the worst arm of any major leaguer, that's why he's a left fielder... if he wasn't fast he would be a DH, or out of baseball, but speed is so important at that level.
I wish you all the best, and I hope to hear good news that you have raised above 80 MPH, and your friends are approaching 78 MPH!!


ansonas said...

thank's a lot for Your post! i know you're right about the differences in throwing and pitching :)
i got a radar gun today, so we'll see my hopefully improvements in the evening!

Iain said...

ansonas, good luck.. every little bit helps. Leon, "make sure it stays in an even line behind your body, if you let it get to far behind you, you will lose power, and the batter may have a chance to see what you're throwing.", does this make Brett Cecil a freak?

Leon 44 said...

Yes. He goes way back there, in spring training I was behind the backstop, and I could tell what he was throwing every time, but, it still comes hard and moves... Rzepczynski will be a more effective lefthanded pitcher in the big league roation next year. Hides the ball, downhill plane, movement, and a swing a miss slider.... watch out for him. Also, he's dumb enough to win 16-17 games this year and no realize how big that is. Love you Zep!