I got a text from an athlete I work with today. He asked if I could work with him this summer in getting his arm stronger so he could increase his velocity. I replied that it wasn’t his arm that created the pitching velocity. I told him I’d help him but what I really wanted to help him develop was a couple more solid pitches.
I know we write a lot about this, but man, if you’re going to be a pitcher, you have to work at being deceptive. There is no way around it. You don’t just end up having a nasty two-seamer. You don’t just stumble upon a splitter or curveball that drops off the table.
You must enjoy the work that comes with the job of being a pitcher; the reward is so great. In college, it was hugely satisfying to make a hitter look foolish on an off speed pitch. You don’t have to throw 100 mph to win games, but you do have to locate your pitches and change things up a bit.
One of the best examples of deception is Dan Haren from the Angles. Even though he isn’t a household name, he has the 3rd most strikeouts in Major League Baseball since 2005. His fastball is just 91-93 mph, nothing special at that level. BUT, well, I think I’ll just let you look at the movement he creates on his pitches. Once you watch the clip below you’ll understand why he relies big time on deception. By the way, my favorite pitch is the one that comes at the 1:37 mark!
You’ve also got a couple options in learning some new grips. Our Baseball Pitching Grips DVD, or, if you’re in a hurry because your fastball just doesn’t have enough hair on it to blow by hitters, you can pick up the digital download of a bunch of grips. Either way, you’ll significantly improve your knowledge.