Pitching Lesson (and DisneyWorld)
Hey everyone back again and I think you will like the post this week. I am getting closer to being back in games so I have decided to give you a little bit of insight on myself and take you behind the scenes to let you see how I make my pitches do what they do and maybe even teach the younger guys a grip or two if you’re lucky! The other subject of discussion is one of my dreams came true last off day. I had my first trip to DisneyWorld and I will say it lived up to its expectations. We all had a ton of fun!
Back to the good stuff… Pitching. Anyone who knows me or has seen me play knows I am a high intensity player. I love flying out of the bullpen in the later innings with the music playing, knowing I have to get the last three outs in a tough game. I love the adrenaline rush and I love seeing fans in the seats and going out there to do my job. With all of that said, if you can’t throw strikes or have quality pitches, it really will be tough to get outs in any league, whether it’s high school or pro ball.
One thing I will start with for the young players and everyone reading is learn your pitches and get comfortable with them in any situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2-0 count or a 0-2 count , bases loaded or no one on, you have to know you can throw all of your pitches in that situation.
I’ll start with my four-seam fastball. This as well as the two-seam has got to be a go-to pitch and you have to be able to throw it at anytime. The four-seam will be a straighter pitch and should be the harder of my two fastballs. You can use this to get inside on a lefty’s hands as a right-handed pitcher or throw it up in the zone to blow it by someone. To go along with that I use a two-seam fastball as well. This may be a mile or two slower than the four-seam and I’m trying to get the ball to sink when I throw it, working on getting ground balls or quick outs. The less pitches you can throw in a inning or to each hitter, the longer you can stay in games. At the end of the day you don’t want to be pulled with a high pitch count early in the game consistently. You may not be the bullpen’s favorite!
Next let get into a little bit of the off-speed game and to be honest it is one of my favorites. This is where a young pitcher can really shine, being able to throw off-speed pitches for strikes. I throw a spike slider/curveball depending on the speed. I have found this grip is easy to control and really does have sharp movement. It will be harder than your traditional curveball and for myself it really is deceptive and comes out looking like a fastball. I grip on a different set of seams than most but you should play around with the grip and see what works best for you.
The last pitch and for real young guys the first off-speed pitch you should learn is the change-up. I throw a circle change that is gripped exactly how it sounds. This is one of the most deceptive pitches in baseball and I think it is overlooked at the upper levels. It comes out looking exactly like a fastball but is 6-10 miles an hour slower which is a ton. If you can master this pitch you will notice a big difference throwing it in fastball counts which are typically counts where you are behind. Feel free to ask me questions in the comments below if you have anything you want to know.
Okay onto a little bit of a different subject: Disneyworld! What a trip! All done in one day. Literally woke up at 6 am and hit the road and pulled back in around 10pm. I had never been there and really had no idea what to expect. My sister SaraBeth, girlfriend Guin, and buddy and also fellow-TJ rehabber Jay Voss all packed it in the car and made the trip with me.
We started off at Magic Kingdom for Guin. Of course she loves all Disney movies, and we took pics in front of the castle, saw a performance, rode Space Mountain and had a coke float which was unreal because I was at Disneyworld. A side note: don’t hold your hands up on Space Mountain. It does get a little sketchy haha (low ceilings)… Next we were off to Animal Kingdom for Jay. All the guy could talk about for days is the animal safari! We saw so many cool animals, did the River Rapids and the Everest expedition. It had been a long day by this point so we went to Asia and grabbed some food from the locals which was unreal.
After we had a late lunch it was on to Hollywood to see if we were movie stars. We all got caught in a sketchy elevator at some Hollywood hotel which they call the Hollywood Tower of Terror. Turned out to be the best part of my day. We all rode it but Jay Voss got a bit scared and sat it out and viewed it from ground level. At the end of the day we all had a great day I left with a new coffee mug for the field and many memories I will always cherish. If you have never been there you have to check it out. You won’t regret it. I did forget one big part. It was raining the whole time so we did get a bit wet!
Mother’s Day is coming up soon everyone! I will be writing my next blog on my mother which means a lot to me so make sure in check in next week! Hope everyone has a good week. Check me out on twitter @jordanswagerty God bless!