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Buckmaster

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My son will most likely pitch Saturday and Sunday. He understands that pitching is all about throwing strikes. He intentionally lays off the velocity to obtain better control. During fall ball last year he threw 204 strikes and 204 balls for an even 50%/50% count. I considered that pretty good for being 9 years old. I'd like him to try mixing up his velocity a little more to keep the batters "off" a little. He strives to be Mr. Consistency which is good but I would like to see some continuous improvement and mixing it up a little. I'll show him Mason's video tonight. Maybe with a little boy to boy demonstration he will realize what I'm trying to have him adopt within his skill set.
 

jagermeister

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My son will most likely pitch Saturday and Sunday. He understands that pitching is all about throwing strikes.
100%. The most successful pitchers have one thing in common. They all pound the strikezone. High velocity and good "stuff" can only get you out of so many jams if you're constantly behind in the count.

I think a lot of young pitchers would do themselves (and their teams) a lot of good if they spent more time learning to put movement on the ball. Not so much sliders and curve balls, but more along the lines of the subtle stuff... The cut fastballs that run in and two-seamers that tail away. Circle changeups that drop and fall away. These are pitches that put virtually no strain on an arm and can be some of the most effective. Watch Corey Kluber pitch... Not one of his pitches is thrown straight. They've all got some kind of movement.
 
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Strikes are key. If a kid can stay ahead in the count, the team will win with basic baseball skills.

In the previous video, there is a runner on second and third. They both reached on stupidity. A slow grounder the shortstop bobbled and a grounder to first that also went unfielded. Both of those errors reached home. Maddening.

Umpires are a strange animal. Each has his own strike zone. This particular guy doesn't seem to have a particular spot, it must be whatever he feels like calling. Notice the first pitch, a curve, and called a ball...
 
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And to Jim's point about pitches that move, the second pitch thrown was too high, but if you pay attention, you can see that it tails into the batter. He has thrown that thing since he was 8 or 9, found it completely by accident.
 

jagermeister

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And to Jim's point about pitches that move, the second pitch thrown was too high, but if you pay attention, you can see that it tails into the batter. He has thrown that thing since he was 8 or 9, found it completely by accident.
Yep! I saw that! Some kids just have natural movement caused by their particular arm slot or wrist action. He's the type of kid, with natural movement, who can really develop a nasty, devastating two-seam fastball with a few tweaks!
 

bowhunter1023

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Another miserable JV game in the books. This is the sort of garbage that cost games, or wins them depending on who is doing what.
As you continue to work on his mechanics, my suggestion would be to work with him on getting that lead legs to follow through more towards home than first base. His motion is a little "cross body" right now, so working on that "direct to home" approach will leave him in a better position to field those types of dribblers. That's a tough play at all levels tough. His catcher needs to leave his mask on and do a better job of blocking the front corner of the plate too.
 
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Honestly, he was off this day. I told him he was finishing high and crossing over, he already knew it. He said he couldn't finish low due to something on the mound. He claimed they had packed more clay into it and covered it with a loose layer and when he finished as he should he was sliding. I couldn't argue with him because I don't know what the heck he was talking about.
Regarding the catcher... good kid. Wants to catch, hasn't developed the skills and is not going to get them in the JV program. I have been biting my tongue all spring and I've about chewed it in two. The only work that boy has gotten on catching technique was the 15 minutes I spent with him before this game.... I'm dead serious when I tell you these boys are completely undercoached. This was only the third game they have played this season. Tanner (the kid catching) was my SS or 2nd base in Jr high. He hasn't caught since he was wee little. I had a much better catcher that I worked with a lot that will be fun to watch in high school... he's still in JR high. I drug Tanner off before this game, stepped on toes I'm sure, to explain sliding out, etc. He did much better this game than the other two from just a few minutes instruction, but he has a LONG way to go.

While I'm on my rant; have any of you ever seen a HS program where the first pitch a kid throws for the year is in a game? Welcome to Greenfield athletics. Seriously, Mason does well when he plays varsity because they can field a ball most days. However, even though they have talent, the rest of the pitching staff cannot throw strikes with the exception of two boys. One of those kids broke a leg badly in football and is not 100% yet, the other is a junior that had arm surgery after his 8th grade year... he threw 20 pitches before his first game, the only bullpen work he'd had all year, and then went in to pitch where they had him throw 134 pitches... BTW, you are only allowed to throw 125, and it would be risky to do that with a conditioned arm!

I HATE sports in this school system! Its a freaking joke.