Pitching is a very unnatural series of movements, and it is necessary to
look out for a child's long-term health first and foremost when teaching
them how to pitch. I believe the best approach is always to err on the
safe side when dealing with young pitchers with regard to their
With that being said, I believe that momentum throwing is the single
best way to teach someone how to throw to their genetic potential. What
I mean by this is teaching them to relax throughout the pitching motion
and create velocity the way that a person would crack a whip. To
accomplish this, they should work on leading with their hips off the
rubber, landing smoothly into a long stride, and letting their arm
"whip" through with as little effort as possible. Pitchers such as Bob
Feller, Sandy Koufax, and Nolan Ryan are all good examples of the
velocity that can be created through momentum throwing.
Control is the much more important variable in pitching, and it is a
combination of practice, timing, and consistent physical execution. I
believe that all pitchers' control would benefit greatly from simply
throwing at 90% effort in 90% of situations instead of throwing at 100%
effort in 100% of situations.
What is your gameday preparation like?
-- Nicholas G.
I begin each gameday by eating a large breakfast, usually at IHOP or
Cracker Barrel. I drink a lot of water to stay well-hydrated, and then
rest/sleep in the early afternoon so that I conserve my energy and am
physically ready to pitch late at night. I prefer to pitch on an empty
stomach, but I will snack on bananas, granola bars, and sports drinks to
keep my energy levels up. I get to the ballpark two hours before the
first pitch, and then watch some video once I receive the official
lineup from the opposing manager. I like to make sure my body
temperature and muscles are warm before I go outside, so I put some hot
packs on my arm and do cardio and stretching to loosen up. Finally, I
throw only as many pitches as necessary to feel comfortable with my
control for that night, and save my energy for when it really counts --
in the game.
What kind of pitcher do you want to be known as?
-- Jay D
My primary purpose when I am pitching is to win as many baseball games
as possible for my organization. However, I am always conscious of the
bigger picture, and that is very important to me. As much as I want to
be a successful Major League pitcher statistically, I want to equally be
a quality representative of the Royals, my family, my faith, and every
person that has had an influence in my life. As professional athletes,
we are role models to children and adults alike, and I take that
responsibility very seriously. I try to always have fun playing and to
get the most out of my ability, and I want to contribute as much as
possible to the game of baseball for both present and future generations
of fans to enjoy.
What glove do you use and where can I get one?
-- Tyler K
I use a custom-made, 12" blue Mizuno glove that comes directly from
Japan. I have always used a basket web to hide my pitches visually from
the hitter, and it has special padding to protect my index finger on
line drives. The glove has a larger pocket so that I can change my grip
on the baseball without the hitter seeing any movement in my hand or
wrist. You can contact Mizuno USA to order a customized version for