The following are questions from our mail bag. We receive these questions either during the many interactions EXACT Sports has with baseball players on the field, or by players who have emailed us or one of the college coaches who works with us. Today’s mailbag is answered by our Baseball Director, Chad. Chad is a former D-1 and professional baseball player.
Q. Why are my off-speed pitches not as effective as they used to be? (question from Billy in Ohio)
More often than not, high school and other youth pitchers think more break or slower change-ups are the way to go. That is wrong. The purpose of offspeed pitches is to trick or deceive the hitter. If you take a lot of MPH’s off of your changeup, the hitter has time to re-adjust his timing. As for curveballs, really the only way to get more break is by throwing it slower. When that happens, hitters are not really fooled. They see the curveball right out of the pitcher’s hand, therefore giving them a better chance for solid contact. The toughest pitch to hit is a hard slider…why? Because it looks just like a fastball until the very last moment. By then, it is too late for the hitter to adjust. Again, its not the amount of break that determines the effectiveness of a curveball, its the deception that fools the hitter.
Q: When should I try to get my name out there for recruiting purposes? (question from Connor in Florida)
Quite simply, the sooner the better. In an effort to secure the top players, colleges are now starting to recruit kids starting in the 8th grade. Many times, these same kids have decided on their future college by their sophomore year. Since colleges only have 11.7 scholarships each, they don’t have many to offer every year. When you add all this up, your big-time college programs have already offered their scholarships for the next couple years. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule. The safest thing to do is get your name out there early to the schools you are interested in. If they say no, you have no regrets. If you wait and they say it’s too late, then you play the “what if” game. Either way I see it, your best (and only) choice is to get yourself out there the sooner the better!
Other questions? Tap EXACT Sports’ broad knowledge of player development, baseball, and sports. Send us a question to the email address email@example.com. In the subject line, enter “Mailbag” and let us know if you want us to share your name and position.