Monday, March 22, 2010

Interesting note on Lindstrom, and pitchers in general

In Zach Levine's article on Lindstrom, there's a focus on how Lindstrom can throw 100mph+.

“I think it's just a talent. You have to be strong and kind of be flexible. You see a lot of guys with flexible bodies who can really whip the ball.”

Levine, and Bobby Heck:

As Heck scouted amateur prospects, he noticed that the biggest jump in velocity comes between their junior and senior years of high school. At that age, the elite pitchers start to take bigger roles on school teams and other traveling teams and build up their strength.

To Heck, velocity isn't the end of a conversation about a pitching prospect, but it is the beginning.

In considering righthanders, who have a harder time getting by on craftiness alone at the big-league level than lefties do, Heck is hesitant to draft or sign a pitcher who doesn't throw at least 90.

“We pay for velocity,” Heck said. “And then we try to teach them how to pitch.”

The latter includes developing secondary and, with rare exceptions, tertiary pitches around the fastball and getting movement and deception to go with the velocity. Lindstrom knows that better than anyone.

There's a little clue on why the Astros tend to take high school pitchers, and college hitters...