What does pitchability mean?
A lot of players and their parents ask how important velocity is to college coaches and pro scouts. If you listen to the answers, you’ll probably hear something like this …
“A pitcher needs to show that he has enough velocity to get college/pro hitters out. Certainly, more velocity is better than less velocity since high velocity pitchers get away with more mistakes. However, after getting a few innings worth of readings on the radar gun, we generally start to gauge the kid’s “pitchability.”
The question then becomes … what does pitchability mean?
The pitchability of a kid involves all of the following:
- He can throw any pitch anytime which makes him unpredictable.
- The batters in the other line-up that he should get out, he gets out.
- He doesn’t let their best hitters beat them. He’s not afraid to walk or pitch around them.
- He minimizes fastball counts by getting ahead and staying ahead.
- He can throw strikes on both sides of the plate.
- He makes his best pitches when it counts the most. Anyone can throw a good breaking pitch on the black when they are facing the eight hitter with nobody on and his team is up 6-0. Can he hit the black with the bases loaded and the third hitter is up with the winning run on second?
- He consistently repeats his delivery.
- He throws just as well from the stretch as he does from the wind-up.
- He works quick but doesn’t rush.
- He is consistently around the knees with all his pitches.
There are probably other things that people would add but the major point here is this … Even a kid with less-than-average velocity can be very effective if their pitchability is high. Add a high velocity to the mix and you have a prospect. Make him left handed and you basically have Cliff Lee!
Realistically, velocity is most often a matter of genetics. Pitchability on the other hand is something all pitchers can control and therefore improve upon.
Next post: No double taps for shortstops