CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article One Move: American Lea... (11/08)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (11/01)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (11/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (11/08)

November 8, 2013

Raising Aces

Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechanics

by Doug Thorburn


One of the most common questions people ask me is to name good pitchers who have bad mechanics. Of course, mechanics are too nuanced to draw lines in the sand of “good” and “bad,” but the question is fascinating nonetheless. The general rule is that the best pitchers have excellent mechanics, but it’s true that some of the top players in the game have flaws in their deliveries.

Some of these pitchers have learned to overcome their physical obstacles, while others cover for their deficiencies with filthy stuff. A handful of the game's best pitchers theoretically have room for further improvement; mechanical adjustments could potentially lift their performance to stratospheric status or extend the duration of excellence as they drift further from their physical peak, at which point velocity declines and pitch command becomes a more critical aspect of success.

The ability to make mechanical adjustments has been a hallmark of some of the best pitchers of our generation. Roger Clemens relied on an over-the-top curveball in his early twenties, replacing it with excellent posture and a mean splitter later in his career. Randy Johnson always had the height and the heat, but he completely revamped his delivery to take advantage of his natural gifts and evolved into one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Fast-forward to today and Felix Hernandez has quietly honed his mechanics over the last several years to address the foundational weaknesses in his delivery, allowing him to maintain elite status despite the dissipation of his fastball.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Pitching,  Scouting,  Mechanics,  Delivery

11 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article One Move: American Lea... (11/08)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (11/01)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (11/15)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Y... (11/08)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article The Stash List: 15th Edition
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Monday, July 2...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: July 29, 2014
BBQ State of Mind
Notes About Baseball: The Logistics of Human...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: The Migration of the B...
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Trading Ryan Howard For No...

MORE FROM NOVEMBER 8, 2013
Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Los Angeles...
Premium Article One Move: American League Central
Fantasy Article Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of ...
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Backup Planning
Premium Article Minor League Update: AFL and Winter League R...

MORE BY DOUG THORBURN
2013-12-06 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Diff'rent Strikes
2013-11-22 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Robert Stephenson
2013-11-15 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Noah Syndergaard
2013-11-08 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechani...
2013-11-01 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Kyle Zimmer
2013-10-25 - Premium Article Raising Aces: How Long Home Runs Happen
2013-10-18 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Previewing the Wi...
More...

MORE RAISING ACES
2013-12-06 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Diff'rent Strikes
2013-11-22 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Robert Stephenson
2013-11-15 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Noah Syndergaard
2013-11-08 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Great Pitchers, Flawed Mechani...
2013-11-01 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Kyle Zimmer
2013-10-25 - Premium Article Raising Aces: How Long Home Runs Happen
2013-10-18 - Premium Article Raising Aces: Bush League: Previewing the Wi...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2014-03-26 - The Lineup Card: 10 Players Whose Seasons We...
2013-12-27 - The Lineup Card: Nine of Our Favorite Baseba...