Slow, deliberate wind-up. Hands start at waist, classic diagonal step back. High leg lift to armpit height, slight drop and drive. Clean arm circle, remains perpendicular to home plate upon foot strike. Could get more extension at release, lands on stiff front leg—limits mobility during follow-through. Lightning-quick arm action from a high ¾ release point. Very slow to home plate from stretch, no slide step. Repeats mechanics very well from both wind up and stretch, very athletic movements.
Bowie Baysox (AA, Orioles)
Fastball: Velocity: 90-93 (T95); command plus; arm-side run. Commands well to both sides of the plate; attacks right-handed batters in on the hands; velocity dips further into games.
Slider: Velocity: 84-86; command average, but will leave elevated; tight spin sharp break with depth. throws to both sides of the plate; crowds right-handed batters; will leave elevated when tiring.
Changeup: Velocity: 83-86; command solid-average; arm-side life that can be considered fade, but is thrown too firmly a majority of the time; mixes in sparingly; developing trust in pitch; uses in correct sequences.
Joe Nathan is one of the best closers in baseball and is one of the most established and successful ever. As he ages and his velocity continues to decrease, I don’t foresee a continued dominance long-term. However, given the combination of arsenal, command, and track record of success, Nathan will continue to be a strong force at the back end of the bullpen for a year or two more.