I’m not claiming to be a pitching coach, and that’s not what my goal is to be. I have little knowledge when it comes to the science behind pitching mechanics, or how to increase a pitcher’s base velocity. I do not have 30 years of pitching experience, or an MLB career under my belt.
What I do have, however, is the work I have put into Mechanical Engineering. The major I’m studying consists of a heavily physics-based education, which is something I can apply to all aspects of life. In this case, I can apply it to a baseball.
During this last semester, the Spring of 2019, I was enrolled in the class Analytical Mechanics II: Dynamics. In Dynamics, I was faced with numerous problems and theoretical situations in which I was required to use the least amount of energy possible to get the most results. These scenarios included round objects or balls on numerous occasions, and that was the start of the direct correlation between my studies and baseball.
I love physics, and I study it often. I use my knowledge of it to decide if the information I come across in baseball is viable or not. Upon retrieval of the Trackman pitch data, I use this previous physics knowledge to make educated assumptions about what is happening on a more concentrated scale at the release of the baseball.
Upon investigation of the velocity, spin rate, tilt, induced vertical break, and horizontal break of the baseball, I am able to create a theoretical model of how the ball is spinning through the air in terms of both axis of rotation and, with knowledge of the pitcher’s grip of the baseball, whether or not the ball is spinning along the correct seams that would produce the movement intended.
This model is then put to the test with a simple GoPro of my personal use. I am able to slow down bullpen video to 1/8th speed with full clarity to either confirm or deny my suspicions of why a pitch is not as best as it can be.
In summary, I use my experience as an engineer to look at a baseball in a way that most people do not, and that gives me the ability to change pitches, releases, or grips in order to achieve the maximum possible movement or velocity with a pitcher’s natural ability.
This will make much more sense later when explained in examples, which I will be posting very soon.
Until then, all the best.