Jack Brodsky, 5th year grad student and closer for University of Tampa Baseball, is having a banner year. With 11 appearances and 15.2 inning pitched, he has a 0.57 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP, with a pitching velo up to 95 mph. Jack joined us last summer as a part of the summer throwing program after graduating from Emory University. He also returned during his winter break before the start of the spring season. When he started in June 2022, his objectives were to improve his velocity and command and control. He was sitting 91-93 and had just graduated from Emory with a 1.59 WHIP and a 5.42 cumulative ERA. How did we do it?
His summer with us in 2022 began with a thorough upfront assessment, including:
- Movement screen
- Strength and power testing
- Video analysis
- Motion capture analysis
Following his assessment, we put together a comprehensive plan, some of which was for the weight room and some for inside the nets.
His movement screen highlighted an inability to disassociate his pelvis from his hips which was more than likely part of the cause of his inability to initiate rotation earlier. A lack of back leg stability could likely compromise his ability to hinge as well as drift (discussed further below).
Strength and Power Testing
Jack was already pretty strong when he arrived for the summer. So, the plan was to focus on power generation during the first 4 weeks and then add in some explosive endurance work for the remainder of the summer.
The video analysis highlighted a couple areas that Jack could improve his mechanics.
Drift – He was losing power in his back leg likely due to not efficiently drifting or hinging. We worked with the core velocity belt off the mound to help improve his “drift” (click here for more on “drift”) and prescribed step back throws for the hinge and a better glute load.
Landing Closed – He was also landing a bit closed, so we opened him up a bit which would put his hips in a more efficient position for a better post-up. Even though his lead leg angular velocity from his mocap report was acceptable, it was on the low end for an athlete with Jack’s lower half strength.
Motion Capture Analysis
The motion capture analysis highlighted a late pelvic rotation which was cutting off the upper half off of some much-needed energy and negatively affecting his post-up. In addition, a high shoulder abduction was giving him a little bit of a push with his elbow. We utilized a Figure 8 rocker drill to get his arm to relax a bit as well as go along for the ride bit easier.
Jack is super athletic with an enormous work ethic. His intensity and commitment to his craft is bar none.
He was sitting 91-93 last summer when he began his program in June of last year. This spring, he is sitting 93-94 and touching 95. Just as important, his performance on the mound is also at a significantly different level. He is the closer for Tampa this spring and after 11 appearances he is currently sitting on a 0.57 WHIP and 0.57 ERA, it can’t get better than that.
By Nunzio Signore, Bahram Shirazi and Zach Kollar (Director of Strength and Conditioning at RPP Baseball)
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