When I wrote Part 1 of this series on wasting money, I didn’t think that there would be a Part 2 (click here for Part 1) or a Part 3. But then we were provided with several years of showcase results and data by a showcase operator. So, I am going to tell you what it takes to be seen (as showcases like to say) and actually get noticed, here we go with “Stop Wasting Your Money – Part 2” related specifically to pitchers.
Let’s be clear on one topic, if you are attending a showcase and want to get noticed you need to stand out. Being average doesn’t help. And there is no better way for pitchers to standout these days than having decent “velo”. Your “stuff” is important but you have to pass the velo test first. For good or bad, pitchers with great skills without velo won’t get the attention they deserve.
Three years of data and hundreds pitchers can certainly highlight interesting conclusions. Pitchers included in the data were high school level players of all grades, lefties, righties, tall pitchers and not so tall pitchers. And here is the punchline. The AVERAGE velocity across three years of data from early spring to late fall was 80 mph. This was extremely consistent. Over a 3 year period, year-in, year-out, spring, summer and fall, the average velocity at every single showcase was 80 mph. With that said, I think it’s fair to say that if you want to stand out from the pack then “Average Velo” is probably not where you want to be, if you want to get NOTICED.
Of course, age, grade, lefty, righty and physical composition all have some input on whether you can get noticed. And, there are always exceptions. But bottom line is if you want to standout you have to be better than average. You have to throw harder than 80 mph. The chart below provides a summary of the results:
As I said there are always exceptions. If you are a 6’2” sophomore, lefty, tall and skinny, then yes you are an exception. But exceptions are few and far in between. It is true when they say that a college coach wants to see a player pitch several times during a recruiting process. But I can tell you I have never heard a college coach say “Wow, that kid throws 79-80 mph, I am going to keep an eye on him”. The only time that might happen is if you are the exception. So, don’t rely on it.
“If you are a high school pitcher and you throw 79-80 mph (which is average) at a showcase, you might very well be showcasing yourself off the list and WASTING YOUR MONEY.”
In the chart above, the data suggests that over 50% of pitchers attending showcases throw at an average or below average velocity of 80 mph. College coaches aren’t going to showcases to fill their “follow” lists with average velocity pitchers. So, unfortunately, too many pitchers are going to showcases completely unprepared.
Here is another chart on “Chances of Pitching in College vs. High School Max Velo” (by Tread Athletics based on data from 7,000+ HS pitchers Perfect Game). It appears that 83-84 mph is the point at which pitchers’ college prospects begin to change. Whether we like it or not velo matters.
Having said that, just ‘cause you don’t throw hard enough doesn’t mean you can’t get there. We have helped many pitchers at RPP do exactly that over the course of the off-season. The plan is simple, but it takes hard work…
- Get an assessment by a qualified practitioner to find out what’s holding you back physically
- Clean up your mechanics by addressing disconnects
- Enroll in a pitcher-specific Strength Training Program (2-3x per week minimum) for the duration of the off-season and maintain 1-2x per week while in-season
- Follow a proper nutrition plan to increase lean muscle mass
- Stop running and start sprinting
“Go to the showcase when you have something to show.”
By Bahram Shirazi (BSEE, MBA, Co-owner RPP)