Pitt Baseball commit LHP Antonio Doganiero (Class of 2024) started remote training with us here at RPP in October of 2022. At the time, he was 6’ and 167 lbs., sitting 83-84 mph. Fast forward to this past August, he was weighing in at 177 lbs. (10 lb. gain) and his fastball is now sitting 87-89 and T90. After nearly a year of gains, it was time for a re-assessment.
When we have athletes come back for a reassessment, in-house or remote, we look for how the following metrics have changed and hopefully improved from their prior assessment:
- Lean Muscle Mass
- Mobility and Stability
- Strength and Power
Lean Muscle Mass
Within the past year Antonio has increased his lean muscle mass by 10 lbs.
- October 2022 – 167 lbs.
- August 2023 – 177 lbs.
This increase is obviously a big contributor to his increase in velocity. When looking for ideal BW for our athletes we look for a minimum weight to height ratio of 2.5 – 3.0x, combined with a <15% body fat percentage. For Antonio, that minimum ideal weight would be 180 lbs. So, for him, adding another 5-10 lbs. will be crucial in continuing his velocity gains.
Mobility and Stability
In his initial assessment back in October, there were two critical areas that stood out and needed to be addressed, Shoulder IR and Hip Adduction and Extension. Both obviously critical areas of mobility when it comes to pitchers.
Improved shoulder IR – leading to improved TROM in the shoulder – When the differential in total ROM in the shoulder is > 12, this can leave the athlete at an increased risk of injury within the shoulder. In this case, Antonio’s lack of IR in his throwing shoulder was creating this larger than desired difference between his right and left side. Here are the results from his initial assessment last year.
Within the past year, we have prioritized mobility work within his programming to focus on increasing IR in the dominant arm. It has clearly paid off and has allowed the differential in his TROM bilaterally to return to a healthy level.
Increased hip extension (glute) & adduction strength – Within the past year, by increasing his hip extension and adduction strength in his drive leg, Antonio, through better single leg stability, was able to use the muscles within his lower half to create better drift and stay engaged in his lower half when moving down the mound.
Strength and Power
When an athlete is able to increase his max strength, it allows for the potential for a higher power output as a result of it. From 2022 to 2023, Antonio increased his max strength across the board. His Est. 1RM for his deadlift went up 116 lbs., while his Est. 1RM for his bench press went up 47 lbs.
As a result of these strength increases, his overall power numbers have also improved. His CMJ jump has increased by 535 watts (13%) and his SJ jump has increased by 529 watts (14%). It’s safe to say that his strength and power gains are likely significant contributors to his velocity jump within the past year.
The question always remains, what’s next? What did we find within our re-assessment that could take Antonio to the next level of athletic performance?
Said differently, now that we have addressed certain issues, what’s the next level of low hanging fruit that we should go after. From our re-assessment, it boils down to 3 main topics:
- Upper body power and elasticity – Due to Antonio’s upper body strength being what we consider to be “strong enough”, we will alter his strength training to focus on moving load with his upper half more explosively. When the power capacity of his upper half can match the power capacity of his lower half, he could potentially generate more force into the baseball.
- Deceleration – With so much power and elasticity in his lower half, being able to decelerate that power throughout the delivery is crucial. By increasing his ability to decelerate his lower half, he should be able to increase acceleration through to his upper half with less torque/strain on the arm/shoulder/elbow.
- Increasing more lean muscle mass – Like we have spoken about already, adding another 5-10 lbs. of lean muscle mass could be crucial for Antonio. If we are able to do that, while maintaining his power and elasticity he will be able to generate the same amount of force with even more mass. This should correlate into a higher velocity capacity.
Overall, Antonio’s re-assessment was impressive to say the least. Being able to improve so many variables within a year, on a remote basis, is simply a testament to his commitment to his craft. His progress allows him to go into this upcoming off-season with a focus and goal, understanding what he needs to improve to take his game and performance to the next level. We’re all really looking forward to seeing what comes next from this guy!
By Jake Lebovitch (Pitching Coordinator, Strength Coach at RPP Baseball) and Nunzio Signore (Owner at RPP Baseball)
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