What Makes 15-year Old, 2-way Player, Graham Keen Elite

Remote Athlete Graham Keen, 2-way player in the class of 2027, recently came in for his 2nd re-assessment.  A lot has changed over the past 18 months since he joined us as a remote athlete in June 2022. Given his gains, the big question now is “how does a 15-year-old generate pitching velos of nearly 90 mph and exit velos approaching 103 mph?”.  For his grad year, Perfect Game ranks Graham 1st overall in PA and 29th overall in the country nation. Obviously, mechanics have a lot to do with performance, but not many 15-year-olds with good mechanics throw and hit the ball this hard. Although, you could say at 6’5” his long levers certainly help, there is much more to the story.

So, how does he do it?

Before we go any further, we have to first talk about 2 factors that come into play in a big way with Graham’s success thus far.

    • Dedication / Drive – Through video and conversations with both Graham and his mother Trish (another big factor here) throughout the remote training process, we’ve witnessed Graham’s consistency in training both in the weight room and technique work behind the plate and on the mound. Consistency is the key word here.
    • Buy-in – Staying with one program that is working is key. Jumping all over social media for the next greatest exercise or drill just adds more unnecessary volume with diminishing returns.  Do your homework, select the right program and stay with the process.

Now let’s get into it…  Here is a summary of how we evaluate our athletes:

    • Strength
    • Power
    • Speed
    • Elasticity
    • Body Composition
    • Decel
    • Single Leg Stability
    • Mobility

By the time, we’re done with our eval, we have a complete picture of what needs to be further addressed as we continue with the training.

As you read along, keep in mind that Graham is not quite 16 years old and the scale he is being compared to below includes all high school athletes, 9-12th grade.  Also note that he isn’t just “elite” in one or two categories, he consistently ranks in the upper percentiles in most of the categories.


Let’s begin with the foundation to everything – Strength!

For his age and size, Graham has very respectable Bench Press and Single Leg Squat metrics:

    • Bench Press (1 RM) – 175 lbs.
    • Single Leg Squat (1 RM) – 94 lbs.
    • Trap Bar Deadlift (1 RM) – See note below

*** Note: As we will see later, Graham’s lowest hanging fruit is his body composition / weight. Continued strength training should naturally increase appetite and thus caloric intake and gains in lean muscle mass. By the same token, the added weight will in turn help him to get behind loads in the gym and help put up bigger numbers.


Power, measured in watts, represents how quickly an athlete can produce strength.  Said differently, it measures the explosive nature of an athlete. During our assessment, we measure an athlete’s ability to generate power in both the lower and upper body using two different methods.  We use a jump-mat for the lower half and a Proteus Motion for the upper.

Graham produces power exceptionally well across the board, in both his upper and lower half extremities.  His lower half power metrics, already respectable, will become elite once he gains even more lean muscle mass and strength.

His upper half power metrics measured on our Proteus Motion are also very respectable, scoring near or above the 80% marker.


An elite-level 2-way player requires a significant amount of athleticism. Being 6’5” and being as fast-twitch and quick as Graham is partially a genetic attribute he possesses. This is just one of the many things that make him elite. Here are his 5-10-5- and 30-yard dash metrics:

    • 5-10-5 Shuttle – 4.51s
    • 30-yard Dash – 3.97s


Elasticity is how we evaluate an athlete’s ability to use their stretch-shortening cycle. This helps Graham quickly use eccentric force and quickly go the other way with it. This is pure gold in terms of developing force and transferring it into the ball or bat. Once again, Graham’s metrics are elite in terms of elasticity. Graham is a propulsive athlete and is able to produce force at a fast rate in both the lower and upper body.

Body Composition

Graham’s lowest hanging fruit is his body composition.  At 6’5” and 175 lbs., his height to body weight ratio is 2.27x.  To be as strong as he is at 175 lbs. is impressive, but there is still room to improve.

By adding additional lean muscle mass, Graham will not only keep his elite status across other metrics, but he will get stronger and be able to produce more force into the ground, in turn getting that force sent back up the kinetic chain to create more power in his delivery / swing. Graham can add an additional 20 lbs. of lean muscle mass which will have a significant impact on his already elite-level abilities.


A pitcher’s front foot stability and his ability to decelerate at foot plant is vital to possess an efficient lead leg block. Based on Graham’s Front Leg RSI results from the assessment, his plyometric ability was what we consider a Phase 2. In simpler terms, he was able to stabilize quickly, but was insufficient turning it back around (amortization) into power going back up the kinetic chain.

In terms of Back Leg RSI, it analyzes the same metrics that the Front Leg RSI does, just in the transverse plane. It is the athlete’s ability to accept force and produce force as fast as possible. Graham is considered a Phase 3 in this category, meaning he was able to produce enough force to jump far, but not a fast enough rate (higher contact time).

Once again, additional lean muscle mass will make a significant impact here.

Single Leg Stability

Ankle Dorsiflexion: Ankle Dorsiflexion is a key component in determining how deep and athlete can load over the rubber. By being “limited” in dorsiflexion, this means we will emphasize not sitting as deep into his back leg during the delivery which is very important in terms of properly producing force into the ground.

S. Leg Stability and Ankle Eversion/Inversion: In terms of Single Leg Stability, Graham is one of the better scorers in our database. His Ankle Eversion and Inversion make up for the lack of Dorsiflexion he possesses which in turn helps him to decelerate and produce the kind of velocities he does, both with the ball and the bat.


The movement screening portion of the assessment is essential in identifying mobility and stability issues that may hinder the pitcher’s ability to get into optimal positions throughout their delivery. In most cases, the issues that are presented in this portion of the assessment will be visible when we are evaluating the pitcher’s mechanics in the later part of the assessment.

The follow are some key findings that stood out in Graham’s movement screen.

Hip ER/IR: Graham presents an IR bias of the hips, allowing him to produce more force into the ground with a more explosive delivery as opposed to holding a longer load from an ER biased position.

Active SLR: Having a limitation in his Active Straight Leg Raise on the right side usually ties into tight/over-used hamstrings. This is primarily due to an athlete not firing the glutes first and forcing the hamstring to do a majority of the work during hip extension.

Tight Lats/Pecs: After assessing his tissue quality on the table, we were ability to identify he had tightness in his lats and both his pec major and pec minor. Due to his tightness in these areas, it makes his Supine Shoulder Flexion limited. With the lats being one of the big players in both layback and arm acceleration, Graham can still get more elite velos safely on the mound if we can relieve some of the tone in his lats.

Shoulder ROM: Presenting a limitation in Shoulder ER is not a major cause for concern because Graham was shut down from throwing for nearly 2 months when we got him on the table. When he begins throwing and ramping up for the season, he will gain some of that range back, along with having exceptional Shoulder IR, allowing him to decelerate his arm at an elite level.


During the past year and a half, as a remote athlete, Graham has worked exceptionally hard.  At 15, with mound velo near 90 mph and exit velos approaching 103 mph, he is an elite athlete that has barely scratched his potential. Going forward, additional lean muscle mass, and improved mobility will make Graham much more potent both at the plate and on the mound.  Sky is the limit here!


By Matt Hartshorn (Pitching Coordinator) and Nunzio Signore (Owner at RPP Baseball)

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