Stretch Pitching Mechanics
By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Pitching from the stretch is vital to pitching effectively. It is important to deliver a pitch quickly with no wasted movement. The goal is to keep runners close to their bases and prevent them from steal bases.
In baseball, you're going to make all your "game" pitches out of the stretch. In other words, the game will be on the line, and you'll have to get hitters out. That's why it's so important to work on your stretch pitching mechanics in practice. Most pitchers don't work on them enough.
Here are a few pitching tips that I teach the pitchers I work with on the set position.
You must get the ball to the plate in 1.3 seconds or less or even the best catchers won’t be able to throw out base runner. There are two ways to do this.
1. Come set balancing 60/40, with slightly more weight on the back leg. By placing more weight on the back leg, the pitcher takes less time to deliver the ball to the plate second because less effort and energy are needed to shift the body’s momentum from the set position to the start of the delivery. The pitcher simply brings his knee back to the front of his other knee (known as knee-to-knee) and fires home. The pitching video of Kevin Brown on this page is a great illustration of this.
2. Pitch from the stretch with one motion, all the time. Speed up the hands and the leg kick simultaneously. Abbreviate the leg kick (knee to knee), but make sure to load up the weight on the back foot (the one touching the rubber) so you can generate “energy” while delivering the pitch towards home plate.
Work on it!
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Want to learn more about baseball pitching mechanics and techniques? Arm yourself with the most innovative and up-to-date baseball pitching training available. These related pitching materials from former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis are guaranteed to help you or the players you coach pitch better and reach the next level faster!