Playing baseball as a pitcher in high school is one of the more exciting positions. Sure, you aren’t out there snagging would-be home runs at the wall or anything, but you are in charge of stifling the offense for as many innings as possible. It takes a skilled person to pitch into the sixth or seventh inning of a game without giving up too many runs, but it’s a great position to play too. On that note, here are some tips for high school baseball pitchers.
Always work on perfecting your mechanics.
Mechanics are extremely important when it comes to pitching because better mechanics equals better performance. At the high school level, hurlers really need to start focusing on mechanics and tweaking them for better results. No pitcher is going to have their windup and delivery perfected at this point, so everybody could use some work in one area or another. In fact, a pitcher’s mechanics in high school might not be the same as when they hit the collegiate or professional levels. Mechanics should be an evolving work-in-progress.
When pitching, go for the corners.
If you throw the ball right down the middle of the strike zone, then hitters are going to take the ball deep or even out of the park. So then, you should focus on painting the corners with your pitches to keep hitters ineffective. You will get more batters swinging for strikes than you would otherwise. Also, sticking to the corners increases the likelihood that batters will be unable to smack home runs and other big hits.
Mix in more deceptive pitches.
Pitching can be a game of deception if done right. In reality, you don’t need to have a 90-mph fastball to get batters out and keep them confused. Deceptive pitches like the curveball, slider, and changeup can really mess with batters. Using these pitches more frequently will lead to more strikeouts and even more confusion among hitters. Without a doubt, using pitches of different velocities and movements will lead to more outs and less hits.
Don’t worry too much about strikeouts.
For some reason, many pitchers believe that they have to strike hitters out to be effective, but that isn’t the case at all. Some of the greatest never struck out too many hitters. As long as you can get batters out and play the game well, you can consider yourself a pretty good pitcher. Strikeouts really don’t mean that much if you get the outs, pitch out of jams, and allow as few runs as possible. With that in mind, don’t even pay attention to strikeouts.
Focus on getting groundouts.
Groundouts are what pitchers should be aiming for at all times. Obviously, a groundout is better than letting a batter get a hit. They are also better than flyouts in most cases because flyouts can sometimes turn into home runs. A groundout is usually taken care of within the infield, so there won’t be many hits if no errors are committed by the infield players. To get batters out without any problems, you should focus on getting groundouts with the occasional flyout.
Pitching isn’t the easiest role to take.
The overwhelming majority of high school pitchers won’t even go on to play at the collegiate level, but the truly gifted ones will make it pretty far. Of course, you have to get through high school pitching first. Being a dominant force on the team is pretty fun, but it takes dedication and skill to do so. You need to focus on your mechanics, the types of pitches you can throw, and simply getting outs during games. It’s hard, but it pays off.
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