Spin, Speed or Spot??? in light of the WCWS

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May 17, 2012
2,514
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Wouldn't speed, movement, location and pitch calling ALL be important at the highest levels. Some batters will be a challenge for any pitcher, but less so for the best pitchers and pitch callers.

Who are the best pitch callers? Who are the worst pitch callers?
 
Apr 8, 2019
66
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These discussions always seems nonsensical. Of course speed matters, and it doesn't matter how many times people want to discount it. If it didn't college coaches wouldn't own a radar gun. It shortens reaction time and increases effectiveness of off speed pitches. Of course location matters you have to have speed and location one is no more important than the other if you want to pitch at a high level you better have all three.
Who said speed doesn't matter? One is more important than the other (location). If all you have is a fastball, you all going to get tagged all day, ask Barnhill. You can have marginal speed to set up other pitches. If you hit your locations consistently, you will more than likely own them.
 
Apr 17, 2019
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My daughter played with a girl who threw a legitimate 64-65 at first-year 16U. Speed like that is intimidating for a lot of people. What became more intimidating was that she didn't know where the ball was going more than 50% of the time and would hit an excessive number of batters. She had 131 BB in 107 IP and hit another 25 batters. Couple that with an astounding 54 wild pitches, and you have someone who needs to dial down the speed to learn how to locate pitches.

This, with anything lower than good college teams. My DD has played with girls who walk or hbp left and right, but throw above average. The reason in my opinion why they are successful is great hitters are far sparser then in college, and most end up being worried about getting hit by a pitch rather then hitting the ball.
 
Feb 15, 2017
568
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Speed without spin is useless. If you're offense is better at knowing your pitch calls than what your pitching coach thinks, then spot, speed, and spin don't matter as much.

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May 13, 2021
113
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Who said speed doesn't matter? One is more important than the other (location). If all you have is a fastball, you all going to get tagged all day, ask Barnhill. You can have marginal speed to set up other pitches. If you hit your locations consistently, you will more than likely own them.
I guess nobody said speed doesn't matter at all, however you have to have enough speed or nothing else matters at all. Therefore speed has to matter the most. I guess you are talking about Kelly Barnhill she went 104-22 with 1.17 ERA in her career plus numerous other awards. I guess if that is getting tagged all day a lot of pitchers would settle for that.
 
Dec 10, 2017
17
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I think speed at younger age and lower levels is the lead factor for success since It can intimidate batters. That includes throwing straight gas as well as a good change up. Think of some of those swing and misses you have seen.

Once you get to older ages and high levels the spot and spin take on increased importance. If you throw 68 and can’t hit your spot you can wave goodbye to the ball if you leave it hanging. If you throw 62 with spin and spot you may get hit but it will be weak and stay in the park.

Another factor is the umpires strike zone. Pitcher has to be able to hit the spot that umpire calls that game.


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Jul 14, 2018
844
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I guess I should have asked the question in light of what we see in the WCWS is spin direction really that important? It appears to me that very few pitches have anything close to proper spin direction. Are they not throwing these pitches because the umpires are not calling them for strikes?

Why do we call it bullet spin? Because that’s how bullets spin, obviously. Why? Because someone 150 years ago figured out that if you create a barrel that spins the bullet, it will create more accuracy and velocity than your standard musket ball.

Elite pitchers throw with bullet spin because they can pinpoint the location and throw with the greatest velocity. When G Juarez called out ESPN’s radar, she basically said that a pitcher has to slow down to get movement, ie spin direction, on the ball.

So judging by what you see in the WCWS, I would say that the best of the best prioritize location, then speed, then spin.


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