Baseball Magazine

What Does Pitchability Mean?

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

A lot of players and their parents ask how important velocity is to college coaches and pro scouts.  If you listen to their answers, you’ll probably hear them say something like this …

“A pitcher needs to show that he has enough velocity to get college/pro hitters out.  Certainly, more velocity is better than less velocity since high velocity pitchers get away with more mistakes.  However, after getting a few innings worth of readings on the radar gun, we generally start to gauge the kid’s “pitchability.”

The question then becomes … what does pitchability mean?

Cliff Lee = velocity + pitchability

Cliff Lee = velocity + pitchability


The pitchability of a kid involves all of the following:

  • He can throw any pitch anytime which makes him unpredictable.
  • The batters in the other line-up that he should get out, he gets out.
  • He doesn’t let their best hitters beat them.  He’s not afraid to walk or pitch around them.
  • He minimizes fastball counts by getting ahead and staying ahead.
  • He can throw strikes on both sides of the plate.
  • He makes his best pitches when it counts the most.  Anyone can throw a good breaking pitch on the black when they are facing the eight hitter with nobody on and his team is up 6-0.  Can he hit the black with the bases loaded and the third hitter is up with the winning run on second?
  • He consistently repeats his delivery.
  • He throws just as well from the stretch as he does from the wind-up.
  • He works quick but doesn’t rush.
  • He is consistently around the knees with all his pitches.

There are probably other things that people would add but the major point here is this … Even a kid with less-than-average velocity can be very effective if their pitchability is high.  Add a high velocity to the mix and you have a prospect.  Make him left handed and you basically have Cliff Lee!  

Realistically, velocity is most often a matter of genetics.  Pitchability on the other hand is something all pitchers can control and therefore improve upon.

Next post:  No double taps for shortstops


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