As a pitcher, you have three priorities when delivering your pitches.
Priority #1:LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
First & foremost, you must be able to locate all of your pitches for strikes. As you begin your workouts/warming up, start at the middle of the plate and work your way to the outside corner. The most effective location where you want to stay most times is down and way. The initial philosophy in throwing pitches in the strike zone is you want the pitch to be a strike if the hitter does not swing at the pitch – only occasionally during a game will you be asked to throw a pitch that is not a strike if the hitter does not swing at it. The theory of “expanding the strike zone” will come later as you sharpen your ability to throw all of your pitches for strikes.
Priority #2:MOVEMENT, MOVEMENT
Secondly, movement enhances your effectiveness in the strike zone. Your primary fastball will be a two-seam fastball because this is the fastball that moves – 90 to 95% of your fastballs will be two seamers. Movement makes the hitter have to adjust, preventing him from sitting on pitches; anytime you cause a hitter to adjust their swing, you cause their timing to change – this is a good thing. On breaking pitches and change-ups, you want “late” movement rather than “early” movement. When the movement occurs closer to the plate, the hitter has less time to adjust. And, downward movement is better than side to side movement. At this time in your development, you want the movement to be in the strike zone (LOCATION).
The 3rd priority is velocity. If you have LOCATION & MOVEMENT and can add in VELOCITY, now you have the whole package. Remember, though, you will be most effective throughout a game throwing at about 90% of your total velocity – to maximize LOCATION and MOVEMENT. It doesn’t matter if you thrown 100+ mph – if it’s not a strike, the hitter doesn’t have to swing; if it’s straight as a string, the hitter will tee off on it!!!! Your VELOCITY pitch will be your 4 seam fast ball – the pitch you can throw the hardest and control the easiest. The best LOCATION for this pitch will be up in the strike and, preferably in on the hitter – the hardest place for a hitter to clear his hands.
Note you will achieve your maximum velocity as your arm strength develops; your arm strength will develop by being able to throw enough strikes to stay in games longer – there we go – back to LOCATION – the beginning and ending point!!!!