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

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Oct 9, 2018
166
43
Texas
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?
 

pattar

I wasted time and now doth time waste me
Jun 8, 2016
11,877
113
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?
It might have helped against OU.. :ROFLMAO:
 
Jan 14, 2021
17
3
Location is the priority for a coach. My final year coaching a top HS team I had a great battery and could literally use just four signals...high or low outside high or low inside. I let my pitcher and catcher decide how to get it there. We had high 50s speed wise and that was plenty. It didn't matter if the high inside got there by way of screw, change, or fb. And we decided location on whatever scouting was available...size of hitter...and warm up swings... We dominated most team tbh.
 

pattar

I wasted time and now doth time waste me
Jun 8, 2016
11,877
113
There's a gaping hole in this discussion and that's the ability to throw and locate a well disguised change up.
Agreed. That said, Pedro Martinez had one of the best CU I have ever seen but it wasn‘t nearly as effective when he was throwing 90 at the tail end of his career vs 97 during his prime. The kid for Northwestern had a great CU that was effective against OU first time through the order but second time through it looked like they were sitting CU because they knew she couldn’t get the FB by them.

Of course we are talking about the best of the best in terms of hitters here so..
 
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LEsoftballdad

DFP Vendor
Jun 29, 2021
347
63
Long Island, NY
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.
 
Mar 4, 2015
491
63
New England
Virtually every home run I saw hit in the WCWS was on a pitch over the heart of the plate.

Lots of pitches are over the heart of the plate, it seems to me. But most aren't hit for home runs. To test speed/movement vs. location, I'd want to see pitch locations for an entire game, or season. Let's say Pitcher A threw 50% of her pitches over the heart of the plate, but got away with it 80% of the time. Pitcher B threw only 20% of her pitches over the heart of the plate, but got away with it only 20% of the time. In this example, Pitcher A is better despite having less command.

My personal view is that speed/movement is more important as long as your walk totals are really high. There's the illusion in the WCWS that location is better, but I think that's because it's harder on TV to see when speed/movement is mediocre. I think that if location were more important, you'd see more conspicuously slow pitchers who had exceptional control. Yet, you do sometimes see conspicuously wild pitchers with exceptional stuff (Blair Luna comes to mind, or even Oklahoma's staff to some extent). There's not enough room in the strike zone to hide from elite hitters. At least that's my theory. My DD wasn't a pitcher, so take all that fwiw.
 
Jul 5, 2016
585
63
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.
 

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