Why was Nolan Ryan both dominant and durable?
Far more so than modern pitchers?
Because he was a freak, right?
Nolan Ryan was more dominant and durable than modern pitchers
because he moved better than them.
Tragically, modern pitchers don't move like Nolan Ryan did, in large
part, because the secrets to Nolan Ryan's pitching mechanics are
being coached out of them.
While Nolan Ryan is often written off as a freak, you can
see — in my opinion significant — differences in
how he moved...
...and how far less durable pitchers moved.
Understanding why Nolan Ryan was so much more
durable than modern pitchers starts with his
Timing; with the position of his pitching arm at the moment it
starts to come under load.
In the picture above, notice how, as his front foot is planting,
Nolan Ryan's pitching arm is almost UP.
That meant that, when Nolan Ryan's front foot planted, and his
shoulders started to turn, his pitching arm was in the proper
position to handle the resulting loads.
Flat Arm Syndrome
In contrast, most modern pitchers' arms are FLAT going into, or
worse at, Foot Plant, a problem I call
Flat Arm Syndrome.
Alex Reyes' pitching mechanics are a great example of Flat Arm
Syndrome, and that is why Alex Reyes has not — and will not — stay
Flat Arm Syndrome VERY reliably predicts
injuries in pitchers and my understanding of it explains my ability
to predict injuries
in baseball pitchers.