ChrisOLeary.com > Baseball > Who I Am And How I Got Here

Who I Am And How I Got Here

I'm nobody.

Due to shoulder problems, experienced due to poor pitching mechanics, I never played baseball beyond grade school.

Despite that fact, my work on pitching mechanics and rotational hitting is followed by multiple major league scouts, cross checkers, coaches, and player development people. I am also currently working with a number of college and minor league baseball players on their hitting mechanics and have helped multiple clients, incuding Andres Torres of the San Francisco Giants and Tommy Pham of the St. Louis Cardinals, make it to and stick in the big leagues.

Starting in February 2016 and through the 2017 season, I was the hitting coordinator for HSSU. How did the guys hit since I started working with them?

YEAR

AVG

SLG

XBHs

2013

.248

.324

56

2014

.298

.412

72

2015

.263

.357

74

2016

.311

.449

144

2017

.334

.472

142

At the moment, I'm working on a comprehensive analysis of the pitching mechanics of Justin Verlander and how he creates velocity. This study has been in progress since March 2016 when I tweeted this.

MLB SCOUTING Experience

In June of 2008 I concluded my second year of consulting with a cross checker for the New York Mets. The goal was to identify pitchers with problematic mechanics who should either be avoided or regarded with caution.

It was interesting work.

I know a number of other scouts, coaches, and others in other major league baseball organizations who are interested in my ideas and who follow my work. I also get calls of encouragement every month or so from major league scouts and coaches who want to let me know that they were impressed by my work.

While I don't work or consult for an MLB team any more, I continue to evaluate the mechanics of pitchers on Twitter @thepainguy. I have also collected many of my predictions on The List.

Dr. Mike Marshall

I will be the first to admit that, when I first got started, I was influenced by the work of Dr. Marshall and his approach and his ideas. However, because of some concerns I have about possible shoulder injuries experienced by his pitchers, and the fact that Dr. Marshall does not advocate hip/shoulder separation, I do not advocate Dr. Marshall's pitching mechanics.

Having said that, I am a big believer in his ideas about pronating every pitch, limiting the reverse-rotation of the shoulders, not leaving the Pitching Arm Side (PAS) foot behind on the rubber, and being a fanatic about conditioning.

My beliefs about Dr. Marshall's ideas are consistent with the views of a couple of people who work at the Major League level and who are also familiar with Dr. Marshall's ideas.

My Approach

Let me now say a few things about my approach to coaching and evaluating pitchers.

When evaluating pitchers, I try to do so relative to two groups of people...

  • Major leaguers who had long, generally injury-free careers (e.g. Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Greg Maddux).
  • Major leaguers who had short, injury-plagued careers (e.g. Mark Prior, B.J. Ryan, and Bobby Madritsch).

I look at a player's pitching mechanics and then see what major league player's motion(s) they resemble. If they look like Greg Maddux or Roger Clemens, than that's a good thing. If they look like Mark Prior, then that's a problem.

This approach is very different than the one that others use, some of whom evidently involve comparing everyone to the person they believe has the ideal mechanics: Mark Prior. I view this as at least curious and potentially dangerous given Prior's history of injuries.

I believe that it is better (and safer) to compare pitchers to people like Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Greg Maddux, and others who had long, successful, and generally injury-free careers.

You Make The Call

If you think the above qualifies me to evaluate and coach pitchers, then read on and/or feel free to contact me. If not, then have a nice day.

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