Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Building a Better Athlete - Michael Yessis

Just a little nugget from a source I have relied on for many years, Dr. Michael Yessis. Lot's of good stuff if you are a coach looking to build better athletes -- who then go on to become better pitchers for you.

I Told You So:

"I Told You So"

Dr. Michael Yessis

For years I've been telling athletes who throw a ball or an implement, that they must generate the power for the throw with the body and use the arm for accuracy. This was recently brought out in a statement by San Diego Padres pitcher Kevin Correia to explain his improvement.

He stated that "I'm using my body more to throw the ball. It's easier to control." Many people were surprised by this statement but if you closely examine it, it makes perfect sense. In fact, I am surprised that more pitchers have not learned this, especially on the professional level."

Some basic knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics will tell you that the body has all the large powerful muscles. For a pitcher this means making use of the hip muscles, the abdominal oblique and flexor muscles and the very powerful shoulder muscles. The arm on the other hand, has relatively medium to small muscles.

Rather than making use of these large and strong muscles many pitchers still rely on the arm to generate maximum force in the throw. This I believe is the main reason why there are so many shoulder and elbow injuries to pitchers. They place excessive force on the muscles and joints that are not capable of handling the stresses involved.

What is especially interesting to note is that when you use the body to develop the force needed for the throw, the throw for the most part becomes effortless. I've had many players tell me that the throw has never been easier while at the same time they are throwing harder than ever before -- all because of using the body to develop the force.

It should also be noted that when you use the body to develop the force, the large muscles must go into action in sequence, beginning with the foot and ending with the hand. In this way the force generated by one joint can be transferred to the next adjacent joint and so on. In this way you build up to the maximum force possible when the ball or implement is released by the hand.

Although there are many good pitchers who use the body effectively to generate force, it appears that most still do not. This is not new knowledge as I know I have been saying and teaching this for at least 30 years. When will this knowledge permeate through the myths and misconceptions that guide throwing, down to the coaches and players?

For information on throwing and the muscles and actions involved see "Build a Better Athlete."

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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Joey Bart 6-2, 215 C Power arm and a power bat, playing a premium defensive position. Good catch and throw skills.
  • 2. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 3. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 4. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 5. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 6. Sandro Fabian 6-0, 180 OF Dominican signee from 2014, shows some pop in his bat. Below average arm and lack of speed should push him towards LF.
  • 7. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 8. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 9. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 10. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 13. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 14. Garett Cave 6-4, 200 RHP He misses a lot of bats and at times, the plate. 13 K/9 an 5 B/9. Wild thing.

2019 MLB Draft - Top HS Draft Prospects

  • 1. Bobby Witt, Jr. 6-1,185 SS Colleyville Heritage HS (TX) Oklahoma commit. Outstanding defensive SS who can hit. 6.4 speed in 60 yd. Touched 97 on mound. Son of former major leaguer. Five tool potential.
  • 2. Riley Greene 6-2, 190 OF Haggerty HS (FL) Florida commit.Best HS hitting prospect. LH bat with good eye, plate discipline and developing power.
  • 3. C.J. Abrams 6-2, 180 SS Blessed Trinity HS (GA) High-ceiling athlete. 70 speed with plus arm. Hitting needs to develop as he matures. Alabama commit.
  • 4. Reece Hinds 6-4, 210 SS Niceville HS (FL) Power bat, committed to LSU. Plus arm, solid enough bat to move to 3B down the road. 98MPH arm.
  • 5. Daniel Espino 6-3, 200 RHP Georgia Premier Academy (GA) LSU commit. Touches 98 on FB with wipe out SL.

2019 MLB Draft - Top College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Adley Rutschman C Oregon State Plus defender with great arm. Excellent receiver plus a switch hitter with some pop in the bat.
  • 2. Shea Langliers C Baylor Excelent throw and catch skills with good pop time. Quick bat, uses all fields approach with some pop.
  • 3. Zack Thompson 6-2 LHP Kentucky Missed time with an elbow issue. FB up to 95 with plenty of secondary stuff.
  • 4. Matt Wallner 6-5 OF Southern Miss Run producing bat plus mid to upper 90's FB closer. Power bat from the left side, athletic for size.
  • 5. Nick Lodolo LHP TCU Tall LHP, 95MPH FB and solid breaking stuff.