Analysis

First Pitch: Downhill and Down

First Pitch: Downhill and Down

I talked to Tyler Waldron after his start on Monday, and he had an interesting quote about his work on his fastball command -- specifically his focus on throwing downhill and down.

“It sounds so easy, ‘downhill and down, downhill and down’, but it’s tough to get downhill,” Waldron said of the Pirates’ preference for pitchers to throw on a downhill plane, down in the zone. “I was probably 75/25 or 60/40 on down in the zone, so I definitely need to improve on that type of stuff.”

The Pirates talk so much about downward planes that it has sort of become a joke. It's a joke for either two reasons. One, some people don't understand it. Two, it sounds easier than it actually is, as Waldron points out.

Throwing on a downward plane is important. Imagine placing three zones over the plate. The first zone is up chest high for the batter. The second zone is around the batter's waist. The third zone is around the knees. If a pitcher throws a flat fastball, it usually sits in one zone. That make...

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Analysis
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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