Fastball command has kind of taken on a life of its own in Pittsburgh.  The Pirates stress fastball command in the minors, especially at the lower levels when players are just getting in to the system.  The approach is aimed so that players get to the point where they can locate the fastball anywhere they want to put it, allowing them to set up their secondary pitches as they get to the higher levels.  It's not an approach that's unique to baseball.  Other systems take the same approach.  It's just something that's been new to the Pirates the last few years.

The approach also gets exaggerated.  The Pirates don't have their pitchers throw 90-95% fastballs.  That happened the first year, in 2008, with the State College Spikes.  They've since phased the off-speed pitches in a bit more.  Th...

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