Ben Grezlovski: RHP All-time leader in Games Atlantic League, former Angels minor leaguer

 

https://youtu.be/thIWa6TA40A

 

1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

After High School I took 2 years off from baseball. Needed something to distinguish myself from the other pitchers went to Junior College. I was 5'10 160lbs and hardly broke 80mph. During Freshman season didn't throw that much, just was mop-up guy in bullpen. After Juco, went to the University of Florida as a walk-on. I worked my butt off and eventually got drafted by the Angels.

 

2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

Right-handed hitters don't like seeing the ball come from their left hip. My arm never hurt from down there, I was more resilient and able to throw back to back games a lot easier. I guess I also had pretty good velocity from down there and was able to get pretty sink on the ball

 

3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?

That's a good question, it's tough to say. I actually pitched 2 years from over the top. I had good velocity from submarine so Angels' staff were curious to see me over the top. I was 91-94 and averaging over 10k's per inning. Had a lot of promise and was actually up there on Angels depth chart behind Francisco Rodriguez. Right at the All-Star break though my shoulder was really starting to bother me, never had that problem while pitching submarine. I mean I would get the usual aches and pains but definitely a lot more resilient from there and easier to pitch games in a row at submarine.

 

4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

You really need to believe in it and have the courage to do it. For some pitchers it really can be a game changer. I would say though if you are throwing 92+ from over the top, don't change anything. You are already in the top 5 percentile of pitchers.

 

5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

Even though the arm angle is different you still need to use your legs and core. Some guys are just blessed with velocity while others aren't. I worked extremely hard and had the desire. I went from 78-80 to low 90's by working my legs, hips and core. Guess it's important to stay as loose and fluid at all times, like a whip. I used to study and watch video of the top pitchers of that time, Greg Madduz, John Smoltz, Nolan Ryan and they had some very common traits. They were always in balance throughout their whole motion. There was very little effort in their delivery. Nolan Ryan didn't necessarily look like he was throwing hard, he wasn't max effort like a Rob Dibble was.

 

6. What pitches did you throw?

Fastball, Slider, Changeup

 

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

Righties- Attacked them with the fastball and slider. To lefties would add in a change up.

 

8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

I stood out, all the kids and fans in the stands knew who I was. They would mimic my pitching motion. Also just the fact that righties hated facing me.