Jon Huizinga: Former minor leaguer, Milwaukee Brewers

 

https://youtu.be/w9QhQrumeLM

https://youtu.be/Lho5fBeeB3I

 

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

I have always been taught to keep my head still when I throw. Thus throwing from a lower slot has always been natural for me. Some guys I know who throw "low" change their posture to do so and the same is true for guys who throw "over the top".

 

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

As a RHP who throws from a lower arm slot most RH hitters have a difficult time picking up the release point. This is where the advantage of deception comes into play.

 

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

It is hard to say how much success has been due to throwing from a lower slot. Most hitters tell me they have a hard time picking the ball up out of my hand so some credit must be given. Remember though until I saw myself on video I thought I was throwing "over the top".

 

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

If anyone out there is thinking of changing their arm slot I think the best thing you can do is video tape yourself. Then have a hitter stand in and see if they pick the ball up better from either slot. Some "over the top" guys can also be very deceptive. All pitchers in their natural states are unique and different. I encourage pitchers to be themselves and stay where they are instinctive.

 

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

If you are interested in messing around throwing from a lower or higher slot the posture is key. If you want to throw from a lower slot lower your posture. The arm path should always be natural and athletic. I like to encourage my pitchers to throw more like a shortstop than a pitcher. Traditionally pitchers move slowly down the mound. If a pitcher wants to throw harder it is about getting the body to move faster after all the arm is along for the ride.

 

6. What pitches did you throw?

I throw a sinker, cutter, spiked curve, and split finger fastball. The key is having the pitches all look the same to the hitter until they get into the hitting zone and then let the off speed do its thing.

 

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

Typically I pitch lefties and righties very similar. Hard in and soft away. Now every hitter is different so not one approach works for everyone. Being a low slot sinker guy it is important for me to be able to elevate my fastball when I want to. It allows me to change eye levels and get guys away from just looking for a pitch down.

 

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

My favorite part of being a low arm slot guy is the movement it helps me create and knowing hitters are not digging in or getting in line to face me. Also being myself and staying athletic are keys to my success on the mound. Be sure you are video taping for feedback. The pitching motion is too fast for the human eye to break down with slow motion. Get a little better everyday and be thankful for the opportunity we get to play baseball.