Kyle Bellamy: Former AAA RHP Chicago White Sox

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqImFmEvp9s

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

I started dropping down when I was in college. As a freshman at University of Miami(FL) in the fall of 2006, I had come in as a guy who threw over the top. One day in the fall we had bullpens and as I was waiting my turn to throw another one of our pitchers asked if I could toss with him so get could get loose. I was already loose so I had proceeded to mess around and throw side arm. Our pitching coach, JD Arteaga, had seen me throwing like this and when it was my turn to throw a pen he had asked me if I had ever thrown like that before. I told him no and he said that he wanted me to try and throw a couple towards the end of my bullpen session. I threw my pen overhand and he said alright now try a couple from down low. I did and it looked somewhat decent and afterward he gave me a choice. It was all my decision but I had to choose whether to try and throw 100% of time over the top, or 100% sidearm. He also told me that it would probably help the team out and I could see more playing time if I did. I took the night to think about it and I decided to give it a try and was the best decision I have ever made.

 

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

 Advantages I have from this arm angle is that the ball moves quite a bit. Having good movement and deception really gives me an advantage against hitters. Especially right handed hitters as my arm angle appears it is coming from behind them and makes them uncomfortable at the plate. Which is always an advantage for the pitcher.

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

If I didn't drop down I don't think I would've came close to the same success I have had in my career. First off I'm not sure I would've made the team at the U that fall. There's no telling if I would've put some weight on and gained velocity what I could've learned or done but I don't think it would've had this success. Dropping down didn't inhibit my velocity at all in fact I had picked up a few MPH as I became more comfortable throwing that way and learned my mechanics. I went into Miami hoping for success and a chance to play high level collegiate baseball but never imagined that I would be a 2 time all American and a 5th round pick, etc. I attribute all of that to dropping down sidearm. 

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

If someone came to me with debate of whether to drop down or not I would tell them it's not an easy transition. It took me almost a year before I figured out my arm slot and mechanics to where I was comfortable and consistent in games. My freshman year I had days where I really wanted to give up because it was such a tough process not throwing strikes and not figuring out ways for success. I showed flashes of the pitcher I am today but then the very next week I would lose it. It's not for the weak minded and it's something that takes a lot of time, practice and patience above all. But in the end it the player is 100% committed to doing so and willing to put the work in then there are several benefits to dropping down. 

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

 Mechanical tips are difficult to give because every sidearm pitcher is different. My pitching coach at UM told me when we were working on perfecting it that we need to throw the "book or mechanics" out the window when it comes to sidearm pitchers. But basically you want to simplify your delivery and not try to have too many parts flying around. One main thing for me is to keep my direction toward home plate during delivery and not spin off towards the first base which causes the ball to stay up in the zone which is sidearmers "kiss of death". Stay closed with body toward home plate and it will keep the ball down and get that sinking movement.

 

6. What pitches did you throw?

I throw a fastball, slider and changeup. 

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

Fastball sliders only to right handed hitters and all 3 to left handed hitters. Changeup is hardest pitch to throw for me and I use it more as a "show me" pitch to lefties maybe once an at bat. Usually mix good fastballs in and out and bring back door sliders or back hip sliders. A lot of time I find lefties will give up on back door sliders because it starts in other batters box and will just catch the corner. Righties is my job to dominate and fastball and sliders in and out keep them very much off balanced for it's very difficult to see. I'd say slider to righties is my strikeout pitch. 

 

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

My favorite part about pitching sidearm is that I'm a "different" guy. Every time I someone sees me throw they tell me how much they hate hitting off me. Knowing that's majority of hitters mindset as they walk to the plate gives me confidence that I already have an advantage on them before I even throw pitch one.