Michael Freeman: LHP AA Astros



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

 I was always a very average with what a lot of people called "potential." To me, this just meant I was supposed to be better than I ever was. I worked hard but never really reached that potential until I dropped my arm slot to the low-3/4 that it now is. When I got to Oklahoma State I was still just trying to figure out what was best for me. My coach, Rob Walton, helped me immensely. The guy is a baseball genius and really knows what he's doing. We ended up trying throwing with a lower arm slot and things just took off! The two seam became a sinker and the slider started sliding for the first time!

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

From my angle I create a lot of sink on my fastball and it is deceptive, especially to left-handed hitters, but even the crossfire action against righties can cause deception. My sinker/slider combo is a mix I am very happy with. 

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

I do not think I would be having the success I've had to this point in my career without dropping down. I think that the timing was perfect and I'm happy with the way things have gone for me!

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

 I think if someone wants to change their arm angle then that's fine. Do what is comfortable. I don't think everyone is a fit for throwing from a sidearm or lower angle. Personally, my arm feels better than ever and my stuff is the best it has ever been. Some people aren't made to throw low but are better off throwing straight over the top. To those guys I would say just try to find what works for you and what is comfortable and stick to that! 

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

Each person's mechanics are his own. I would say find something that is comfortable and effective and stick to it. If it hurts, don't do it. If you get swing and missed, keep it up!

6. What pitches do you throw?

I throw a sinker, slider, and changeup. My sinker is usually 86-88, slider is 77-78, and changeup is 75-77.

7. How do you pitch to lefties/righties?

 Each at bat is dependent on the hitter and situation. I like to run sinkers in on lefties and open up the slider to the outer half. To righties I like to work sinkers in and out and mix changeup and slider in different counts.

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

My favorite part of being a low 3/4 pitcher is the deception and uniqueness of my delivery. Not very many people throw like me or make the ball move like I do. When I was over the top it was different but not consistent. I feel much more comfortable and in a position to be repeatable with the mechanics I use now.