Jacob Dorris: Former Astros AAA RHP



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

Like many stories of pitchers who have turned to throwing sidearm/submarine mine is anything but conventional. I was a high school shortstop with a strong arm and an even stronger desire to play college baseball. However after a junior season that I hit well below 200. with no signs of improvement it was clear that a future of hitting at the college level for me was not going to be promising.
Early in our season in an ironic stoke of luck one of my good friends and Ace pitcher for the team showed up late to pregame stretch for a Tuesday night match up against the Haltom Buffalos. I hadn't pitched really at all my entire career up to that point even including little league. But my high school coach told me that in 30 minutes I would be starting that game and to get in the bull pen and get loose. I went to the pen and wildly threw balls from a traditional arm slot all over the place and was no where near the strike zone. Shortly after realizing I was not going to throw a strike my high school pitching coach encouraged me to drop down and throw it sidearm like I do when turning a double play. I initially was not happy about the idea and was nervous to try it out. After some discussion and coaxing me into just giving it a try I dropped down into a sidearm slot off of my hip delivered three fastball that were all strikes in the bottom of the zone.I turned around to my coach and said "welp looks like I am going to have too stick with that". That night I took the Mound for the Weatherford High School fighting kangaroos and my first inning pitching in high school baseball and threw a complete game 7 inning shut out , throwing all fastballs from the sidearm slot.
It was the first time on a baseball field I had ever felt like a Hunter rather than the Hunted. I fell in love with it and never looked back.

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

I think deception and movement are two obvious advantages that when dropping down immediately I noticed were considerably easier to produce. But for me personally the lower arm slot is a lot more comfortable on my shoulder and elbow. 

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

Absolutely not, if I wouldn't have changed my arm angle i wouldn't have been able to play baseball past high school. And i do wish that i would have found my natural arm slot earlier so i could have started learning to pitch and control my stuff earlier in my career.

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

  Everyone is unique and there are millions of ways to have success on the mound. No pitcher should ever model himself after someone else's arm angle or mechanics. Wherever your natural arm slot is you should aim to maintain that arm angle while using good lower body and core mechanics. 


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

Everyone's mechanics are unique and specific to each person so that is something that each pitcher needs to find for themselves.

6. What pitches do you throw?


 7. How do you pitch to lefties/righties?

I generally like to work righties inside with the sinker to get ahead. Then use the Slider or Riseball for swings and misses later in counts.
For the lefties I like to work away with the sinker in combination with the splitter.

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

My favorite part about being a sidearm/submarine pitcher is that we have our own unique way of attacking hitters. What makes us unconventional and unique is the same thing that can makes us valuable to a pitching staff.