We all love to see a hard thrower. Realistically, when they are younger, they can be the most effective pitchers. The hitters are scared, they tend not to swing, or you see late panic swings as the hitters are on their heels from the beginning.
What many of these young hard throwers are not prepared for though is as they get older, the hitters get better and develop a better eye at the plate and all of the sudden, those hard throwers aren’t seeing as many swings on those poorly located pitches and their strike percentage drops as their walk rate increases. You may also see them start to get hit harder because those mid thigh/belt high pitches they used to blow by the hitters are now being deposited into the gaps.
From day one, there needs to be a constant focus on commanding the Baseball, throwing strikes and eliminating walks. Players, Parents and Coaches, do not be surprised when a young hard “thrower” never ends up becoming a successful pitcher, if a pitcher at all, in HS when there was never a CONSISTENT focus on a proper CONSISTENT delivery and to CONSISTENTLY command the Baseball.
And don’t be surprised when those softer throwers, the ones who saw less opportunities because they didn’t possess as much “velocity”, but threw more strikes, become valuable pieces to their HS/Summer programs. Notice that by the end of a season, it’s the strike throwers, not the velocity guys, who have become the go-to guys as they have proven to be more reliable.
Velocity will come with time, work on developing a powerful and healthy delivery and with maturity. Trust the process. For long term success, at the youngest of ages, instill a mindset of focusing on…
“Strike Percentage & Walk Rate”