Amateur scouting: Deolis Guerra

21 Apr

(This post will only interest Twins fanatics. All other readers: probably best to check back another time.)

I recently stumbled upon a critique of Twins super-prospect Deolis Guerra — it’s an interesting write-up of the kid’s pitches, delivery, mechanics, et al. One aspect of Guerra’s delivery that struck me as needing a ton of work is his balance, specifically how far his legs/lower half are ahead of his arm. This issue is paramount to MLB success and needs to be corrected before Guerra will be taken seriously as a prospect. Check out the screen shot I grabbed from the video featured in the above link:


Note that Guerra’s back foot is at least 12 inches in front of the rubber before he’s released the ball. Not good, guys. Years ago (when I was a youngster), such momentum towards the plate was seen as a positive – that his force going forwards would help add velocity. I damn near leapt off the mound in hopes that I’d pick up a mph or two on my fastball.

This is not the way to pitch.

The standard teaching these days is to keep your weight back, front foot firmly planted and back foot staying on the front rubber before you release the ball. Why? Because anytime your legs have planted that early, and your back foot has left its position on the rubber, you’ve taken out all power from your legs. No legs = no velocity and extreme difficulty in throwing consistent offspeed pitches (because you aren’t controlling where you’ll land and how hard you’re pushing off the rubber. You’re virtually in the air, trying to get bite on curves or pull the string on a changeup).

Below are a few photos of successful MLB pitchers I’ve seen exhibit solid mechanics (these are just the first four photos I looked up — I’m betting most pitchers display similar balance & mechanics). Notice how each hurler’s back foot remains on the rubber, so he can fully utilize his lower body and increase both velocity and a consistent delivery.





First plant, and then fire. Hopefully Guerra learns this soon.

The end (to my most boring post of all time).


One Response to “Amateur scouting: Deolis Guerra”

  1. Keith Miraldi April 22, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Very nice, qualitative approach and analysis :) THis is the key “stuff” the scouts are looking at…not his WHIP, and other statistical formulas off of marginal “A” ball prospects. There will be a time to value that.

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