Pitchers have been told for years that they need to be long, loose, and "whippy" with their arm. The belief is if the arm action is short and compact they'll push the ball or lose power. While pitchers do not have to be a quick with their actions, more efficient is still the way to go.
It's one of the biggest elements we have battled for our Youth In House Training and our Healthy Heat Program. The real reason that shortening up is necessary at times is because of timing. The Texas and Florida Baseball Ranch programs refer to the most critical position of the throwing motion as final connection. The final connection is when the front foot strikes the ground while having the hand up, inside of 90 degrees, with the elbow just below shoulder level. Everything that happens before the final connection is just a means of comfort and timing.
This happens particularly with younger players. Trying to time a distal are action consistently just doesn't happen. They may need to find a more compact and efficient movement pattern to allow for more consistent timing and connection.
Four different players using four very different circumstances all in the same position. I don't think Puig lost much power on his throw from the outfield. It's easy to get lost in all the movement when watching guys throw, but when the foot hits the ground the scapula needs to be retracted with hand up and inside 90. This allows for the hand to accelerate longer and achieve late launch, but more on that next week.
The short answer is you can’t judge arm action by simply looking at it with the naked eye. In the Healthy Heat program, we do a lot of work in an effort to make the arm action more efficient and that looks different for everyone. However, just because an arm action looks too “short” it does not mean it is the cause of a command problem or a lack of velocity.
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