Importance of Arm Strength
The importance of arm strength when it comes to infielders, outfielders, and catchers.
Many people still subscribe to the age old philosophy of long toss in order to build arm strength in youth, high school, college and professional baseball players. While long toss does help, there are many other ways we can work to build strength, mobility, and speed in position players’ arms. Currently, depending on who you follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc… you can find posts and videos of pitchers working on gaining and maintaining velocity, using various methods including; weighted baseballs, underloaded baseballs, arm bands, long toss, weight training, shoulder stability exercises. My question to position players is, “Why are pitchers the only ones doing these exercises? What are they ultimately trying to do? They’re trying to gain arm strength and arm speed in order to be more effective/electric on the mound, which will in turn increase interest from college/pro scouts. The harder a pitcher throws, the more desirable he is to a recruiter. Here’s a breakdown when it comes to recruiting pitchers and velocities TYPICALLY required to be recruited at each level of college baseball.
Consistent Velocity Required for Pitchers at Each Collegiate Level
RHP - 80 mph
LHP - 77 mph
RHP - 85
LHP - 83
RHP - 88 mph
LHP - 86 mph
Obivously, pitchers are busting their tails to throw harder and harder, trying to grab as much college money as possible at universities across the country. You may not know this, but college coaches also have a similar requirement for their outfield and infield recruits. Here’s a look:
Consistent Velocity Across the Infield for Infielders at Each Collegiate Level
Now, other factors play into these numbers a bit, such as athletic ability, range, footspeed, and overall hitability, but these are baseline numbers recruiters at each college level use on a consistent basis. For first basemen, arm strength is not much of a factor. First basemen must be able to punish the baseball and possess more power than most anyone else on the field. It is truly an offensive position
Consistent Outfield Velocity from a Crowhop at Each Collegiate Level
Along with infielders, outfielders arms aren’t the only thing looked at, but with outfielders the arm is more important the player’s overall ability to field a hit ball. Outfielders are strongly graded on their arms and their bats and their speed. Corner outfielders are graded tougher on arm strength and hit and power tools, where as center fielders are graded stronger on speed and contact, with a little less emphasis on arm strength.
Catchers, you are graded almost solely on your pop times (glove to glove on throws to 2b), with the bat being a factor and ability to receive and block the baseball. Typical college pop times are as follows. Keep in mind, fantastic defensive catchers with great D1 pop times can find themselves at the D2, D3 level because their bat is weaker than others, and vice versa for stronger hitting catchers with lower defensive ability and higher pop times. It usually depends on what each recruiter coach is looking for at the time.
Consistent Pop Times for Ctachers at Each Collegiate Level
Almost every method, tool pitchers are using to strengthen and speed up their arms can be used for infielders, outfielders, and catchers. Don’t just buy into long toss programs and think it’s going to be enough. Maybe 10 years ago it was, but baseball players are evolving at an exponential rate and more and more players are reaching potentials they never would without these outside the box, non-traditional techniques.
All of these arm strength, arm speed, arm health techniques are used by Recruits coaches and players and are also used by Practice Factory instructors during lessons. Our players and students are consistently seeing gains and proven results from these methods and will see continued success on the ball field because of them. If you have any questions about how you can help increase arm strength and speed, reach out to us and we will get you on the right track.