Newly signed import Ryota Igarashi is the owner of the fastest ball thrown in Japan, a 98-MPH heater. However, his goal is to hit triple digits, and he believes the harder clay mounds in the USA will give him that opportunity (do they play on sand in Japan?).
Ryota Igarashi is apparently interested in trying to hit 100mph on the radar gun. And part of what might allow that ambition to come to fruition might have to do with the harder mounds.
“I love it. There’s nothing wrong with hard mounds, and I think it’ll help my delivery. All the necessary elements for throwing hard are present,” said Igarashi.
The harder mounds will apparently provide Igarashi with more stability on his landing foot, allowing him to generate more arm velocity.
Igarashi also said that he’d like to try and pick up a two-seamer to complement his pitches.
That Igarashi is talking about a harder surface to throw from tells me he understands the importance of the lower half. To me this is interesting because here in the USA most youngsters, coaches, and even some pros tend to over-emphasize “arm strength” — when in reality, velocity comes more from the use of momentum and the proper timing and action of the torso. Yes the arm speed and action also plays a part, but in the Western World I believe it’s given too much attention.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers.