Just read a pretty good article on ESPN (imagine that) regarding top prep pitchers losing velocity and overall "stuff," specifically speaking to Tim Alderson's forgettable 2010 season. The piece focuses on teams throwing programs and how the 60, 90, and 120 foot 10 minute sessions are potentially causing players to lose velocity. Many of these players grew into their ability level by long-tossing regularly, up to 350'. The article also mentions Brewers farm hand Mark Rodgers who was topping out at 100 mph as a prep pitcher. When switching from the long-tossing program he was accustomed to to the 120 program, he ended up having 2 major arm surgeries and upon returning was topping out at roughly 87 mph. He requested to go back to the long-tossing program and since has regained his "zip" and is a top prospect in the system again.
The Pirates have employed the 120 system, or something similar to it, for the last decade+ and the results with our pitching prospects has been less than to be desired. Texas and various other teams have relaxed on their strict 120 system for all pitching prospects and it appears to have been successful with their young arms performing well through the minors and into the majors.
This all got me wondering and concerned with the future of the young guys entering the system and those coming up from the low A levels. I don't know what kind of throwing program that Taillon, Allie, ZVR, Cain, etc. have come from, but is this something that you all feel could be a negative effect on them and ultimately hamper their success as they grow into prospective top tier MLB pitchers?
Sorry for the long read. First Fanpost and I could feel myself rambling a bit, not knowing entirely what I was wanting to say. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts regarding the subject.
Link requires ESPN Insider.