Best Baseball Equipment for Pitchers
To perform big on the diamond doesn't mean you have to pony up big bucks for brand name equipment. The most effective gear is durable enough to withstand serious training without costing an arm and a leg.
The baseball training equipment you select will shape you into the athlete you're going to be. If you do what everyone else does, you'll get what everyone else gets. Choose wisely and do research on the equipment that will work for you.
Mobility, Flexibility, and Warm-Up Equipment
Gone are the days of static stretching and pole runs. To get your body ready for the grind takes proper muscle activation, hip mobilization, and getting the blood pumping. (See Adrian Gonzalez's Dynamic Warm-Up.)
Self-myofascial release (SMR) can help keep you off the disabled list. It plays a big part in getting the legs, hips, upper back, pecs, and arms ready to go. A foam roller is inexpensive, and you can throw it in your baseball bag. Read Eric Cressey's article, "Feel Better for Ten Bucks," on T-Nation to give you ideas on how to use it.
During the 2011 College World Series, pitcher Trevor Bauer was a force of nature with his 96-mph fastball and a plus-plus hammer curve ball. The third pick in the 2011 Draft by the Cleveland Indians uses an Oates's Specialties Shoulder Tube as a warm-up tool before every game. It is vital for dynamic stabilization and rhythmic oscillation of the shoulder and elbow joints.
Check out how Trevor uses it:
Resistance bands are truly a pitcher's best friend. The ones offered by Driveline Baseball hook into any chain-link fence, and they have D-handles and wrist cuffs to give you maximum flexibility when using them. Combine them with ASMI's Thrower's Ten program to give you a great start for prehabbing/rehabbing your throwing arm.
Strength and Rotational Power
Rotational power is everything in baseball. With med balls, go heavy to build strength and go light to build speed. A blend of both will develop elite speed-strength rotational power. Purchase a four- to 10-pound medicine ball.
Arm Strength, Arm Care, and Velocity Development
Studies show weighted baseball training can be very effective at developing velocity (see "Effects of Baseball Weighted Implement Training: A Brief Review" (DeRenne et al, 2009). Elite Weighted Baseballs by Driveline Baseball include 3-, 4-, 6-, 7-, 9- and 11-ounce versions to develop overload and underload speed-strength.