Article originally published in 2018
Corey Kluber is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.
At his recent ProCamp in Mentor, Ohio, the two-time Cy Young Award winner offered a rare glimpse into the mechanics he focuses on most when he’s on the mound.
“I have a couple different checkpoints that I want (in my delivery),” Kluber said. “The first one is I want to stay balanced and over the rubber. And then I think the second most important thing to me is keeping my head quiet. I think that your body goes where your head goes. So if you can keep your head quiet and going towards the plate, that’s going to allow everything else to fall in line mechanically.”
By keeping his eyes fixed on the catcher’s glove and his head stationary during his delivery, Kluber ensures his posture is on point and his momentum is headed toward home plate. Not only does that help him throw with better velocity and accuracy, but it also ensures his release point—the instant where the ball actually leaves his hand—is as close to home plate as possible. That increases the perceived velocity of his pitches, making them even tougher to hit.
“The less head movement, the better the posture, and the better the posture, the better the throw,” legendary pitching coach Tom House, who’s trained the likes of Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Cole Hamels, once told STACK. “As long as the head stays stable (and) parallel to the mound as you initiate your delivery toward home plate, then you’ve done your job.”
In this GIF, you can really get a good look at how stationary Kluber keeps his head and eyes during his delivery. It overlays video of him throwing both a two-seam fastball and a slider, yet you can barely tell these are two separate motions. That’s how consistent he keeps his mechanics.
If you’ve never considered the role your head and eyes play in your pitching mechanics, follow Kluber’s advice and try to eliminate any unnecessary head motion you may have. It just may be a quick ticket to improved accuracy and/or velocity.
Photo Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images