It's been well publicized as of late that young Anthony Reyes has seen a drop in his fastball velocity over the last year. I found that particularly worrisome, as have others and conspiracy theorists have said that the 2 seamer indoctrination is ruining Reyes, and this particular insistence is hurting a very promising young arm. I asked Jeff Albert of swingtraining.net and the Batter's Eye to take a look at couple of Reyes' videos, one from his debut at Milwaukee in July of 2005, and the other World Series game 1. Both were well pitched games, but in 2005 Reyes was living at 91-94 in Milwaukee, he was in the mid to high eighties against Detroit. Here is Jeff's response:
"I have to say this is a tough one in that it is not very obvious. What would be interesting would be to put up the full clip and ask which one is throwing harder. They are very close, but the result is a 7 mph difference....this is good to show how much small changes may have a large impact at the highest levels."
"The clip on the left from Reyes' debut in 2005 registered 95 mph, but the clip on the right from 2006 playoffs came in at 88 mph. Usually, I choose subjects that display quite an obvious difference in physical performance, but this does not seem to be the case here."
"Reyes' tempo and timing is relatively unchanged, which leads to the health issue. To my knowledge, nothing has significantly reduced Reyes force production ability (IE loss of strength),so that leaves efficiency."
"Looking at Reyes' hips here, it appears that rotation begins slightly earlier in 2005. I wouldn't call Reyes aggressive in either clip because he extends with the front leg instead of really trying to hold his hips together and explosively rotate into foot plant. With his past success and reputation as a power pitcher, however, it appears that Reyes had been able to use his hips in a way to maximize the use of his upper torso and arm action."
"It would be interesting to ask Reyes what type of 'feel' he had in late '06 versus 2005. With the hips opening slightly sooner in 2005, it looks like he is clearing a better path for his upper body to deliver his arm more effectively towards home plate. In other words, he is delivering more momentum of towards the plate in 2005."
"The issue with the hips could go either way. Perhaps the 2006 version that is staying closed for a longer period of time could surpass the 2005 version if Reyes could figure out how to rotate more aggressively. This way he would be storing more energy and unloading more powerfully. Even if he didn't improve his overall velocity, using his lower body more effectively should take some stress off of his arm in the long run."
Big thanks to Jeff for breaking down the video for us. Thoughts anyone?