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Brent Strom Zoom Meeting: Recap & Additional Research

Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

For those of you who don’t remember, almost a year ago, I took a stab at detailing what I dubbed the “Strom Magic Method”. I was actually very proud of this article, as it required research into the different areas that Strom has spoken about / advocated for. I believe I did a good job translating some of the scientific / technical reasoning behind the different methods and conveying them into an easily digestible article.

The good news? We can now hear it from the horses mouth. If you guys haven’t watched any of Peter Caliendo’s videos, I HIGHLY recommend them. There has been a large number of highly touted experts to come on his show and allow us to hear the theories directly from the horses mouth.

The obvious place to start? Brent Strom himself.

This is an hour long discussion / Q&A with Brent Strom. Here are some notes I took:

  • Believes a Change-up is critical, with the #1 area of importance being the arm speed (arm speed, location, movement).
  • He doesn’t believe any pitch is more damaging to the arm, so teaching pitches like Curveballs young (“out of the womb”) - 100% focus should be on form.
  • Major leaguers miss their pitch by an average of 16”
  • Roger Savoldelli - Swiss Pitching coach. Talks about a clinic he taught with him, looking to focus on command over velocity/spin
  • Randy Sullivan - Brent Strom talks through alignment on the rubber with with different hips (Anteversion / Retroversion).
  • Talks about Paul Davis as an expert on back-leg drive and references what I believe to be this interview
  • Talks about a slight deviation from the tried and true 4-seam fastball focusing on the strengths of the pitcher (Morton/Harris) - “Rise and Run” - Does not convert to true 4-Seam Fastball, but meets it somewhere near half way (this is worth looking into as a separate article)
  • Talks through backwards shaping for teaching form - Paul Nyman
  • Highlights the vertical approach for Fastballs - as discussed in previous article
  • Highlights pitch tunneling - says Perry Husbands is his go to - as highlighted in the article
  • Talks about the turn-around from Collin McHugh - utilizing the horizontal movement with his curveball and high fastballs.
  • Talks about switching Gerrit Cole from a sinker pitcher to a high 4-seam fastball pitcher. Later in the video talks about the change in grip to mimic Sandy Koufax’s curveball (focusing on holding the ball between middle and ring finger and thumb almost irrelevant) changed Gerrit’s Curve.
  • Talks about 2-Seamer down / away to opposite hand hitters as a major negative. (This was based on Kluber’s recent video)
  • Go-To Drills: Full Body approach - utilizing throwing vs pitching
  • Said Perry Husbands is his go-to place to start

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get a good enough view or find the list that Strom shows:

Credit to Peter Caliendo

EDIT: I was able to get a copy of the list from Peter Caliendo. Here it is:

Rachel Balkovec

Eugene Bleecker

Craig Bjornson

Kyle Boddy

Dr. Eric Cobb

Fred Corral

Ryan Crotin

Paul Davis

Steve Englishbey

Mike Fast

Vern Gambetta

Sazi Guthrie

Chris Holt

Perry Husband

Derek Johnson

Wes Johnson

Demetre Kokoris

Sandy Koufax

Lloyd Lee

Graham Lehman

Tim Leveque

Dr. Mike Marshall

Gary McCoy

Gavin McMillan

Sig Mejdal

Paul Nyman

Randy Sullivan

Jerry Weinstein

Ron Wolforth

Overall, I was very happy about how my original article stacked up to the items Strom touched on. He did place a higher focus on change-ups, so there will be some further research there.

For those of you, who haven’t listened to it as of yet, Collin McHugh also had Brent Strom on his 12-6 podcast just over a year ago.

So since Strom said Perry Husband is where he would start, that’s our next stop.

This lead me to Perry Husband’s presentation on the same channel:

If you wanted a deeper understanding of effective velocity, this does a good job explaining it and really hammering it in. It starts off by showing effective velocity based on when you need to speed to be able to hit each pitch at an ideal zone. This talks through not just the effectiveness from a change of speed/swing and miss but also the impact it has on the ability to square up on a pitch. Some interesting points and stories about him consulting with the Astros for Oswalt, Keuchel and with Gerrit Cole. Most interesting aspect that I captured was that his report to the Astros said that shorter pitchers that throw hard actually have an advantage when looking at EV / Pitch tunneling. I think this is the first claim I’ve seen proclaiming the advantage of being short for pitchers - but it makes sense on a logical level. The challenge could still stand within durability, but I’ve never actually done any research to confirm that belief.

Interestingly, Perry is less of a believer in altering the location/usage of your fastball based on the spin rates. With a stronger belief that utilizing your fastball, where it will be effectively the fastest will lead to the best results.

They do touch on Driveline Baseball’s dispute in regards to effectiveness of EV, but Perry highlights the flaws in their methods (utilizing incorrect/oversimplified data / formulas). There’s plenty of debate on the validity, impact, and methods of testing. (Here are some other links for those interested - Fangraphs (Results based approach), Perry Husband’s research , even MLB has weighed in with Carlos Pena talking about it.


I sent a note to Peter Caliendo to see if I can get a copy of the list of people Strom holds up, and can continue to deeper dive into their thoughts and beliefs as we look to gain an understanding of Strom’s methodology.

I do want to pause and recognize Brent Strom, not only for his incredible performance as the pitching coach of the Astros, but for giving back. He is consistently out helping to spread information, teach camps, work with pitchers and coaches, etc. We’re truly blessed to have him

I’m contemplating investing in some video editing software, to try to make some deeper analysis on before/after of some of our pitchers.