Zach Foster: Former AA RHP Pittsburgh Pirates


1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

I was always a high three quarter max effort pitcher. I was at a point in my career that I had to figure a way to gets out more efficiently and it was decided by upper management to make the change. I would have kicked the ball to the plate if they told me to. I made the change when I was in Low A in May of that season 2011 and finished in High A with one of my best statistical seasons. I ended up getting up to AA with that arm slot. 


2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

The most obvious thing was being able to get groundballs on command. It created my movement on my sinker. I was always a durable pitcher but this arm angle furthered that. That was what propelled me through the system. Being a trusted guy in a bullpen that could throw multiple innings multiple days in a row and still get results. I still had decent velocity from that angle at around 88-91 so that helped as well. 


3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?

I was a work in progress my whole career in the minor leagues. I wouldn't have had it any other way for the org to trust me with changing my slot and going all in with it. With that being said I would have been gone 2 years before I was released eventually. Changing that slot gave me a couple more years to do what I love to do, chuck that pill. 

4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

Its a process. If you are finding success how you are throwing then be weary. If its not broke don't fix it. There are some major advantages as well, but certain guys just are not made to throw that way. 

5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

Mechanical no. Just try to be athletic. Every guys is different. Know what works for you. For me it was just a matter of riding my head down on the same plane, keeping a good front side and letting it eat. 

6. What pitches did you throw?

Two seam, slider, change up. 

7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

Depending on scouting reports. Righties most of the time were hard in soft away. I rarely threw my change up to righties. Lefties were away with more change up usage. 

 8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

Breaking bats and frustrating hitters with mediocre stuff.