Gabriel Asakura: 2013 Brazil WBC RHP, Cal State LA

 

https://youtu.be/Nu81fJsx0Ao

 

 

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

 I used to throw overhead up until I got hit by a comebacker during my Junior College years. At that time I had a decent FB at 88-91, yet it was very straight. After 5 months not being able to play catch on anything due to the head injury. I had to teach myself to pitch again. It was with the help of my coaches at the time how ended up throwing side arm. They kept on saying that my body knew how to pitch, and I had to accept my body style, and it was to becomee a cross body 3/4 pitcher. 

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

Throwing for there gave me a chance of getting lots of movement os my FB. Not only I was now able to throw a good sink fb, but a good cut fb. Hitters would find me very deceptive, specially right handed.

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

I do not think I would have had the same success if did not throw from there. It gave me another look at pitching, and it also saved me a lot of pitches during games because I was able to get a lot more GB in early counts. My Slider and Change up became a lot better as well. Slider has always been my good buddy, and it became a lot more effective after being able to throw other deceptive FBs.

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

I am truly believer of every pitcher was born to its own style within itself. A lot of times, we were shaped to be something that we are not. It is important to evaluate the current stats and self room for improvement throwing overhead. If someone ask me that question, I would say that the person is probably not happy with the results and the body might not be happy with the way the mechanics are. If this is the case, a change is necessary. We cannot improve if we do not try something different. 

 

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

I believe that throwing from any angle is the same. We all end up using the same muscles.  It is about the way the body is used. Make sure to always work on strengthening the core muscles and on flexibility as well. You will definitely need those a lot more now. Repetition to find consistency on your new release point. When you get tired, it is a lot easier to start dragging your arm from that angles instead of throwing the ball, so consistency is key. 

6. What pitches did you throw?

I threw a Cut Fb, 2-Seam FB, Slider, Change Up and Curve Ball. I used to sit at 86-88MPH. Occasionally I would throw 90-92MPH. I tried to be consistent on throwing strikes at 88MPH rather than overthrowing since that would really burn my stamina. I am not tall and strong guy, and my body suffered more the days I was throwing harder.

 7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I really enjoy pitching aggressively. To either right or lefties, I had a similar approach. I tried to always attack the inside corner to make my slider and black outside more effective against righties. Lefties would always depend since they had a better view of my arm angle. Getting ahead and using the ball movement in my favor with FBs early in the count was very effective.

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

My favorite part was simply pitching. We all want to be someone known for our own way of doing things. I had a lot of japanese influence in my mechanics prior to the whole change. I was just another guy that had a smooth and easy mechanics. I did not want to be that guy. Being a side armer gave me the chance to introduce my own personality into it. It was me pitching, not a fake guy throwing out there. Every successful person build its personality in everything they do, and I simpatize my mechanics with my own personality.