Austin Pettibone: Rangers AA RHP

 

https://youtu.be/N0AddzbyOws

 

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

I started during the season last year in May. I was kind of just messing around with it in catch play and flat grounds because my buddy with the Angels was doing it on occasion and he was having great success with it. Our pitching coordinator was in town and had heard I was thinking about it, so we got off a mound that day and it felt good. My next outing I just went for it and I really liked it. 

 

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

Deception, movement and velocity. All three of those went up, so it was a no brainer for me to continue throwing like that.  

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

 Hard to say, but I do like where I am at right now pitching wise and I definitely think it has helped my career.

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

It never hurts to try something new. I had always thought and wanted to be a big league starter, so at first I was skeptical of doing it. However, once I completely bought in with the change, I started to see a lot more success. Also, you can't expect results right away. My first month of dropping my arm slot was a total roller coaster ride. I showed signs of really good stuff and also signs where I had no idea where the ball was going. Everyone hears this all the time, but it's the truth: Believe in the process. 

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

Strong front side, which will lead to better command. Also, being as loose as possible and not trying to guide your pitches. Let it eat. Another thing that helped me was moving over to the third base side of the rubber. Yes, it is a lot harder to command, but once you're able to be consistently in the zone, my stuff is way better and I am way more deceptive from that side. It's like I'm almost coming from shortstop. 

 6. What pitches do you throw?

Fastball 4 seams and 2's: 90-93
Slider: 84-85
Change-up: 86-88

7. How do you pitch to lefties/righties?

To righties I try and split the plate with my fastball and slider, so mostly fastballs in and sliders away. Lefties, I have to establish the FB in or else they will start diving to the ball and working the opposite gap.

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

   My favorite part is being able to try new things. It was almost like I had to learn pitching all over again. I also had to learn to enjoy the struggle because it's a process to go through a change like that mid season.