Tom Hackimer: Twins AA RHP

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

I was a shortstop in high school, and didn't actually pitch an inning for those four years. I was offered an opportunity to walk-on as a pitcher at St. John's University, and at the beginning of the process of my conversion to the mound my arm slot was dropped to a low sidearm slot, and that is more or less where it has stayed since.

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

The advantages I have are the fastball movement that comes results my arm slot, along with the deception it creates.

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

I think that I could have had success as an overhand pitcher, but I suppose that I'll never know. Since I dropped down at effectively the very beginning of my career as a Pitcher-Only, I can't say that I really could have dropped down any earlier. 

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

  I would say to consider it, try it out and see how it feels before deciding to make the transition permanent. With pitching, you never really want to be uncomfortable with anything you're doing, particularly your arm slot. Fortunately for me, I threw from a low 3/4 slot anyway, so the drop to sidearm was minimal and pretty comfortable for me overall.


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

I like to think of my motion as very similar to skipping a rock across a pond, particularly during dry work. I also do a large amount of rotational med ball throws, which I believe have helped me a lot throughout my career.

6. What pitches do you throw?

I currently throw a two-seam fastball, slider, and change up. My fastball is usually in the 89-92 mph range, up to 94, my slider is anywhere from 78-82, and change up is usually in the low 80's. I also briefly threw a cutter that I scrapped after Spring Training that was in the 85-87 range.

 7. How do you pitch to lefties/righties?

For righties, I generally try to establish the inside corner and then finish them with sliders away. For lefties, I try to keep a varied sequence of pitches and locations to try to keep them off-balance.

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

My favorite part of thowing sidearm is knowing that for the most part, batters don't really want to be in the box facing me.