Stephen Villines: RHP AAA Mets




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

Since I can remember I’ve always thrown from a 3/4 slot. My parents even had a coach in Little League tell them how I throw sidearm and how bad it was for me(lol). Into high school I continued with a somewhat 3/4 angle. It wasn’t until my time at the University of Kansas during my freshmen fall that I started dropping down further. Growing up you always mess around throwing at different angles and I had always felt comfortable throwing from the side. During my freshmen fall I experimented a little bit and found a comfortable arm slot and the coaching staff was behind the idea. I didn’t just drop a ton right away, It was more of a gradual process until I really found the sweet spot. 


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

  Hitters will tell a sidearm pitcher all the time how uncomfortable it is to face a guy throwing from a unique angle. It might take the hitter a few pitches to get there feet under them and that’s when the hitter becomes vulnerable. 

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

If i never dropped down I do not believe I would have had the same success. You could tell looking back, when I finished high school my 3/4 arm slot was maxed out. I had been throwing the same velocity for 4 years so a change was needed. At that moment I didn’t know I needed to change because I was happy just being in the spot I was in. Fortunately when you face elite college hitters it challenges you to find a way to compete and get outs. Dropping down then became my weapon. I think the transition from high school to college is around a good time to consider if you need a change!

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

If you want to change your angle then do it slowly. Sometimes just the slightest drop or raise can be the difference. It doesn’t always have to be a dramatic change of angle. 


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

when I first started out I had a bad habit of popping my body up after I released it. I would recommend staying through the pitch and committing with your whole body. Once I got consistent with staying through my pitches I found that my location improved a lot. 

6. What pitches do you throw?

I throw a 4 seam that has the natural arm side run (86-88) (89 on a good day lol)
2-seam/ sinker low 80s
Slider (mid to high 70s)
Change up (mid 70s)

  7. How do you pitch to lefties/righties?

I like to attack the righties inside and up on the hands with the fastball.
Lefties, I try to change there eye level


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

Favorite part is how unique it is. As soon as a sidearm pitcher is throwing, everyone is watching.