Leon Boyd: Dutch National Team WBC, Former RHP Blue Jays AA



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

I started throwing it once in a while when I was 11. I always just mixed it into my pitch repetoire to keep hitters off balance. When I was in University playing ball, they had me only throw over the top, but that wasn't me. In 2006 when I was done with University ball I went and played in Europe, at that point I brought it back, and it was very affective. I was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, and after my first spring training, they really liked my submarine angle the most and asked me if I could throw from there all the time. Since then, I've evolved back into the pitcher I was in my teens and in Holland, mixing up about 4 arm angles consistently throughout the game, including both sidearm and submarine.


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

Different degrees of movement and deception can be achieved from those angles. I use it against righties prodominantly because the ball will cut in on their hands and can often result in a swing and miss, or a grounder.


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

Probably not. Despite being 6'6", I am not really a power pitcher. I rely on movement and location to have success. It's been a stepping stone to my crazy career and year after year I refine it and am always figuring out new little aspects of pitching.


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

Try throwing sidearm/submarine with no baseball, if it feels comfortable, try it in practice when throwing or in a bullpen session, if it's still good, try in a game. Why not?


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

You always get to the "power position" in pitching, even with sidearm/submarine. Go through your mechanics slowly while throwing from down there then pause and freeze your legs and upper body at release point, now, upright your body from only the waist where you're bent over... it should be in the power position.


6. What pitches did you throw?

Over the top - fastball, curve, change; 3/4 - sinker, slider, change; Sidearm - same as 3/4; Submarine - fastball, slider.


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

I try and come over the top more to lefties. Lefties have the ability to see the ball longer when a pitcher (righty) drops down, and because of the way a sidearm/submarine pitch if delivered the ball moves into the sweet spot on the bat of a lefty. Righties, I go about half and half with my arm angles to mix them up.


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

I like to have the ability to pull it out in a groundball situation and/or in the right count. Since only maybe 10% or so of pitchers actually throw with a lower arm slot pitch in a game, it keeps the batter off balance. The addition of another weapon like the lower arm angles has opened some big doors for me. With only 1 arm angle I truly don't think I would have the same accomplishments.