One day, I tried to talking pitching and mechanics with a coach. I tried to show him some clips of Justin Verlander.

He quickly shut me down saying, "Why would you teach anyone to throw like Justin Verlander? He's just a freak of nature."

That wasn't the first time I had heard a pitcher described and written off as a freak of nature. The list of pitchers who have been or are labelled as freaks includes.

  • Nolan Ryan
  • Tom Seaver
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Justin Verlander
  • David Price

However, when I look at the (supposed) freaks, I see something interesting.

Nolan Ryan: NOT Just a Freak of Nature

What's interesting about the pitchers that people label freaks is this.

They all move or moved the same.

Specifically, their Timing is all similarly good; rather than exhibiting Flat Arm Syndrome, their pitching arms are UP, not FLAT, into or at front foot plant.

Nolan Ryan

Justin Verlander

Tom Seaver

David Price

Mariano Rivera

The fact that all of these healthy freaks moved similarly, and had similarly good Timing, suggests they weren't actually freaks.