Trip Somers, Trainer/Scout/Developer
My pitching pedigree is nothing to brag on, having spanned an extremely modest 6.0 IP over 4 years as a relief pitcher at The University of Texas at Dallas. As a fringe player starved for playing time, I fruitlessly tried to unlock some kind of competitive advantage within myself.
I had no idea what I was doing. I turned to the internet and followed the rabbit hole. One guy said to long toss, another said don't. One guy said to lift weights, another said don't. The contradictions and explanations all added up to zero. It made no sense. I made no progress and barely played my senior year.
Six months later, I was coaching select ball and giving private lessons. I wanted to provide better instruction than I had ever received and kept working to make sense of it all. Meanwhile, I was giving pitching lessons, bad ones.
One day, I decided to make a concentrated effort to understand one of the more complicated and precise pieces on pitching that I had ever come across: Dr. Mike Marshall's Coaching Baseball Pitchers Book (online). Things started to make sense.
Around this same time, I came across Kyle Boddy's now-defunct SBNation Blog Driveline Mechanics. We were after the same answers and could speak each other's language. We were lucky to have been at the same point on our learning curves. Kyle, of course, went on to establish the highly successful Driveline Baseball, and I... thought it would be a good idea to try to get into medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon (more on that below).
After two years in select ball, I jumped at the chance to be the Frisco RoughRiders' first player development video intern. The position evolved a bit in each of the next two seasons, and I hoped it would eventually lead to a permanent position with the Texas Rangers.
Having previously earned a B.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from UTD, I returned to school to complete the biology prerequisites for medical school. Around applications time, that plan came to a screeching halt when the Tampa Bay Rays reached out to me with a scouting job thanks to this very blog. To take the job, I had to quit school and say farewell to the Rangers. I worked for the Rays for 6 years.
In the fall of 2015, I decided to start training pitchers again.
I am not an expert, but I like to think that I have plenty of useful experience, a lot of knowledge, and a bit of wisdom. I have dedicated myself to an approach of continued education and keeping an open mind in an effort to avoid taking anything for granted. As a result of this approach, my views on pitching and training are constantly evolving. It's not uncommon for new studies to change my perspective!
In my articles, I draw attention to my personal conclusions based on the research presented. I do not claim to be unbiased, but I do my best to separate my opinions from the facts. My conclusions should not be accepted as facts, and I strongly encourage you to read the research for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
[Last updated: February 15, 2017]
- Pitch Movement, Part V: (Sp)in Your Eyes
- February 9, 2021
- Pitch Movement, Part IV: Tunnel Vision
- June 25, 2020
- Scouting Grades: Power
- June 22, 2020
- Pitch Movement, Part III: The River of Seams
- April 2, 2020
- Pitch Movement, Part II: Sweet Seams (Are Made of This)
- March 15, 2020
- Pitch Movement, Part I: You Spin Me Round (Like a Baseball)
- February 28, 2020
- Scouting Grades: Speed
- February 20, 2020
- Still Learning 11 Years Later
- February 5, 2020
- Is it really supported by science?
- February 8, 2017
- To athletes seeking "exposure"
- February 1, 2017
- [posts archive]