Over the course of the next five days, I’m going to write an article about each “tool” coaches and scouts look for.
The first “Tool” is arm strength.
I have already written a few articles on arm strength and the how to develop it in previous articles.
Arm strength, in my opinion is the easiest to develop as well as the easiest to spot.
Before each game as well as before each inning, every player plays catch. EVERY time you play catch, it is an opportunity to show off your arm strength.
There are three different factors that coaches look for when determine arm strength:
1. Velocity on the gun: This is very easy to see as you just look at the radar number.
For a catcher, the average arm is around 80 MPH. For an infielder it is 85 MPH, and for an outfielder it is 90 MPH.
Obviously, there are players that throw much harder than this, but this is a “minimum” number you need to shoot for.
2. Carry: As you watch someone throw from their position, coaches and scouts will look at what kind of “carry” the ball has.
This is obviously affected by velocity, but a SS that has a strong arm will not have a thrown ball that starts to drop before it hits 1st base. His ball will stay true and may even appear as it rises.
This is the same with a catcher. An outfielder with carry will have a ball that looks like it has a 2nd gear when it’s half way there. Instead of beginning to die, it will continue the rest of the way.
3. Amount of Effort: The last thing someone looks at is how much effort you look like you’re exerting during your throw.
Two players may throw 90 MPH, but one makes it looks easy while the other looks like it is at 100% effort. The easier you can make it look, the better!
In my opinion, there is NO reason not to have at least average arm strength.
The #1 way to improve arm strength is through playing Long Toss. Playing long toss will increase arm strength and decrease injuries.
The #1 reason for injuries with youth baseball players is because they try to throw hard off of a mound when their arm is not ready!