By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Submarine pitching is a very unique style of pitching. Most pitchers between over the top, and a three-quarter delivery. Submarine is when the pitcher drops his arm down to almost underhand which gives the ball a very different movement that many hitters are not used to.
If you are a pitcher who currently throws overhand, I personally would not change to submarine if you are having success with an overhand delivery. The fact is, many college scouts overlook submarine pitchers as being more of a gimmick than anything. It is very hard for an overhand pitcher to start throwing sub with immediate success. Often times, an overhand pitcher will lose roughly 10 mph on their fastball when dropping to submarine. This is why scouts usually will overlook a submariner.
On the other hand, if you are not having success as an overhand pitcher, it might be worth it to try throwing sub. If you can throw submarine with a fastball velocity in the 80s, many college scouts will show some interest. The natural movement associated with submarine is a big advantage that will definitely peak the interest of college and even professional scouts.
Submarine pitchers make great relief pitchers. It usually takes a team at least one time through the batting order to get used to the unique release point which is why a submariner is a great asset late in the game. It is very rare for a submariner to be a starting pitcher. Most good hitters will get used to the delivery after their firs at-bat, and the next time up the slower velocity will seem like batting practice to them.
If you are interested in learning more about submarine pitching, check out the
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