Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Violent Mechanics of Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish is the "next big thing" out of Japanese baseball. Bids have been posted by MLB teams for the exclusive rights to negotiate with the dominant pitcher. His generous assortment of pitches, including a mid-90's fastball, have convinced several Major League teams to try to sign him.

What strikes me about Darvish are his violent lower body mechanics. He is an athletic 6'5" and uses that frame to generate a tremendous amount of power. Watching this clip and the one below, there is a lot of energy dropping down and forward toward home plate. The torque created by the separation of his upper and lower halves is incredible. In the first video there is a split second (0:21) when you can see both the front of his upper body and the back of his lower body. And in the clip below, there is a moment (0:07) when you can see both Darvish's belt buckle and the name on the back of his jersey. That takes a lot of strength and flexibility - hurts my back just to watch it. The result is a lightning-fast trunk rotation and much more energy, none of which is lost in his legs. The front leg is braced so well, it sends every drop of power to the upper half and into the baseball.

Freakish indeed. I look forward to seeing more of Darvish and I hope he holds up.

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