Walker Buehler Breakdown- Featuring Robby Rowland

Written By: Robby Rowland

Premium Contributor - Robby Rowland

My name is Robby Rowland. I am a professional baseball pitcher that has a burning desire to improve my craft on a daily basis. My journey started at a very young age while my dad was still playing professional baseball. I was born around the game, lived it, breathed it as a kid. My passion led me to be a 3rd Round Draft Pick in the 2010 MLB Draft (88th overall).

I’ve been a prospect, I’ve been a bust, I’ve been on the verge of the big leagues, I’ve been a champion, I’ve been almost everything you can be labeled in this game. But most importantly my teammates will remember me as the guy who busted his butt every single day to maximize my potential. I am currently in my 9th career professional season and have been hit with the sudden urge to take my experiences, take what I’ve learned throughout my

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I’m on a big Walker Buehler kick right now. The dude is just super efficient with his movements and obviously just has a ridiculous right arm. I always find it interesting when really diving into this stuff with guys who throw the ball extremely hard.

I do believe that everyone has their “thing” within their delivery that may be perceived as different or even deemed “efficient” because they do it so well. But you’ll see a ton of similarities between high-velocity throwers as you see in that second video below with the comparison to Justin Verlander.

Walker Buehler Slow Motion Mechanics

Breaking down Buehler’s delivery is just flat out fun to do because I, personally, think he does a lot of things extremely well.

I included “Rhythm” in the title because I think this is something that is often overlooked with guys. Everyone’s rhythm is going to look different but you see Buehler is creating his rhythm by going over his head which syncs up his hand separation and his hinging into the back side also known as “loading the hip.” I think rhythm needs to be taught across the board because it’s a great way to create more athleticism during the delivery.

Often times when working with younger athletes it’s too easy for them to perceive a lot of these “mechanical adjustments” just as that, mechanical. If we can create rhythm then the majority of the time that will lead to better timing as well as efficient movement.

The one thing I want to point out that I absolutely love about Buehler in this slo-mo video is we get a great view of his body position when his hands are completely separated. A position that I talk about often is this identical position where the ball hand is separated from the glove hand, the head is still over the back foot/knee, and the body is hinging rather than squatting. Notice how his back knee is not over the foot. What this allows him to do is completely engage those glutes as he proceeds down the mound. Here’s an image of the position that I’m talking about. 

Why do we want to engage the glutes?

To put it simply I believe that when we throw a baseball we want the biggest muscles in our body to take the majority of the load. If we don’t sit into our glutes as efficiently as we can then we are relying on other parts of our body to take on some of the load that is throwing a baseball. Another thing to note in this position is that Buehler is driving force down thru his entire foot and not just the balls of his feet so now when he descends down the mound he will have more force to transfer to that lead leg.

And lastly, the position that I think matters most is when a pitcher first touches down with that drive leg/foot to see where his ball hand is. I think that having that ball hand above the elbow (not if you’re sidearm or submarine pitcher) is a key sign I can look at to determine if all the energy/force is being applied n transferred at the appropriate time.

I believe that this position here is “optimal.” If your ball hand is down you’re late and going to struggle with consistency. If your ball hand is up too much you have a leakage of energy due to the inability to delay that throwing arm. You’ll see in the image below that Buehler is a super efficient position at Front Foot Strike with the ball hand up a bit while his shoulder is efficiently separated from his hip increasing the amount of torque. Here’s the position I’m talking about.

Walker Buehler vs. Justin Verlander- The Comparison

Hope you enjoyed this breakdown. If you ever have any recommendations on who I should do another breakdown let me know by sending me a message on Instagram.

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