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[h5]Have you seen Chris Archer pitch yet?[/h5]
I know I just wrote about him in my last post where we looked at his delivery (unusually slow and deliberate for such a hard thrower). But He just came off a ridiculously strong July, and he’s quickly becoming my favorite young pitcher.

And while it was his delivery that originally piqued my interest, the more I dug into his background, the more I was intrigued… This guy basically burst onto the scene last month, earning both AL Pitcher and Rookie of the Month for his performance this July.

And the more I read about him, the more there is to like. His story, his commitment to getting better, his mental approach… and he just seems like a young pitcher who is going about his business the right way. He also reads a lot (refreshing to see a young ballplayer recognizing the value of self-education). Then I came across this article, which is full of valuable nuggets for young pitchers, so I just had to share it with you.

Introspective Archer evolving into complete pitcher

One of things he talks about is his use of visualization in his pitching preparation:

“I just close my eyes and go through all the hitters,” Archer said. “Not really specifically the hitters. I do a third-person point of view, so I see myself executing a pitch. And I also see myself from a first-person point of view, where I’m actually inside my own body doing it and feeling it. So I see myself do it, then I actually do it.”

See, it all comes down to making good pitches, but there’s no doubt a big part of Archer’s success has to do with his mindset and his attention to the mental game.

Here’s what teammate David Price, one of his biggest supporters, had to say (young pitchers, pay attention):

“It’s just his work ethic and his determination and his mindset. That’s what baseball is — it’s all mental. … I feel like the mental side of baseball allows you to be able to execute pitches — and that’s what baseball is, it’s all about executing pitches. When you have that right mentality, you believe you’re going to execute that pitch, no matter how hard you throw or how nasty your stuff is. If you have the right mindset and the positive outlook before you throw that pitch, it allows you to be able to execute it.”

So while his slow, deliberate delivery might not be for everyone, I think young pitchers could learn from following his path to success – and I certainly look forward to keeping an eye on him.

I’ll wrap this one up with a clip from the man himself… on believing in himself, staying calm and “controlled aggression.”

PS – One of the things that’s made Archer so effective is commanding his breaking ball. For a Free Video with my # 1 Tip for throwing a Big League Curveball visit CurveballMastery.com