By now, nearly every Royals fan knows the name Josh Staumont. The fireball throwing RHP that can’t seem to throw a strike and was moved to the bullpen to begin the 2018 season. The former top prospect dazzled when he was drafted, and was potentially the highest ceiling arm in the organization for quite some time. Just gauging by what I see on social media, some fans seem to have tempered their expectations for Staumont after his move to the bullpen. I’m here to warn you not to do that, as I believe that Staumont is merely one adjustment away from becoming one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball.
I was watching a little film this week on Staumont, trying to figure out if there were any glaring issues in his delivery. Staumont’s walk rate is up to 6.75/9 IP this season (not including the 3 walks he gave up in 2 IP last night), which is just slightly better than his 7.46 BB/9 from last season. A guy with the arm talent that Staumont possesses is worth giving every opportunity to succeed, and so far this season Staumont has found success on the mound despite his control issues, pitching to a 0.59 ERA.
While watching Staumont’s film, I stumbled upon something:
I got the Joe Kelly clip (gif #1) from a man named Dave Coggin who owns a company called PFA (Preparation.Fitness.Attitude) that’s based in Upland, CA. Apparently, Staumont worked out with Coggin this offseason:
That was an ironic turn of events. Here I am thinking I’ve found something, meanwhile an effort to fix the problem has already broken ground. Mr. Coggin was kind enough to do an interview regarding Staumont’s delivery and some adjustments he may be trying to make in an effort to shorten his arm stroke. Here’s what Coggin had to say on the matter:
Q: “So, in that Kelly video, Kelly obviously shortens up his arm angle. The theory is it should help Josh create a more repeatable delivery and throw more strikes. Is that some of what you guys worked on?”
Coggin: “It’s the first thing I work on with almost every pitcher i see. Shorter is more likely to have less timing issues.”
Q: “Can you comment on what you saw from Josh and how a new arm path may effect his curveball (for better or worse)?”
Coggin: “Everything improves with getting wasted movement out of the arm spiral, just like Joe Kelly described when he shortened up he was able to repeat and get on top of his off speed pitches easier. I often say if you have a 4 ft rope and 3 ft is behind you, then you only have 1ft in front, so by shifting the rope you can have more length in front which means your body isn’t out in front of your arm any more. It’s not an over night correction, and it does take time and reps, this is why I believe baseball has always believed you can’t change arm action, they simply don’t have enough patience to give it time to be comfortable. See early videos of how Nolan Ryan, Gerritt Cole, and Roger Clemens all shortened up as their career progressed and they all got better.”
Oh, then there’s this:
That’s some pretty high praise for Staumont coming from a guy who has worked with Joe Kelly and his 102 mph fastball. Josh Staumont undoubtedly has all the talent necessary to be an elite closer in the MLB, he just needs to learn to harness that arm in a little bit first. Once he does, look out, the kid has a chance to be really special in a big league bullpen.
For more from Dave Coggin and PFA, check out these sites and download his app “Complete Athlete”: