Rosenbaum Needs His Fastball

Zach Rosenbaum, the Mets' 19th round pick in last June's draft, like his peers in Kingsport has not begun his career as effectively as hoped. The main cause he points to for his shortcoming is the lack of velocity and command of his fastball. Now as the Appalachian League closes this week, Rosenbaum looks ahead to the time when he can get back the life in his fastball he is accustomed to.

Zach Rosenbaum, 21, has been battling ever since he began his junior season at UNC Charlotte [alma mater of John Maine]. A tendon injury in the middle finger on his pitching hand nagged him throughout the season and caused him to throw nearly half as many innings as his sophomore year.

The time off the mound helped Rosenbaum heal from his injury, but upon his arrival in Kingsport, he found a host of new challenges ahead. He entered the system with a fairly deep repertoire as he possesses a four-seam fastball that sits 90-91 MPH, a two-seam fastball between 88-90 MPH, a slider that spins around 80 MPH, and a diving changeup in the low-to-mid 70s.

However, it has been the lack of fastball consistency that has caused Rosenbaum to be roughed up for a 2-4 record with a 6.48 ERA and .319 opponent's average in 33 1/3 innings pitched. Though he understands the work ahead, he admits the toll of working an entire collegiate season before his tenure with Kingsport has effected him as expected, but he works to make up for that by spotting his pitches.

"Playing every day, and going from a six-day rest in college to throwing every fifth day here has, I think, caused my velocity to drop a little bit but that's something I thought would happen," he said.

"I've been pitching nearly non-stop since October when started at school. My velocity isn't really there where I want it to be but my location is making up for that. I think my location is helping me overcome any drop in velocity I've experienced."

His location has improved as he has settled into professional ball, but he is looking for further improvement as he typically is used out of the bullpen. While he quickly develops his changeup and uses his slider—his most consistent pitch—as an out-pitch, it is fastball location which the coaches have engrained in him most.

"I know I've been struggling with my fastball location and I know I really need to work on my fastball location especially down and in to lefty. I'm confident I'll be able to do it once I get my arm back into shape this fall. Not having my fastball to set up hitters has hurt me at times," he explained.

It did not take Rosenbaum long to see just how important of a role his fastball will play in the professional ranks. After years of dominating opposition with his heater, he quickly saw how a fastball can lose its luster when not well-placed.

"The last few years, back to high school where I could just blow fastballs by guys when I wanted to. Then in college I could get away my fastball, but not as often, and recently I've been talking to old teammates of mine who've been saying that if I can my spots and attack the zone, I'll be a lot better off. That's something I absolutely have to work on because I can't get away with mistakes up in the strike zone."

Heading into the off-season, his other goal will be to develop his changeup as a reputable pair to his fastball. Though the pitch already possesses good natural, downward movement, Rosenbaum's goal will be to maximize the pitch's movement without exerting any additional force on it.

"My changeup naturally moves a lot. The coaches want me to just throw it and not try to induce any more movement on the pitch. They want me to just throw my changeup and let the seams do the work," he said.

"I can't try to roll it over and try to make it nastier than the one before. My changeup has the ability to get guys out because it's off-speed enough to do that. It's probably a 15 mile per hour difference from my fastball and it can definitely keep guys off-balance."

The numbers may not end up the way he though they would, but Rosenbaum enters his first off-season confident in his own ability and revved up for the work that he will complete as he prepares for his first Spring Training. Work that alone makes the off-season an exciting time.

"Our workout manuals for the fall are coming soon to get ready for Spring Training, and I can't wait to get into a pro-style workout for getting bigger and stronger. I can't wait for the spring because I know my velocity will be back."

"The first year went okay and it was everything I thought it would be," he said. "It's been difficult at times but this year is about making adjustments and I'm sure things will start working out for me soon."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nZach Rosenbaum, 21, has been battling ever since he began his junior season at UNC Charlotte [alma mater of John Maine]. A tendon injury in the middle finger on his pitching hand nagged him throughout the season and caused him to throw nearly half as many innings as his sophomore year.
\r\n
\r\nThe time off the mound helped Rosenbaum heal from his injury, but upon his arrival in Kingsport, he found a host of new challenges ahead. He entered the system with a fairly deep repertoire as he possesses a four-seam fastball that sits 90-91 MPH, a two-seam fastball between 88-90 MPH, a slider that spins around 80 MPH, and a diving changeup in the low-to-mid 70s.
\r\n
\r\nHowever, it has been the lack of fastball consistency that has caused Rosenbaum to be roughed up for a 2-4 record with a 6.48 ERA and .319 opponent's average in 33 1/3 innings pitched. Though he understands the work ahead, he admits the toll of working an entire collegiate season before his tenure with Kingsport has effected him as expected, but he works to make up for that by spotting his pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"Playing every day, and going from a six-day rest in college to throwing every fifth day here has, I think, caused my velocity to drop a little bit but that's something I thought would happen,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been pitching nearly non-stop since October when started at school. My velocity isn't really there where I want it to be but my location is making up for that. I think my location is helping me overcome any drop in velocity I've experienced.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis location has improved as he has settled into professional ball, but he is looking for further improvement as he typically is used out of the bullpen. While he quickly develops his changeup and uses his slider—his most consistent pitch—as an out-pitch, it is fastball location which the coaches have engrained in him most.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know I've been struggling with my fastball location and I know I really need to work on my fastball location especially down and in to lefty. I'm confident I'll be able to do it once I get my arm back into shape this fall. Not having my fastball to set up hitters has hurt me at times,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nIt did not take Rosenbaum long to see just how important of a role his fastball will play in the professional ranks. After years of dominating opposition with his heater, he quickly saw how a fastball can lose its luster when not well-placed.
\r\n
\r\n\"The last few years, back to high school where I could just blow fastballs by guys when I wanted to. Then in college I could get away my fastball, but not as often, and recently I've been talking to old teammates of mine who've been saying that if I can my spots and attack the zone, I'll be a lot better off. That's something I absolutely have to work on because I can't get away with mistakes up in the strike zone.\"
\r\n
\r\nHeading into the off-season, his other goal will be to develop his changeup as a reputable pair to his fastball. Though the pitch already possesses good natural, downward movement, Rosenbaum's goal will be to maximize the pitch's movement without exerting any additional force on it.
\r\n
\r\n\"My changeup naturally moves a lot. The coaches want me to just throw it and not try to induce any more movement on the pitch. They want me to just throw my changeup and let the seams do the work,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I can't try to roll it over and try to make it nastier than the one before. My changeup has the ability to get guys out because it's off-speed enough to do that. It's probably a 15 mile per hour difference from my fastball and it can definitely keep guys off-balance.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe numbers may not end up the way he though they would, but Rosenbaum enters his first off-season confident in his own ability and revved up for the work that he will complete as he prepares for his first Spring Training. Work that alone makes the off-season an exciting time.
\r\n
\r\n\"Our workout manuals for the fall are coming soon to get ready for Spring Training, and I can't wait to get into a pro-style workout for getting bigger and stronger. I can't wait for the spring because I know my velocity will be back.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"The first year went okay and it was everything I thought it would be,\" he said. \"It's been difficult at times but this year is about making adjustments and I'm sure things will start working out for me soon.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" \r\nZach Rosenbaum, 21, has been battling ever since he began his junior season at UNC Charlotte [alma mater of John Maine]. A tendon injury in the middle finger on his pitching hand nagged him throughout the season and caused him to throw nearly half as many innings as his sophomore year.
\r\n
\r\nThe time off the mound helped Rosenbaum heal from his injury, but upon his arrival in Kingsport, he found a host of new challenges ahead. He entered the system with a fairly deep repertoire as he possesses a four-seam fastball that sits 90-91 MPH, a two-seam fastball between 88-90 MPH, a slider that spins around 80 MPH, and a diving changeup in the low-to-mid 70s.
\r\n
\r\nHowever, it has been the lack of fastball consistency that has caused Rosenbaum to be roughed up for a 2-4 record with a 6.48 ERA and .319 opponent's average in 33 1/3 innings pitched. Though he understands the work ahead, he admits the toll of working an entire collegiate season before his tenure with Kingsport has effected him as expected, but he works to make up for that by spotting his pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"Playing every day, and going from a six-day rest in college to throwing every fifth day here has, I think, caused my velocity to drop a little bit but that's something I thought would happen,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been pitching nearly non-stop since October when started at school. My velocity isn't really there where I want it to be but my location is making up for that. I think my location is helping me overcome any drop in velocity I've experienced.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis location has improved as he has settled into professional ball, but he is looking for further improvement as he typically is used out of the bullpen. While he quickly develops his changeup and uses his slider—his most consistent pitch—as an out-pitch, it is fastball location which the coaches have engrained in him most.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know I've been struggling with my fastball location and I know I really need to work on my fastball location especially down and in to lefty. I'm confident I'll be able to do it once I get my arm back into shape this fall. Not having my fastball to set up hitters has hurt me at times,\" he explained.
\r\n
\r\nIt did not take Rosenbaum long to see just how important of a role his fastball will play in the professional ranks. After years of dominating opposition with his heater, he quickly saw how a fastball can lose its luster when not well-placed.
\r\n
\r\n\"The last few years, back to high school where I could just blow fastballs by guys when I wanted to. Then in college I could get away my fastball, but not as often, and recently I've been talking to old teammates of mine who've been saying that if I can my spots and attack the zone, I'll be a lot better off. That's something I absolutely have to work on because I can't get away with mistakes up in the strike zone.\"
\r\n
\r\nHeading into the off-season, his other goal will be to develop his changeup as a reputable pair to his fastball. Though the pitch already possesses good natural, downward movement, Rosenbaum's goal will be to maximize the pitch's movement without exerting any additional force on it.
\r\n
\r\n\"My changeup naturally moves a lot. The coaches want me to just throw it and not try to induce any more movement on the pitch. They want me to just throw my changeup and let the seams do the work,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I can't try to roll it over and try to make it nastier than the one before. My changeup has the ability to get guys out because it's off-speed enough to do that. It's probably a 15 mile per hour difference from my fastball and it can definitely keep guys off-balance.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe numbers may not end up the way he though they would, but Rosenbaum enters his first off-season confident in his own ability and revved up for the work that he will complete as he prepares for his first Spring Training. Work that alone makes the off-season an exciting time.
\r\n
\r\n\"Our workout manuals for the fall are coming soon to get ready for Spring Training, and I can't wait to get into a pro-style workout for getting bigger and stronger. I can't wait for the spring because I know my velocity will be back.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"The first year went okay and it was everything I thought it would be,\" he said. \"It's been difficult at times but this year is about making adjustments and I'm sure things will start working out for me soon.\"
\r\n
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