Height Key to Pitching Speed

Height Key to Pitching Speed

DURHAM, N.C., July 9 (UPI) — When it comes to being an effective major league pitcher, size — at least height — does matter, an engineer at North Carolina’s Duke University says.

Adrian Bejan says he predicts elite pitchers will always be taller than average and thus able to throw faster.

Forward momentum is a major factor in success in a number of sports, including baseball, golf and hockey, he said. What unites those sports is the “falling forward” motion involved, whether it is a pitcher’s arm or golfer’s swing.

The larger and taller the athlete, the more force he or she can bring to bear as his or her mass falls forward, Bejan said.

The falling forward principle suggests the larger and taller the individual, the more force can be applied as the ball is sent forward. He cited former major leaguer Randy Johnson, a 6-foot, 10-inch pitcher who was a terror to batters during his career.

Studying athletes provides an insight into the biological evolution of human design in nature, said Bejan, who terms the effect constructal-law theory.