On Thursday, I caught up with Billings Mustangs starting pitcher Joel Bender as the team was leaving the field after batting practice. The 20-year-old Bender was kind of enough to give me a few moments of his time to provide some pitching tips for young baseball players.
“The first thing is practice,” Bender said. “Practice every day. It’s going to help you get better and develop. We’re young guys still, and we’re developing still, even in pro ball. It’s practice. I mean, practice makes perfect, like everyone says.”
Mustangs pitchers have 12-minute throwing programs, and Bender said it’s important to focus on mechanics during those sessions.
“Every day you got to work on something different because we’re all not perfect,” Bender added. “We all make mistakes. Not everyone’s perfect, but the more you practice at it the more comfortable you get like with anything else.”
Following the quick interview, Bender demonstrated some of the different pitches he throws. The left-hander focuses on three main pitches – the four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, and changeup. Watch the related video to see Bender show the different grips on the baseball for each pitch as he describes the movement on the ball.