While I had never heard of a Chanticleer before this year’s College World Series, that storied barnyard leader will certainly be etched in history now along with a group of players and coaches that took the country by storm and possibly by surprise. I was certainly surprised when I received an email note from the Coastal Carolina pitching coach, Drew Thomas.
Just wanted to send you a heartfelt thank you for what you do!! Taking that EV class and really getting the kids to buy in to what we were doing with that individually was hugely instrumental with us becoming NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!! We lived and died by it all year and I can’t thank you enough for being the godfather of EV! Really appreciate your desire to make the game better for the right reasons. EV+INTENT=DREAMS….. Thanks!
Coastal Carolina University
2016 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
First and foremost, congratulations to the “Chanticleers” on an amazing, well earned and historic run (not to mention perhaps the coolest mascot going) and a most sincere thank you right back at them for Drew’s email and the sentiment that goes with it. In a world of ‘Sabermetrics Gone Wild’, it is a breath of fresh air to hear that EV has made such a big difference in a special campaign like theirs.
Secondly, we all know that there are countless other factors involved in winning a championship other than just Effective Velocity. In fact there are countless other factors in just pitching, rather than simply EV being the end all by itself. EV is simply the last piece to the puzzle of how to minimize damage of opposing hitters. It is what the name suggests, the ‘Effective’ way to use ‘Velocity’, with deception being a major factor of how you use velocity effectively.
When you truly understand EV, you will realize that every at bat is influenced by EV factors, either in a good way or a bad way, depending on your perspective of course. No pitcher knows ‘exactly’ what a hitter is thinking or what speed/area pitch he is ready to hit. Any hitter at any time can sit on an exact pitch speed/area and hit it out of the yard (they just tend ‘not to’ because they are not trained to do that – shameless plug for Time Training – where we do train like that). However, when you are a black belt in EV, you have the very best guess (although very tested and measured, it is still a guess what a hitter is truly ready to hit) as well as the very ‘predictable tendencies’ of hitters that we can take advantage of.
Having been part of the Cal State Northridge 1984 National Championship team as a player, I have a really good idea what they are feeling about now. CSUN at that time was at the Division II level, but we had 20 wins and only 10 losses against Division I rivals that year, with one of our losses being 2-1 to Randy Johnson of USC, coming on a 9th inning 2 run homer by his teammate Mark McGuire. We also beat Joe McGrane at University of Arizona as well as a few others that went on to play at the highest level. I shared with Drew that hardly a day goes by that I don’t draw inspiration and strength from that one period when time seemed not to exist.
When the Coastal Carolina team was getting close to the championship, I have to admit, I was scratching my head a bit. I knew that team was important but I could not remember who I knew that was involved in the program. Did I work with a player that was there? Did I know the head coach? I even did a search in my emails for Coach Gilmore to see if we had any discussions back and forth. Nothing. Crickets……… Then the email from Drew came and I instantly felt quite embarrassed. Drew had taken the Advanced EV Online Course before this season but I had also spoken to him before that over the years. Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback.
So Drew, please don’t take it personal, I am simply a bit like Einstein, ‘NO’ not in the genius sort of way but more in the absent minded professor sort of way. Einstein was stopped by a student once who had a question. He answered the question happily but then asked the student if she might return the favor and answer a question for him. She agreed and he asked “which direction was I walking when you stopped me?”
I look very forward to hearing all the details of their use of EV throughout the year and will share some if in fact, Drew allows me to (some of EV’s slow growth is due to coaches wanting to keep some secrets to themselves).
For now, we have to leave it at the fact that the Advanced EV Online Class helped Drew get his pitchers to buy in to the concepts of using deception and speed to their advantage more times than not. I’m sure there will be some stories of fisted singles beating his guys and great pitches, even EV efficient pitches being hit hard (although I guarantee not more than about 10% in that ‘earned’ category of hard hit balls), but by and large, I expect to hear about the weak contact, swings and misses, chases and taken called third strikes due to hitters being subject to Freeze Pitches. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to record the final championship game as hoped, but did see the famous last elevated fastball swing and miss and could not help but think out loud, “of course” thought in my best Grinch voice. Anyone that has a DVD of that game I would love to borrow it………..
So until we get some more feedback, congratulations to our new NCAA National Champs and a very hearty thanks to their pitching coach, Drew Thomas for sharing this note with me and us.