Diamondbacks rookie Josh Collmenter’s windup is, well, unconventional.
A 1.19 ERA through more than 30 innings seems to indicate Major League hitters are having trouble with the 25-year-old right hander, something that should not really be too surprising.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, a scout told him Collmenter’s delivery is really one of a kind.
It wasn’t until Collmenter was a senior in high school that anyone mentioned to him that his arm angle was a little unusual. A scout said last week that you could define arm angles thusly: “You have three-quarters. You have over-the-top. And you have Collmenter.”
Thinking of a delivery like a clock, Olney says a guy like Roy Halladay releases the ball at an angle of about 10:30. Other pitchers are closer to 11:30. Collmenter, he says, is closer to 1 o’clock, maybe 12:30.
And it’s an incredible weapon for him now. “What works for him is that the hitters have a difficult time picking up the ball against him,” said the scout. “There’s nobody else like him in the majors, throwing that angle, so it’s something they’re not used to. It’s not like they’re facing four or five guys like this over the course of the season. They get one shot at it, maybe two, in a season, and it’s a difficult adjustment, because he hides the ball well.”
Key for Collmenter isn’t just the fact that he has a unique delivery, but that he also throws strikes. Hitters will adapt to the windup, but a pitcher who consistently pounds the strike zone will find considerable success.