Mets RHP AJ Ramos: 5 Tips to Improve Your Pitching

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  1. Being able to back up bases is important. “It is part of the game,” Ramos said. “Being able to be a complete pitcher is not just throwing. Being able to field your position and back up bases, you don’t want to be a liability out there. If you want to be a starter and go later in games you have to do it all. You have to be well rounded.”
  2. No matter the level of play the fastball can be the best pitch for any pitcher. “The fastball is one of the best pitches, along with the changeup,” Ramos said. “The fastball and changeupare some of the most effective pitches. Being able to establish both sides of the plate is the most important thing with the fastball. The next thing is the change up. Those two pitchesare the most important.”
  3. Being able to use a fastball and changeup at an early age can help prevent arm problems.“You limit injuries,” Ramos said. “The fastball and changeup are great pitches to start off with since they don’t hurt your arm, or at least lessen the chance.”
  4. A fastball can actually be more than one pitch when you consider throwing to different locations. “Look at Bartolo Colon,” Ramos said of the 45-year old veteran, now starting for the Texas Rangers. “He is throwing his fastball inside and outside, up and down. He is pitching with one pitch: the two-seam and four-seam fastball. Mariano Rivera had a cutter. Being able to do that (with one main pitch) is huge.”
  5. It may be smart for a young pitcher to wait until throwing off-speed pitches. “I think I was 13 when I began to throw a curve,” Ramos said. “Then I had tennis elbow. But after that I recovered.”

AJ FUN FACTS
+ Ramos was born Sept. 20, 1986 in Lubbock, Texas.
+ He was the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal player of the year while at Estacado High in Lubbock.
+ Ramos was drafted by the Marlins in the 21st round in 2009 out of Texas Tech.
+ The right-hander was a starter in high school and college but when he was drafted the Marlins turned him into a reliever.
+ Ramos made his Major League debut on Sept. 4, 2012 with the Marlins.
+ Ramos is one of the few Major League players who makes trips to Europe in the off-season. For the past few years he has gone to several countries with two of his good friends: slugger Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees and pitcher Ricky Nolasco, his former teammate in Miami who pitched for the Angels in 2017.
+ For the past few winters Ramos has split his time between his native Texas and California, where he works out with Stanton and Nolasco. He still has family in Lubbock.
+ For Players Weekend late in the 2017 season Major League players were allowed to wear a nickname on the back of their jersey. Ramos, playing for the New York Mets, chose “Junior” as a tribute to his father.

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