Jose Berrios is trained by Robert Ambrose and Tom House. Below is an article from Mustard which is used to check progress while training with National Pitching. The article below is reproduced with the permission of Mustard.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher spent part of the 2022 – 2023 offseason working with legendary pitching coach , cofounder of the Mustard app, and performance coach . The goal was to help Berríos get back on track after coming off the rails in 2022. His stats were not pretty: He led the league with 199 hits allowed and 100 earned runs against, his ERA was a lofty 5.23, and his strike-out percentage dropped to 19.8% from 26.8% in 2021.
House and Ambrose quickly identified a few areas of Berríos’ mechanics to improve – timing, energy angle, head position, drag line – and was able to show Berríos his performance in these mechanical variables in the Mustard app, and track his progress throughout their sessions together. The result? A vast improvement in Berríos’ pitching delivery in those specific areas, increased velocity, and most importantly, an increase in his ability to throw strikes. “José has an incredible capacity to take instruction and turn it into action, and he’s very committed to doing things perfectly,” says House. “We were able to help him improve a lot of things a little, and he’s significantly better than he was last year, but I think he still has more in the tank.”
Through August 1st, Berríos leads the league with 22 games started, and has a 3.31 ERA (16th overall) and 22.9% strike-out percentage.
“We used the Mustard app to analyze and save each pitch video,” says Berríos. “I feel much better when I see room to improve and I know I’m doing it.”
Let’s take a look at the specific areas in which Berríos improved.
Mustard’s is a cumulative score given based on an athlete’s performance across the 10 mechanical variables of the pitching delivery measured in the Mustard App. Berríos’ Efficiency Score improved from 78% in 2022 to 95% in 2023. This is a direct reflection of his improvement in the individual variables of the pitching delivery. As you can see in his before and after Mustard Report Cards, in 2022, Berríos failed the mechanical variables Timing and Lift & Thrust. Now, in 2023, he is passing those variables.
is measured from a pitcher’s first forward movement into footstrike. The best throwers in the world typically get from first movement into footstrike in less than 1.05 seconds. The key to throwing hard, easily is to use your legs to go as fast and as far as possible into footstrike. Berríos decreased his timing into footstrike from 1.13 seconds in 2022 to 1.04 seconds in 2023, which is a passing score in the Mustard app. “In the past, José was loading up his back side over the rubber,” says House. “We told him to load up, but to do it on the way out as he was getting his body moving toward home plate. He got further, faster, and his fastball velocity is a mile and half faster than it was a year ago because of it.”
Lift & Thrust
is how a pitcher initiates momentum toward home plate. Simply put, a pitcher’s rear end needs to be moving toward home plate the moment the front leg is lifted. This creates an energy angle, measured from the back ankle to the front hip at maximum leg lift, when the body can do nothing but go forward. Ideally, that angle will be over 18 degrees and as close to 25 degrees as possible. The faster a pitcher gets to this energy angle, the faster the pitcher will get to the point where the whole body can only move down the center line from the middle of the rubber to the middle of home plate. Berríos’ energy angle increased from 15 degrees in 2022 to 18 degrees in 2023, which is a passing score in the Mustard app. His bigger energy angle also contributes to his faster timing.