Take a look at Jordan Bean's numbers and it's not hard to imagine why Portsmouth rolled through the New Hampshire Little League state tournament and into the New England regional tournament beginning Aug. 6 in Bristol, Connecticut.
Bean, a hard throwing right-hander, was the starting and winning pitcher in five of Portsmouth's 10 games. All he did in those games was toss three no-hitters, allow just one earned run and three hits while striking out an astounding 46 batters in 22 innings pitched. The 12-year-old also was a terror at the plate -- hitting a team-best .577 with seven home runs, 18 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
In baseball, and this pertains to all levels of baseball, success starts on the pitchers mound. Sprinkle in some solid defense and add a couple of clutch hits with a pitcher like Bean and the ingredients are all there for success.
And to get Bean's level it takes practice. Not just in the spring but in the fall and winter seasons also.
That's where StrikeThreeBaseball's David Adam comes into the picture. Adam is a pitching guru who played professionally both abroad and overseas for 10 years after an outstanding college career before starting StrikeThreeBaseball, a baseball academy that is helping prospective baseball players realize their dreams.
Jordan's father, Rick Bean, sent his son to work with Adam two winters ago after he developed arm problems.
"Jordan has always had an above average arm," Adam said. "But he didn't have command of his pitches because he didn't have the proper mechanics. We worked on that by making adjustments in his motion."
Little things like where Jordan's foot was landing on his delivery and keeping control of his upper body during delivery turned a promising pitcher into a dominant pitcher. Just take a look at the numbers or ask frustrated Little League all-star hitters from around the state.
The improved mechanics meant Adam could teach Jordan how to get movement on his fastball. Jordan has a four-seam fastball that rises into the catcher's mitt, he has a hard cutter that breaks into the dirt and throws a changeup as an off-speed pitch that has batters bailing out of the box before heading back to the dugout.
"I worked with Mr. Adam and he taught me to throw the cutter and a changeup," Jordan said. "They're really effective and I have the confidence now to throw those pitches when the count is 3-1 or 2-0."
Rick Bean said getting control was the first step for his son.
"Once Jordan realized he had control of the pitches David taught him to be a power pitcher," Rick Bean said.
The arm injuries also are a problem in the past.
"It was important that Jordan didn't aggravate the old injuries," Rick Bean said. "David fixed his motion. After that it didn't take long to see the improvement."
That improvement has turned into dominance for Bean, which has meant a ride through the state tournament and into the New England Little League championships for Portsmouth.
College Sports Editor
New Haven Register
Reprinted with permission
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