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If you raise the height of the pitcher's mound (which is already 10 inches high) will it increase the velocity of a pitched baseball as it crosses homeplate?

The main advantage that a higher mound gives a pitcher is that it's easier to throw the ball farther if you start from higher up. If the pitcher stood on the same level as the plate, he would have to throw the ball a little higher to make it still be within strike level whan it crosses the plate. This reduces the forward speed he can put on the ball.

If the pitcher throws the ball horizontally, it has the maximum forward speed he can give it. However, as the ball travels from his hand to the catcher's mitt, it is constantly pulled downward by gravity. When the ball starts from higher up, the pitcher can throw it nearly horizontally and not have it bounce off the plate. So yes, indirectly, a higher pitcher's mound will allow a pitcher to pitch faster strikes.

However, if the mound is made too high (ridiculously high), the pitcher would have to pitch slower, or actually throw downward, to get strikes. These might be faster overall, but if most of the ball's velocity when it reaches the plate is downward, there won't be much forward velocity.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.

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