He may run one of the most popular and influential social media accounts in all of baseball, but Rob Friedman (aka @PitchingNinja) doesn’t do it for the Likes.
“I just want to help the next generation of players get better,” Friedman said.
It’s become a point of pride for MLB pitchers to have Friedman serve one of their nasty pitches to his 200,000 Twitter followers in GIF form. But his approach to growing PitchingNinja is, in many ways, an extension of his decade-plus coaching career, from youth to high school players.
“I don’t have all the answers. I want to learn and I’m not afraid to ask questions,” Friedman said. “This became a way for me to share the knowledge I was gathering from coaches around the country and around the world.”
The entertainment value of Pitching Ninja is rooted in growing the game and making things fun for everyone involved, and Friedman’s DropBox has become a go-to resource for pitchers at all levels.
“I had pro players, MLB guys, tell me they learned this pitch from my DropBox, and I realized people don’t want to constantly ask their coaches questions. So, showing grips and others explaining how they do it really eliminates hurdles,” Friedman said.
Friedman has taken his emphasis on creating opportunities for young pitchers to a new level with FlatGround.
Friedman was on a long car ride when he started brainstorming a way to change the game, specifically how to give players who might not be able to attend national showcases a chance to be seen.
“Getting seen live (at the showcases) is awesome, but I’ve seen so many families sacrifice vacation time, money for travel and fees. We’re talking about thousands of dollars,” Friedman said.
FlatGround is an opportunity for all pitchers to showcase their stuff, regardless of their location. Hundreds of FlatGround users have been picked up by colleges, and about 40 have received opportunities to pitch for professional organizations.
To hear more from Rob and learn details on how players can get the most out of FlatGround, check out his chat with Seth and BP on the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast.