A quest for “perfect mechanics” led Flanagan High School junior right handed pitcher David Thompson to Tom House and the University of Southern California’s Rod Dedeaux Research and Baseball Institute last week. As a part of the Make-a-Wish program, Thompson, who suffers from common variable immunodeficiency, was granted the opportunity to work with House and use the state-of-the-art facilities available at USC.
Not that Thompson necessarily needs the assistance – his Flanagan High School team won the Florida 6-A championship this past spring and were named the best high school team in the country by Baseball America. Thompson was part of the pitching rotation for the Falcons until a bone bruise and his immunodeficiency sidelined him. His immunodeficiency compromises his ability to fight basic disease, like the common cold.
House, the pitching coach at USC and former major league pitcher, worked with Thompson’s pitch grips and home plate alignment. House found Thompson’s delivery strong to begin with, pronouncing to those in attendance, “That’s a pretty good little delivery.”
After the hands on advice was given, House then pulled out the technology. Sensors were attached to Thompson, and House and his team analyzed his mechanics through eight cameras capturing his movement in thousands of frames a second. The analysis found overcompensation in Thompson’s posture due to a previously broken vertebrae, and House is busy writing up a complete report of other factors to send home with the high-schooler.
Thompson was pleased with his opportunity to work with House, and hopes that it betters his performance next spring.
“I couldn’t have thought of anything better,” Thompson said afterward. “This is perfect.”