SE: Wildcats Welcome New Pitching Philosophy
Tyler Kincaid, the newest face on the K-State
baseball coaching staff, is bringing a new philosophy to Wildcat pitchers.
Joining K-State after spending six years at the University of San Diego (USD), the veteran pitching coach brings a fresh style and outlook on the game to the Wildcats.
“Right away when I start (with a new group of pitchers), I challenge everyone to do as much as they can,” said Kincaid on his coaching philosophy. “I try to stretch the limits on all of their pitching abilities. We start with fastball command – all sides – then changeups after that, breaking balls and things like that. I try to learn what they struggle with and what they do very well. Then from there, it’s a five-week process for me that I break down with what I’ll do with each individual guy to improve their strengths.”
His goal is to get his pitchers thinking outside of the box so they can find their strengths and build on them.
And so far, it’s working.
“He’s helped a lot,” began K-State senior right-handed pitcher Levi MaVorhis. “He works a lot on pitching out of your comfort zone and talks about raising the ceiling for us and trying to get us to do stuff that we’re not necessarily comfortable with. He’s getting us comfortable with doing those things and seeing what we can and can’t do. He’s raised the bar for us; it’s been fun working with him.”
Kincaid comes to K-State after spending the past 16 years coaching in California, with 14 of those years at the collegiate level. For six seasons prior to K-State, Kincaid was the pitching coach at USD where he helped the program win two West Coast Conference (WCC) regular season titles, capture one WCC Tournament Championship and make three NCAA Regional appearances. He also helped 21 Torero pitchers get selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft – including 12 that were undrafted out of high school and/or community college – and had seven pitchers taken in the top-10 rounds.
Prior to his time with San Diego, Kincaid coached at Palomar College (2005-09), a community college located in the North County region of San Diego County, and at San Francisco State (2002-05), his alma mater.
“Coach Kincaid, he’s a West Coast guy, and, in my opinion, he has more of an advanced plan and that’s different for me,” said right-handed pitcher Corey Fischer, who is from Denmark, Wisconsin (population 2,169). “I’m a small-town kid who is used to just getting up there and throwing. (His plan) is more advanced, and that’s good because it’s what we need.”
Kincaid takes over for former Wildcat pitching coach Josh Reynolds, who was named the associate head coach at Northwestern last summer. K-State head coach Brad Hill coached Reynolds during his time at Central Missouri State (now University of Central Missouri), so he was familiar with the former All-America pitcher’s style. Reynolds was also on Hill’s staff for seven years, including the last five when he helped the Wildcats reach two NCAA Regionals and win a Big 12 title.
Having a completely new face in the clubhouse may be an adjustment, but it’s an adjustment worth making.
“Tyler brings some different things to the table,” explained Hill. “Josh (Reynolds) was out of my coaching and playing tree, so a lot of the things he did I was used to; it was really comfortable to me. Now all of a sudden I have a lot of new things coming to me, some things that I think will be positive. Tyler is really detailed in what he does; it’s a lot more in depth. There is a lot more to it than what I’m used to. I’m kind of old school – line up and play. It’s been an adjustment, but to the positive side.”
Kincaid will coach his first game in purple this Friday at 8 p.m. (CT), as the Wildcats are set to open the 2016 season against the UC Riverside Highlanders in Riverside, California – a team Kincaid is familiar with from his days coaching in the Golden State.
“It’s always fun. You get those jitterbugs the first couple weeks; you never really know how you’re going to be because you spend all fall and all winter playing against yourselves. So once you see another uniform in the other dugout, you really see what your guys are all about,” said Kincaid. “When I saw we were opening with Riverside on the schedule, I turned to Coach Hill and said, ‘No way!’ We would play a home and home with them every single year (at San Diego), so I have experience in that yard and how they play, and I can bring a little experience to these guys.”
From the new faces to the seasoned veterans on this year’s 18-man Wildcat pitching staff, the Wildcat baseball team is ready to put their new coach’s philosophies to work on the mound.
“I love him, he’s great for the program,” said senior shortstop and closer Tyler Wolfe. “He brings a new perspective on pitching and it’s a lot different than what we had before. That’s good for our pitchers because it’s a new mindset and a new way of going about everything.”
Stay tuned to the K-State Sports Extra later this week for a full season preview on this year’s Wildcat baseball team. For K-State baseball’s 2016 schedule, please click here.