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Bowden Francis Mentally Strong on the Mound

Bowden Francis Mentally Strong on the Mound

August 15, 2022

Photo credit: milb.com

Right-handed pitcher Bowden Francis believes he’s mentally strong when he’s on the mound. And for Francis that comes from his Zen-like preparation routine.

“I’m very meditated,” explained Francis. “I do a lot of meditation, a lot of breathwork, and a lot of barefoot stuff. I really try to slow my heart rate down as much as possible.”

Francis uses these practices to help him be zoned into the game, “I want to be in the game, and I want to be zoned in,” Francis added. “I want to be a dead pulse. I want to be stoic like a fighter. They’re always breathing through their nose in tune with what’s going on – that’s me.”

Pitching 72 1/3 innings this season for Triple-A Buffalo; Francis has 80 strikeouts on the season and opposing hitters are hitting .281 against him.

“There’s always a lot of good at-bats,” Francis said of the Triple-A hitters. “There’s always going to be a lot of good competitors. There are power guys and others who are just making good at-bats.”

Challenging those hitters with a five-pitch mix which includes: a 4-seam fastball, two different sliders, a curveball, and a changeup; Francis likes to use the top zone with his fastball.

“I spin the 4-seam pretty well,” stated Francis. “I try to use the top end of the zone inside and out. But I try to hit that top zone and miss bats. I throw my heater a lot. I like to keep them honest with it. I’m not the biggest power guy so I’m always bouncing back and forth with my short slider to steal a strike or the big one to steal a strike or back to the heater to steal a strike. I’m always playing that chess game.”

Using his two sliders more than his curveball and changeup; Francis talks about what he likes about both of the pitches.

“I like that I can throw it with my full arm speed,” Francis said of the bigger slider. “It comes out at like 75 miles per hour. It’s very different. It might not grade out to a 70-grade pitch, but to me it is because it’s unique and deceptive.”

“I think it’s a good pitch,” Francis added about the smaller slider. “It’s not a pitch I can throw over and over again. I think it’s a great pitch to get me back into counts or it’s a good pitch if they haven’t seen it during that at-bat and they have two strikes and they’re fouling some stuff off – I can throw the crap out of that and try to get them out.”

Another thing that’s helping his mental game and pitches is the opportunity to work with former major leaguer and current Bisons’ Manager and Pitching Coach Jeff Ware.

“Jeff is a great guy,” stated Francis. “Jeff understands the mental game and analytics so it’s a blend of ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ which is nice.”

Be sure to follow Bowden Francis, as he continues to be mentally strong on the mound.