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Variations of the Fastball

Nearing a sidearm throw, Garciaparra’s ball flight had considerable movement from left to right . The thumb is tucked below the ball, resting on or near a bottom seam, and the ring finger and pinkie are curled on the side of the ball. Many athletes will cut their fastballs to some degree. Leading the coach and player to determine the best path forward.

Chris Young with the San Diego Padres throws a straight-overhead four-seam fastball during a pregame bullpen warmup. First, we’ll review some of the minor variations that pitchers use when they throw a four-seam fastball. buy hittrax Beyond that, we’ll also look at different variations of four-seam fastballs based on their movement profile. Plus, some of the more common cues and adjustments that are used when looking to improve your fastball.

The name two-seam comes from the two horizontal seams that appear spinning towards the batter. The four-seam grip is what you want to use when making a throw during the game. It provides straight carry and accurate ball flight to your target. For a high school athlete, or a player with a bigger hand, the index finger and middle finger should lay across the seams. The player’s thumb will be underneath the bottom seam.

Try to visualize reaching out in front of the body directly to the plate. The pressure point of the thumb on the ball is along the inside bony surface of the first joint. Work for full arm extension to the plate on the follow through, just like on the fastball. Check out this change up from Max Scherzer to strike out Adam Dunn… I literally feel like crying on behalf of hitters everywhere.

One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching. Essentially, you want to throw the baseball with the most amount of backspin. Your fingers should hold the ball across the seams allowing you to get good spin.