How To Throw A Fastball

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

The most important pitch in baseball is the fastball. Every pitcher has one, and it is the most common pitch a hitter will see. If a pitcher can throw it hard and with control, he will find success in his baseball career.

There are two main types of fastballs: the four seam fastball, and the two seam fastball. The four seam is the fastest and straightest fastball, while the two-seamer is usually 3-5 mph slower, but will have more movement.

The four seam fastball is great for getting ahead of hitters and when facing hitters who can't catch up to your velocity. The two seam fastball is a good pitch to throw late in the count when movement will be helpful, but you don't want to give up your control.

To throw a four seam fastball, you want to find the "horseshoe" of the baseball (the widest part of the seams). Place your index and middle finger across the horseshoe with your thumb tucked comfortably underneath the ball. Make sure you don't tuck the ball too far back into your palm. You want to leave some room between the baseball and the palm of your hand.

A two seam fastball is thrown with the index and middle fingers on top of the two narrow seams of the baseball. The thumb should be placed under the ball with some room between your palm and the baseball.

When throwing a fastball, you want to generate as much backspin as possible. This will make the four seam fastball have the most velocity, and the two seamer will have movement.

As with any baseball pitch, the fastball takes some practice to get used to. You can practice this pitch by throwing it in warm ups and in bullpen sessions.

Having trouble learning this pitch? Ask your question in the Let's Talk Pitching discussion forums!


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