How To Throw Pitches

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

When learning how to throw pitches in baseball, I generally encourage youth pitchers to concentrate on mastering how to throw just two pitches - the fast ball and the change up.

Once these basic baseball pitches are mastered to a point where the pitcher can confidently throw them for strikes, you can move on to teaching and throwing some of the other more advanced baseball pitches.

Here's how to throw 4 basic pitches for the beginning pitcher.

Four-Seam Fastball Grip: The most commonly used grip for accuracy is the four-seam fast ball.

For how to throw this pitch, the four-seam fast ball is held with the index and middle fingers positioned across the large seams.

A finger's width should be the distance between the index and middle fingers with the thumb positioned underneath the ball on a seam.

The pitcher should be sure there is a small space between the web of the hand and the ball. The third and fourth fingers are curled back.

Two-Seam Fastball Grip: The two-seam fast ball is held with the index and middle fingers across the seams where the horseshoe-like seams almost meet.

The thumb is placed on a seam at the bottom of the ball, while the third and fourth fingers are curled back.

Using this grip provides a little extra movement on the fast ball.

Again, when throwing this baseball pitch, the pitcher should be sure there is a small space between the web of the hand and the ball to maximize the movement he gets on the pitch.

With-The-Seam Fastball Grip: When throwing this pitch, the index and middle fingers should be placed on the seams where both horseshoe seams almost meet.

The thumb is placed on a seam underneath the ball.

The baseball pitcher should be sure there is a small space between the web of the hand and the baseball.

The third and fourth fingers are curled back.

When thrown, this pitch has a tendency to move a little which will make it more difficult to hit.

Three-Finger Change Up Grip: The purpose of a change up is to give the appearance of a fastball, but because the speed of the ball is much slower, the hitter's timing is disrupted.

The three-finger change up can be gripped in any way the pitcher feels comfortable. Most pitchers grip the first and third fingers running the length of the seams with the middle finger in between the seams. The thumb is positioned underneath on a seam.

Some pitchers grip the three-finger change up similar to a four seam fastball with slight modifications.

The most important aspect of the change up is that the ball, unlike all the fast ball grips, is tucked back against the pad of the hand.

When throwing any change up, the key is to keep the same pitching mechanics and arm speed. The grip of the ball will slow the speed of the pitch.

For how to throw other pitches in baseball, please see some of the other articles on this site.


 

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