10 yr old pitch slection

My son is 10 and has been pitching for 2 seasons now. He throws a fastball and a changeup. He has been wondering what pitches a 10 year old can throw without hurting his arm?

IMHO, he is throwing exactly what he should be at 10. He has plenty of time to learn breaking pitches.

If you want you can do a 2-seamer and 4-seamer that wont hurt his arm and it can get him to start thinking of it at an early age.

I think Ryan gave good advice, he can definitely throw the 2 and 4 seam fastballs along with a change. The key is going to be throwing strikes with both fastballs and the change and throwing them all with intent to throw hard.

The so-called “knuckle-curve” should be safe if thrown “just like a fastball”. It will come looping in with a lot less velocity than a changeup…

Absolutely…the K-Curve is really effective, here is a clip of my son’s grip from a few years ago, throw it like a fastball and allow the fingers to push the ball out as you follow through.

Grip

Pitch

I’ve been told growing up that once I could throw my fastball and chageup with 70% strike efficiency on back to back outings then I could work on a breaking ball.

I think at age 10 he needs to be throwing a 2 and 4 seamer just to get the feeling and some sort of changeup to get the feeling.

Again, I have to agree with Ryan.

At 10 should he really be worried about throwing any kind of breaking ball? IMO 10 year old pitchers should be developing the fastball and change. In my mind its a case of too much information too soon.

I’ve seen lots of kids become enamored with breaking stuff and never really establish the fastball or learn to properly spot it. Sure, everyone is impressed with the kid who can throw a knee buckling curve ball at 10 or 11, but fast forward a few years and he’s going to need that fastball.

K-Curve has the same arm action as a fastball or a change up. The fingers and the grip create the spin nothing else.

I’m with Tusk and turn at that age focus on FB and CU.

I’ve seen tons of kids just like what turn described.

Ditto.

Don’t underappreciate the CU and don’t under-develop it. Even if you think you have a good change-up, don’t stop trying to make it better.

Is it even possible for a 10-year-old to throw a good changeup?

As I understand it (I am not a pitcher), the change and the fastball should be thrown with the same arm action; the speed differential comes from the changeup being thrown with a grip that has the ball choked back deeper in the hand.

But for a youngster, their hands are so small that they are choking the ball on all their pitches.

Or to put it another way: assume a particular 10-year-old is throwing his fastball at 50 mph. What speed would a good changeup (for him) have?

Agreed that young kids with small hands already choke the ball. But they can work on pronating the CU.

I know when mine was probably 8-9, his PC taught him to throw the C change. The key was to “drop the C onto the ground”, yes pronation.

Fast forward to today at 16, he throws a circle change and still uses that lesson from 8 years ago. Same motion, but now he knows why it works. Oh and he knows now that its more than dropping the C or circle on the ground.

:smiley:

That was my sons problem. 9 yo with a good fastball but circle change was the same speed if not faster??? Reading this thread we decided to try the knuckle curve and wow is it working. Right away he was throwing strikes and it is alot slower than his fastball.

kc that’s good, but he still should develop a change up.

Ok. Maybe we will try the c now and circle as he gets bigger? I understand the c but is the circle change thrown the same? Thanks

In a word, yes. IMO as soon as they get the grip down, guys should start learning to pronate the change, whether its the c or the circle.

[quote=“bbrages”]Is it even possible for a 10-year-old to throw a good changeup?

As I understand it (I am not a pitcher), the change and the fastball should be thrown with the same arm action; the speed differential comes from the changeup being thrown with a grip that has the ball choked back deeper in the hand.

But for a youngster, their hands are so small that they are choking the ball on all their pitches. [/quote]

Excellent observation, and one I’d guess was accurate for more than 90% of all 10YOs. But the great thing about a CU is, there’s literally no limit on the way to make the end result a slower speed than the best FB a pitcher throws.

Personally, I’ve always been a huge fan of merely moving the ring finger up on the ball with the index and middle finger. Its impossible to throw the ball with the same velocity using 3 fingers instead of 2, and since most players throw that way when they 1st begin, its not something totally unknown. The problem then becomes twofold. One, can the pitch be thrown with sufficient control and two, is the change in velocity enough to deceive the batters long enough to cause them problems. A lot of that depends on the individual.

There are a lot of factors going into it, but 10% is a pretty good rule of thumb if you’re looking for a number on velocity. But try to keep in mind that velocity isn’t really anything but a measure of time vs distance. Here’s some time differences based on 90MPH at 60’ for a FB and a CU that 10MPH slower, then compares them to the 54’ and 46’ distances and comparable times.

90 AT 60 = 0.454545455
80 AT 60 = 0.511363636

81 AT 54 = 0.454545455
72 AT 54 = 0.511363636

69 AT 46 = 0.454545455
62 AT 46 = 0.505865103

As you can see, it makes much more sense to quit worrying about velocity and to actually think in terms of time. Here’s a crude chart you can go by. http://www.infosports.com/scorekeeper/images/speeds.pdf

In the end, the honest truth is, Its not something I’d be very concerned with at 10YO. For me it would be enough that he learn to have confidence in throwing a CU and lots of experimentation. No matter how good or bad his CU is at 10, I guarantee you that it will not be even close to the same pitch when he’s ready to throw his 1st HSV pitch. :wink:

While it may be true that the change of speeds at 10 may not be significant. The change can be useful if its taught with the right grip and to pronate when throwing it.

Not only will the speed be slower than the fastball, but with the grip and pronation even a 10 year old can get good downward action on the change