Best complimentary pitches

Thought it would be fun to make a create your arsenal thread…

let’s say you were starting over completely. If you could build any 5 solid pitches, what do you take?

Keep it realistic please! :stuck_out_tongue:

In otherwords, none of this:

  1. Knuckleball
  2. Screwball
  3. Gyro
  4. Slider
  5. Eephus

What will be the most common setups? im guessing cutter and split :smiley: gogogogo

  1. fastball
  2. fastball
  3. fastball
  4. fastball
  5. fastball

Heck, do this and by the time you’re in high school (or college or pro ball) you’ll have one heck of a fastball! Actually, an off-speed pitch, like a circle changeup, is good to have, too. But why go five? Master two pitches.

Hey joel, thing is , I really do throw a knuckleball so.

  1. Knuckleball
  2. Fastball
  3. Curve
  4. Fastball
  5. Fastball

Fastball, Fastball, Fastball is the best answer you could possibly get – and that from a former Major Leaguer.
There’s an old adage in baseball, especially for pitchers who can command a fastball, and that is “use it, or lose it!” Besides, a decent fastball – given age and playing level, can be one of the greatest equalizers for the ole David vs. Goliath scenarios (pitcher vs. power hitters) in addition to demonstrated game knowledge and matching ability by the player on the hill.
For example:
(1.) A fastball has more variations to it then any other pitch in your repertoire. Two seam, four seam, and location on the corners of plate – high inside/outside, low inside/outside, not to mention setting up
for the next pitch(s) – are the hallmarks of talent by reason of ability, not just brute force. In fact, these demonstrated skills show a deeper level of understanding of a batter’s weakness based on feet placement, hand posture with the bat, batting order logic, base runner what-if’s, time and distance and distance and time relationships of fielding, and a host of other particulars that no other pitch can. A pitcher with even a modest fastball - that’s accurate, can increase the probability of pitching to the double play, pitch to the popup, pitch to the bunt, etc, etc. No other pitch in the game can make that claim. No other pitch.
(2.) A youngster that has a well developed changeup, has all the earmarks of a Major Leaguer in the makings. When done right, there’s nothing more frustrating to a batter, a batting coach, a third base coach, sponsors, booster club elite, and mom and dad in the bleachers ----- than watching a clubs shining star whirl like a pinwheel trying to crush a great changeup! I can not begin to tell you how effective it
is to an entire bench – theirs and yours!

Ok, the other pitches are great to have and use — but, the question is when do you use –em, and when don’t you use –em? From a coaching standpoint it has been my experience that few, if any, amateur player(s) can answer that question. On the other hand, the one answer that pops up the most is …
“Ahhh, well… I think it’s to mix up my pitches… right coach?”. Even more important is the consideration as to what’s working the day you’re scheduled to take the hill. In other words, suppose you’re scheduled to pitch next week – say Tuesday. You get to the park and start to warm up, do your thing, and go through your repertoire. Somebody should know if your pitch selection is working 100%. Usually, pitching coaches have a percentage sheet that gives a fair appraisal of a pitcher’s effectives, given an appearance that day and since no two pitchers are exactly the same on any given day, these pitch percentage sheets tend to advise the head coach, infield coach, etc., of what’s in the mix even before things get going on the field. So, if you’re noted for say - a slider, curve, split finger, knuckleball, and four seam/two seam and changeup, well all of these pitches will have a certain degree of effectiveness on any given day. So, if your fastball by location is 80%, your slider is 40%, your curve is 45% , your split finger is 80%, and your knuckleball is 10% – then it should be a foregone conclusion to the coaching staff how to pitch to the apposing lineup, how to pitch with runners on –son on and so forth.
And finally, a fastball that’s accurate and can paint the corners is an awesome skill to bring to a tryout, showcase, invitation, etc. Velocity is a good thing – but if not getting strikes it’s simply ………
“seams in the wind son, just seams in the wind”.

Coach B.

You know, too… if you watched the Sox game last night. Beckett was lights out with two pitches: a fastball and a curveball. Then Papelbon came in and closed it out. Again, with two pitches: a fastball and a curveball.

I never knew a guy in pro ball who could command 5 pitches. But every one commanded two or you don’t get to pro ball.

I guess my point is that while talking about a lot of pitches may be fun. If you really don’t want to waste your time, work on fewer.

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]…
I guess my point is that while talking about a lot of pitches may be fun. If you really don’t want to waste your time, work on fewer.[/quote]

2 pitches rated at 80 each are better than 3+ pitches rated at 40 each :stuck_out_tongue:

Until I become better at my knuckleball, I use:

  1. Sinker
  2. Curveball
  3. Circle change-up

My sinker and circle change-up work the best together.

My 2 cents are

  1. Fastball {4-seam, 2-seam or sinker}
  2. Fast change-up
    sounds weird but I like to refer it as fast change-up because you want the arm speed fast and the speed of ball {MPH} to be slower.

If you can master a good hard fastball by throwing it alot and throw a good change-up with same arm speed you will get the best hitters around off-balance and grounding out or poping up.

  1. Breaking Pitch to strike them out not important really
    You want to try to get them out in 3 pithes or less and doesn’t have to be a K.

if you don’t have an adequate fastball, nothing else matters unless you throw the knuckleball. and guys who throw the knuckleball throw it 90% of the time. until you are a junior or senior in high school and still can’t reach 80, i would stay away from the knuckleball.

the first thing they do when you reach pro ball is usually take away all but your fastball and one other pitch. VERY FEW pitchers throw more than 3 pitches and most live on 2 pitches.

if you can throw fastball, change and a breaking pitch for strikes, you will pitch for a long time if they are quality pitches. i throw 20 pitches but can’t break 75 and i can’t get anybody out.

geoff zahn said it best, your job as a pitcher is to get three outs before they score. if you can do that with 2 pitches (like koufax), you did your job.

I agree with everyone who said Fastball Fastball Fastball… Yes, I think it by far is the most important pitch, especially when you can command it in and out of the strike zone. But, I will say not everyone has the stuff of Beckett, and Papelbon and can get away with throwing just two pitches!! Those two guys have some of the best stuff on this planet! That’s a big reason why they don’t need other pitches. Let’s face it, there were fat pitches by both CC and Josh that were fouled off last night because the hitter couldn’t catch up! Not because the pitch was in a good location. My point is, most big league pitchers (starters) must throw more than two pitches to be successful. There’s only an X number of people who have beckett or peavy like stuff. If I were advising younger pitchers I would certainly have their main focus on the fastball, don’t get me wrong. Both the two and the four seam fastballs. The next pitch for a youngster should be the change-up. If commanded and thrown properly this pitch can become extremely effective as you continue to climb the ladder into high school and college baseball, and even professionally.

In my opinion, I would prefer most pitchers to throw a slider instead of a curveball. Simple reasoning. As you get to the collegiate or professional level, any hitter will tell you that the average curveball is MUCH easier to hit than the average slider. You can see this in the big leagues. Unless you have a Beckett type curveball, which is extremely rare in the big leagues, slower loopier breaking balls can go a very long ways. At the upper levels it is much preferred to have a shorter, sharper and a higher velocity breaking ball, the slider. So here’s how I’d value pitches at the upper levels…

  1. Well commanded two-seam fastball down in the zone. Two seamer preferred to the four based on movement.

  2. Well commanded four-seam fastball inside and outside, as well as up and out of the strike-zone.

  3. (For a Starter) A changeup commanded down in the zone is necessary to help roll over the lineup 2 or 3 times. This pitch is necessary to create doubt for a hitter and the back and forth dimension of pitching.

  4. (For a Starter) A slider commanded on and off the plate at a pitchers discretion based on count and situation.

  • 3 and 4 should be flip flopped for a reliever. Remember, this is pitching at a high level into college and beyond.

Even as a knuckleballer I will say that the fastball is the most important pitch for me.
1). It is what mechanics are based on.
2). Gives me a pitch when I need to locate one.
3). Helps mix up pitches.

1.) 2 Seam Fastball
2.) Slider
3.) Circle Changeup

Thats what I use now. I couldnt ask for more.

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]You know, too… if you watched the Sox game last night. Beckett was lights out with two pitches: a fastball and a curveball. Then Papelbon came in and closed it out. Again, with two pitches: a fastball and a curveball.

I never knew a guy in pro ball who could command 5 pitches. But every one commanded two or you don’t get to pro ball.

I guess my point is that while talking about a lot of pitches may be fun. If you really don’t want to waste your time, work on fewer.[/quote]

papelbon dont throw curveballs he’s fastball splitter. schilling shown him how to throw the split.

and i throw 2-seam fastball both up and down in the zone. i broke an old aluminum bat with a 2-seam in on hands this year.

my complimentary pitch is a curveball some people call it slider its basically a fast curveball i get around 1 foot drop on it or less and maybe 6 inches break to the right (im lefty). i will throw a change up too for strike outs down and in, thats the best strike out pitch i ever had a change up down and in on a 0-2 1-2 2-2 count. down and away for groundballs.

papelbon does have a slider.

[quote=“joelyness”]. If you could build any 5 solid pitches, what do you take?

Keep it realistic please! :stuck_out_tongue:

In otherwords, none of this:
4. Slider

[/quote]

Why is a slider unrealistic?

Also, knuckleball is a last resort pitch. Like dusty delso said, unless you can’t throw hard, don’t bother with a kball. A knuckleball is the pitch that pitchers learn when they can’t throw other pitches for strikes / effectively. Most HS knuckleballers, if not all, don’t get serious looks from colleges / pro scouts. Pitchers should be working on mastering 3 pitches, 4 maximum. Before you get that far you need to do just 2, FB and CH.

As for me, I throw a fastball, changeup, slider, and curveball.

P.S. Coach Baker, Ellis never made it to the MLB. His career was cut short by a shoulder injury.

I get by throwing 2 pitches-slider and fastball. If your slider looks enough like your fastball, people will go fishing way outside.

Sorry for the big time gap but I was just looking at this and saw you throw a slider. I WOULD NOT throw a slider at this age, it its very stressful on your arm. I used to think I was throwing a cutter and it was actually a slider. It had amazing movement but my arm ended up hurt. So I would not throw a slider, throw a two-seamer and a changeup.

I throw my slider like a cutter, as described in one of the articles. I get a little tenderness in the elbow the day after I pitch, but its all good.

Why is a slider unrealistic by the way?

You’re 15… I wouldn’t say getting a little tenderness in the elbow the day after you pitch is “all good” Especially when you throw a slider