Change-up's effectiveness in high school

I’ve been told over and over and over again a good change-up is the most effective tool a pitcher could have. In a high school level though, wouldn’t bad hitters find the change-up to be an easy slower fastball served up the plate? And also I’d like some tips for decreasing the velocity of my own changeup; with a proper tucked-in grip, my change-up only sits around 5 mph off my fastball, and im told thats not a large enough difference for it to be effective. Any ideas would be widely appreciated, thanks!

best change ups are between 7 and 10 mph difference. get a good circle change grip and throw it with some good pronation. the pronation will add the 2 or 3 mph you need. remember a change up is a wise man pitch, you dont throw it to strike everyone out like a slider or curveball, you throw it to get them off balance and let them get themself out with a grounder to third or ss or a lazy fly.

You do want to get that changeup to be about 7-10 mph off your fastball, and for the bad hitters, just feed them fastballs in location, you know the players in the 7-9 hole. If they catch up with your fastball then go to a change to keep them off balance and finish them with a fastball. Your changeup is to keep hitters off balance and not sitting dead, red fastball.

4pie, nah, the change is one of the most effective wipeout pitches out there. Rich Hardin makes a terrific living throwing just a fb/change. In high school it can get you “worked” if you throw it at the wrong time…throwing a change to a 7th, 8th or 9 hole guy is likely to get you lit up by the weakest hitters…and then they’ll go around bragging that they hit your fb :roll:
But using it on some hotdog sitting dead red??? oh yah, you can make em look real funny.

There are several “tricks” to slow the speed, I stay away from things that change deliveries…like dragging a foot…slowing arm speed…against a good team it just shows the pitch. I prefer getting the ball deeper in the hand, what is termed “choking” the ball back, another tip is to add another finger on the ball. Best way to get it better is to throw it and throw it some more, do it when you warm up, long toss…no matter just focus on it and work.

of course you will get strike outs out of it on guys that are looking to pul the fastball in an other galaxie but this is not the main purpose of the pitch. rich harden has one of the best change up in baseball, it’s like saying a sinker is for strike outs because fosto carmona gets a lot of k out of it i mean he has a deadly sinker.the change up (and this is true for the sinker too) is basically a quick out pitch made to get guys to make weak contact on the ball wether its a lazy fly weak grounder or a k.

The real nifty thing about it is that both of us are right, just we both have different perspectives…it is the exact reason why my position on guru’s is what it is (“Some” potential for good). More than one way to play the game.

Wow, I literally JUST wrote an article about this!

I think it is true that often times a change-up gets hit hard in youth baseball but I don’t think it’s because of the pitch itself being beat, I think it’s the pitchers.

Either the pitcher slows it down too much or throws the pitch to the wrong hitter or on the wrong count. Or the grip isn’t tight enough to give enough velocity change off the fastball.

But that’s just it a GOOD change-up used properly is really really effective. It takes work, that’s why I think it’s important that young pitchers start working on it early. The pitcher using it at the wrong time or throwing it when he’s not competent at throwing it yet is when it’s not effective.

My opinion is that at any level change-ups are most effective against the best hitters as they tend to have the quickest bats and the most aggressive mindset.

The best change-ups are usually those that are sequenced well.

[quote=“Roger”]My opinion is that at any level change-ups are most effective against the best hitters as they tend to have the quickest bats and the most aggressive mindset.

The best change-ups are usually those that are sequenced well.[/quote]

That’s exactly how we teach our pitchers to use the change-up. Throwing change-ups to bad hitters makes no sense. Save it for the times you need it.

I read your article, and while I’m in agreement with much of what’s in it, there are some things I question. If not the fact, how you state the proposition. Here’s a for instance.

Stated that way, its very easy for the reader to miss the subtleties of what’s being said, and come straight to the conclusion that ALL youth pitchers who rely on the change up will change their mechanics to get better velocity separation off their FB, and lose velocity on ALL of their pitches.

Rather than give the reader the idea that throwing CUs for youth pitchers is a bad idea, why not make sure to tell the reader how to avoid those problems, thus avoiding the velocity drop? I’m not saying you’re overall assumption is wrong. I’m saying that you could have said much the same thing in a way that promoted the CU for youth pitchers rather than driving a stake through its heart. :wink:

Part of the reason I’m really wary of such talk, is that you use MLB statistics talking about youth pitchers, and as far as I know, there’s absolutely no comparison because there’s no youth data of the depth of MLB data. BTW, Do you know if that fellow you referenced counted foul tips as swings and misses? The reason I ask is, in testing my newly converted program, I notice a lot of foul tips on FBs. I notice them because I count a foul tip as a swing and miss because its treated by the rules exactly the same. Any other ball hit by the bat, no matter how minor the touch, is treated as a foul ball.

But back to my wariness, that’s just one of the reasons I’m converting my program. Even though I have some very detailed information, I never tracked whether a strike not put in play was called, a foul, or a swing and miss. Anyone who’s ever scored a game using the old conventional scoresheet, knows full well why very few scorers track that. Heck, many scorers don’t even bother to mark foul balls after 2 strikes.

While I could fairly easily also track foul tips, bunt attempts, bunts in play, foul bunts, and missed bunts, I’m doing my level best to keep the keystrokes and mouse clicks to a minimum because there will be times I have to allow someone else to use the program, and it had to be “fairly” user friendly. Assuming I get the program fully operational, I’ll then have access to that kind of data for HS teams, but my database will take some time to develop. But, at least I should have something that will at least give someone a way to start answering these kinds of questions.

I’m not trying to be critical without offering alternatives here. I’ve seen and heard your argument in various forms over the years, but I almost always see people note the same thing you did about the velocity separation. For many years the standard was 10MPH, and I shudder to think how many kids either tweaked something trying to get that magic number, or just gave up because they felt like failures. You’ve used the standard I’m starting to see much more often. 10-15% is a a lot more reasonable, but it still lacks the thinking that things are much different at 46, 50, or 54’, and those percentages just don’t translate into those distances.

There are a couple folks out there looking at pitches in terms of time rather than velocity, which I think is on the right track. The 1st that comes to mind is Perry Husband with his effective velocity. I don’t agree with everything he says, but feel that he’s sure in the ballpark. And that’s what I try very hard to get kids, coaches, and parents still using the small fields to understand. Unfortunately, it’s a concept that requires a lot more thinking than most people want to put in, and often requires a lot of convincing. :frowning: