Changeup Grips

What changeup grip do all of you guys get the most movement from? I’ve experimented with a circle grip and haven’t been able to get movement. Is there a certain way to release a circle change for more movement?

I throw a circle change, and the one thing you need to keep in your head is to “throw the circle” to the ground so your getting a little pronation on the ball and it should cause it to move.

I throw a circle … I’m surprised you wouldn’t get any movement on it … the pitch is so wacky … how do you position your thumb?

movement dosen’t mean much, just as long as your arm speed is the same with your change as it is with ur fastball, it’ll be effective, thats the case with mine

a common flaw that I fall into and that I’ve heard Tom Glavine talk about when throwing the change is to make sure you finish out front with it … for some reason I think there’s a tendency to release it early…

i use a two-seam change-up grip but i throw side-arm so u would get different movement on it

Exactly. I think my release point on my changeup is just slightly earlier. I can throw it over for strikes, but he’s definately right. I gotta work on that. I throw a circle change too, with my fingers each about 1 cm apart.

When I throw it I try to think that I’m trying to stretch out and reach the catcher, like I want to place the ball in his glove … it helps me finish it out front.

I throw a circle change myself and the way I get movement is by sliding my pinkie up right next to my ring finger and my thumb directly under the ball as if I was throwing a sinker(I use a 2-seam circle change).

Other than that I just make sure that the tips of my fingers are right on top of the seams on the ball so thay if you drew a line splitting the ball in half, my middle and ring finger tips are right on the edge of that line. People release it wrong when they choke it back in their palm because they have their fingers too forward on the ball.

From there just forget about everything else and throw it like a fastball.

Everyone is different, so experiment with different types of grips until you find one that is comfortable, takes significant speed off, and gives you a little movement.

That said, the circle change works for many pitchers, and the suggested tweaks are definitely worth trying. Try using different pressure points and moving the thumb around.

Another grip you can try is the pitchfork: shove the ball in between your index and ring fingers, with the middle finger riding on top. You can use the inside pressure of the index and ring fingers to produce a similar effect that the forkball has, and get some drop on the ball. You can also experiment with gripping different seams and moving the thumb up and down.

Regardless of your grip, the key is to have the same release point as the fastball. Arm speed is important as well. To keep those issues consistent, mix changeups into your long-toss routine.


What arm slot do you throw from? If you are throwing from straight overhand you are not going to get good movement from a circle or classic change because you are putting 12-6 spin on the ball.

General ideas on Change-ups

From straight over the top-


The first two are “tumble” changes-the ball tumbles out of your hand with a little overspin. They tend to take a very nasty dip about 2 feet before home plate. Thats the good news, the bad news is the batter knows he’s been had, and may try to layoff.

The Classic change -held like a fastball but deeper in your hand with the first joints of your fingers providing stability looks exactly like a fastball, it spins exactly like a fastball, but it does not move much especially from overhand. Be careful where you locate it!


Forkball-see above
Circle or three finger
The circle comes out like a fastball but should have 7 to1 movement, and should have some nasty sink as well. You can turn it over to exaggerate this movment.

Some guys can get this to move like a cutter, but WHY???


my experience, as a circle change thrower, is that I have much better control throwng it over the top and it tends to drop as it crosses the plate.

This is actually a bit of a liability, however, because I have better control of my fastball throwing from a 3/4 slot.

When I throw the circle from 3/4, it’s too erratic… it’s up, it’s in the dirt, it goes wide right, etc… but over the top, it’s pretty deadly (if the hitters don’t pick up the different release point, shhhhh)


I can not figure out why a circle would drop when thrown from straight over the top. I am not saying it does not, I am just saying I do not know why it would from my own experience. If it works then it works! Hurray, Its all good!

I do not know why you would throw a change from one arm slot and the fastball from the other. It seems like a tip off to the batter.

I can see why you would have better control, it should not have much lateral movment, Ian.

yeah, it is a tip off to the batter … but many batters are too stupid to even pick it up (they’re not big leaguers, you know). Also, sometimes I throw my fastball over the top just to mix it up. But usually I throw the fastball 3/4 and changeup over the top.

As for getting the drop, it think it’s really more of a ‘die’ than a sharp break down … meaning, the ball’s slow speed causes it to simply start a decline on its way to the catcher.

Could also be that I’m just throwing it DOWNward and so its low in the zone.

I have a problem observing the movement of my pitches while they’re in flight. I’m too busy following through, praying for a strike, and preparing for the batter to smack a shot right back at me.

Yep , a lot of batters are stupid, but unfortunately they have that peice of lumber or aluminum in their hands.

Getting into position is an excellent habit to have, props!Ian