Forward spin and back spin on pitches

Which pitches should have forward spin and which pitches should have back spin? Thanks.

P.S. I apologize for the amount of questions I have posted in this forum. I learned of this website recently and I am a big fan of it.

Curveballs and screwballs have forward spin (topspin). Fastballs have backspin. Sliders have an off-center football-spiral type of spin. The gyroball also has football-spiral spin but this is a special case in which the spin axis of the ball is perfectly aligned with the direction of flight of the ball…leading to almost no movement at all (which is the true reason that the gyroball has never caught on…).

mainly as said above curveballs and screwballs are the only ones, and to a certain extent forkballs

Would two-seamers/sinkers have backspin? And what about a cutter? Thanks.

Johnny, there are truly only 2 pitches that will have forward spin, (besides perhaps a knuckle ball but the idea is to not get any spin on that so it doesn’t count) and that is the curve ball and knuckle ball. The sinker/two seam is a fastball and so is the cutter so all will have backspin to at least some degree, but none will have forward spin.

i agree. 2 seamers and sinkers and splitters all have backspin or off center backspin, a splitter will have slower backspin than a typical 4 seamer which causes it to drop a little bit more. a 2 seamer is usually off center a little bit and tails. there are many different pitches and but not many different grips. for example a cutter, slider, and curveball can all be gripped the same way but the release will cause a different rotation, movement and velocity. you have to find your natural movement on your fastball, specifically your 2 seamer and than work some pitches in from there. usually starting with a changeup to keep hitters honest. hope this helps

I think something to note too is that pitches with “forward spin” such as a curveball, will go father when they connect with the bat, because they leave the bat with backspin. This will allow the ball to go farther.


only the pitches that drop down like a curve have top spin. screwballs dont its just pronation. the cutter has side spin and so the slider does