My 9 year old lefty is throwing really well in Little League Minors. He’s had three consecutive terrific outings, and right now he’s clearly the best pitcher on the team.
That said, I think I need to work on his grips. Or maybe not? Maybe I should leave well enough alone?
Well, here goes . . .
Four Seam Fastball
He holds the four seam fastball essentially with four fingers. If he holds the ball toward your face (remember he’s a lefty), you see the index finger at 11:00, the middle finger at 1:00, the ring finger at 5:00, and the thumb at 7:00.
We have discussed this before here, and the advice was that as long as the middle finger and thumb bisect the ball - and at 1:00 and 7:00 they do - the grip is fine, especially for a young pitcher with small hands.
My question is whether I should try to get his thumb more under the ball and push his ring finger off to the side? And is this even feasible for a 9 year old, or do their small hands require the two fingers under the ball?
I ask because his fastball often has a spin that makes it move into a right handed batter, and I’d like to see more backward rotation. A respected pitching coach told me almost all lefties his age throw with this spin and movement, and I should leave it alone. True?
He throws a three finger change up, across the seams, but throws it nearly as hard as his fastball. There’s little “change” in speed, and he really needs a slower change up.
Any suggestions? Should he palm the ball more? Is the circle change feasible for 9 year old hands?