Im going to play high school base ball next year and i was wondering if i should learn some new pitches. Id like to throw a slider and screwball. and do you have any other tips like my arm slot,should i throw 3/4 because I changed to side arm and havent faced any hitters with it. Any advice would be appreciated.
My guess is you’re about fourteen, maybe fifteen years old.
One thing I will say: stay away from the screwball. That is one dangerous pitch which will—no pun intended—literally screw up your arm. Carl Hubbell threw it almost exclusively, and look what happened to him—when he stood with his arms at his sides the palm of his left hand faced out; his arm had gotten turned around. So I definitely do not recommend that pitch. You might want to try a split-finger pitch—this is a faster-moving cousin of the forkball, and it shouldn’t put any strain on your pitching extremity because you grip it with the index and middle fingers just off the seams. When you reach age sixteen you might think about the slider, which when thrown correctly is easier on the arm and shoulder than just about any other pitch, and if you decide to learn that one you should learn it from a professional pitcher who throws or threw a good one—I learned mine from a key member of the Yankees’ fabled Big Three rotation. Of course, you have the basic pitches, a fast ball, a curve and a changeup, that goes without saying.
As for the arm slot—why not see what happens when you throw sidearm? You might lose a bit of velocity, but you will gain a lot more in control and command of your pitches, and because the sidearm is the most natural of any of the pitching deliveries it will put no strain on your arm and your shoulder. And the sidearm pitcher has a secret weapon—
the crossfire, which is a move that works only with this particular delivery and which is guaranteed to give batters conniption fits. So give it a shot and see what happens.
Ed Lopat—the pitcher who taught me the slider—had this key piece of advice for me with regard to pitching to the hitters: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, and change speeds. And stay away from the middle of the plate.” He was my pitching coach for almost four years, and believe me, he was one of the finest anyone could ever hope to work with. What I learned from him was nothing short of priceless.
If you have any more questions, I’[ll do my best to answer them—after all, I’m no farther away than Old Stupid (my computer). 8)
Do you think It wold hurt at all to learn knuckleball, circle change, or 2seam fastball because my 4seam fastball isn’t very overpowering. By the way I already throw a splitter and on occasion I have a cut fastball are there any injuries that could happen throwing any of these pitches.
If you throw all your pitches with the same arm motion and the same arm speed you shouldn’t have any problems. I can think of few things worse than a pitcher slowing down the arm speed for one pitch or another, because that means he’s telegraphing it and the batter can sit on it, and when he does—BLAM, over the fence it goes!
The circle change and the two-seam fast ball (in some quarters they call it a sinker) are good pitches to add to your repertoire. For the circle change you grip the ball with the thumb and index finger forming a circle on one side of the ball (assuming your hand is large enough to form the complete circle), or if you can’t do that, a backwards “c” (which I used to do), and the middle and ring fingers on top of the ball and the pinky on the other side—or you can do it with those three fingers on top. You throw it with the same motion as the fast ball. The two-seamer is just that; you grip the ball with the index and middle fingers along the seams. Be sure not to grip the ball too tightly, because after all you do NOT want to squeeze the juice out of the ball. With a bit of experimentation on the wrist action you should be able to get a good sink on that one. That’s it, basically—I for one didn’t have any kind of fast ball to speak of, and I knew I would never be a rip-roarin’ fireballer like Feller, Raschi, Verlander or any of those guys so I went in the other direction and became a finesse pitcher—and a very good one.
As to the knuckleball—I will say right off that I’m not an expert on that pitch. Neither was Mike Mussina. Both of us tried to throw it and had no luck because of the sharp wrist snap on the curve ball, but we discovered that there is such a thing as a knuckle-curve, and that was how we picked it up—basically, you use a knuckleball grip and throw a curve ball. I had a good one and Moose had an exceptional one. If you want to learn about the knuckleball, there are two things you can do. One is an excellent source called “The Knucklebook” . The other—the best one on these boards—is the guy known to us as Pustulio; he’s the master of all things knuckleball, and you couldn’t do any better than to ask him. I’m sure he’ll be more than happy to help you. 8)
Would you recomend finding a pitching coach I dont know of any around my area im 30 min from tampa FL do you know of any?
If you are looking for the most important tips for high school baseball, take a few from me. I just graduated high school and was a 4 year starting pitching, never a flame thrower but got people out through forcing contact, learning to be smart on the mound and knowing where to locate pitches, what pitches to throw in different counts and most importantly, I can hit any spot I want.
In high school, you only need to throw 3 pitches; fastball (I throw primarily a 2SFB), curveball, and a changeup. What I found out this year was that if you can throw a very good, deceptive changeup you will be come a much more efficient and better pitcher.
Also, by learning good mechanics, you will be able to throw harder with more accuracy, last longer in games, and it won’t be so much strain on your arm which will make it easier to recover and come back to pitch sooner.
Lastly, good pitchers are the smart pitchers. Knowing what kind of situation you are in, what pitch to throw in what count, remembering what the batter you are facing could or couldn’t hit in previous at bats and what to do with runners on. It all comes with experience through time.
2-seam and changeup. Very effective. Wait on the knuckleball, you have to spend a lot of time working on that pitch and trust me it’s no easy task keeping it consistently fluttering.
First thing you need to realize about high school baseball is that it isn’t necessary to throw 3 pitches for strikes. Very, very, very few high school hitters can consistently put the bat on a breaking pitch or changeup. Good command of a fastball and the ability to throw an offspeed pitch for strikes will take you very far.
If your looking for an offspeed pitch to throw, start with a changeup. They are the easier to throw for strikes and too many breaking balls can damage arms.
About your sophmore year you can start experimenting with a breaking ball, using it sporadically in a game only when you need a strikeout pitch. Again, a 0-2 breaking ball will get you alot of strikeouts especially on the JV team.
Try to learn fastballs with different movement. If you can learn both a cutter and a two seam you can be deadly. Even hitters at the major league level have trouble with that, just look at what Roy Halladay can do.
Attack hitters, most hitters nowadays are instructed to be patient and you can often get away with a get me over fastball early in the count.
Walks are the death of a high school pitcher. Nothing will get you in the dugout faster than walks.
Above all work hard and have fun