I need a Strikeout pitch


#1

I am a tall RHP I have a good fastball and very good 12-6 curve ball. My change is decent but i dont get too many swing and misses with it, mostly foul balls, and it is very dangerous if i miss my spot even by a little.

I get 2 strikes on the batter a lot but against good competition i can never can seem to get that third strike swinging. This is especially a problem deep in the games after the batters have seen me a few times and are just watching for curve or fastball. I dont have a super overpowering fastball for High school, averages about 84-87.

What new pitch should i learn to get more Ks? Splitter? Sinker? Slider? I used to have a decent slider but its not so effective anymore.


#2

try bouncing your curve, or tinker around to get some lateral movement on it so they chase it out of the zone. strike guys out on balls. fastballs high and out of the zone when you’re ahead.

it might also be a case of you’re just not setting guys up. mix up your locations more, inside and outside, up and down.

87mph fastball in high school should be enough to blow a lotta kids away as is. you must play in a super competitive and talented league.


#3

Yea i do play in one of the Best regions in the Nation for sports. It is highly competitive. Iv also already signed to play college ball.

I feel like i do set up my pitches well, move my fastball in and out and mix in my curve. Ill try and tinker with it a bit though. They just seem to get used to seeing the curve in the later innings and can put it in play however nasty it may be.


#4

If your a fastball pitcher then try developing a cutter or a 2 seam so you can hitters to chase your fastball. Having fastballs with movement always keeps hitters on their toes


#5

play with grips, arm actions


#6

Get back to the original plan of selling your pitches well. I mean, make sure your “explosion” is the same for your off speed pitches and you should get more swings on them. Not only arm speed, but legs, too.


#7

I agree with everyone’s suggestions so far.

My thought is to make sure you don’t first go about adding a new pitch just yet. That could be a long process and you are already in your season. Make sure you are making the most of the stuff you have. A hard fastball like yours, along with a curve ball at your level, should be enough to be effective AND get strike outs at the high school level.

Andrew’s earlier comment reminds me of a quote Maddux says which is to, “make your strikes look like balls and your balls look like strikes”. So when you have 2 strikes (assuming you’re ahead of the count), bounce your curveball, let a two-seam fall of the plate, anything you can do to throw off the hitter’s judgment.


#8

The first thing you should do, in my considered opinion, is make sure you’re not telegraphing your pitches. I’ve been thinking about this, and I recall several situations in the major leagues where a pitcher was getting belted from here to Timbuktu because, all unawares, he was tipping off his pitches. Whitey Ford, for example—he had just come up to the Yankees in 1950, and he had started a game, and the opposition was just eating him up until a teammate called his attention to the fast that the first-base coach was calling every pitch. The next day he went to the bullpen with pitching coach Jim Turner and teammate Ed Lopat and threw from the stretch for some minutes, and Lopat spotted the problem immediately: Ford was positioning his glove hand one way for a fast ball and another way for a curve, and because he was a lefthander it was no trouble for the opposition first-base coach to pick up on it and relay it to the hitters! Lopat told Ford what he was doing wrong, and the problem was corrected in a bullpen session. So it behooves you to make sure you’re concealing your grip and not doing anything that could give away what you’re going to throw next.
Next, make sure you’re throwing everything—and I mean EVERYTHING—with the same arm motion and the same arm speed. This is another way a pitcher might inadvertently telegraph—slowing down his arm speed, for example, or make some little movement on the mound that could tell the batter what to look for next. You say that the opposing hitters have been zeroing in on both your fast ball and your curve? I say, look into it, because you might well be tipping off those pitches without realizing it. Also, you should conceal your grip until the last possible moment.
I know, most of the other respondents say don’t think about acquiring another pitch just yet, but I’m not so sure. You might consider another variety of changeup. My old pitching coach, who was a member of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation, once told me that just about any pitch could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated a few such for me. You might think about something like a palm ball, which is easy to pick up and easy to throw and which is thrown with the same motion as for a fast ball—or a circle change—or (a favorite of mine) a knuckle-curve, which can be a devastating pitch when you get the hang of it.
I for one was a snake-jazz pitcher, not much on speed but with a very good arsenal of breaking stuff to which I kept adding, and you know what my strikeout pitch was? A slider which I nicknamed “Filthy McNasty”, after a character in a W.C. Fields movie because that was exactly what it was; it had a sharp late break to it. I threw sidearm exclusively, and I used the crossfire extensively, and I got the batters out with it because they couldn’t time it.
In addition, my pitching coach let me in on a little secret—an aspect of strategic pitching. Instead of putting more stuff on the ball, he would take some off it, and that was how he would deal with power hitters—at least the ones who thought they were. Case in point: a guy named Walt Dropo, who played for Detroit and Boston. He was a power hitter—or at least he thought he was. He would come to the plate drooling and licking his chops in gleeful anticipation of the delicious goodies awaiting him. And the pitcher would take even more off his stuff. Result? A big fat strikeout, or a weak dribbler to first. And as the batter would return to his dugout foaming at the mouth and muttering all kinds of unprintable imprecations, the pitcher would yell at him "Dropo, you’re just a lousy hitter!"
These are just a few things I have in mind that you might try out and see if you can mess up the hitters’ timing—and their thinking. :slight_smile: 8)


#9

First thing I’d consider is developing that change a little bit more a great changeup can be the most devastating pitch to a hitter. I like what other people have said here too, don’t be afraid to leave the strike zone, you don’t have to throw every pitch in the zone.

Zita, great post as usual. I have an experience to add to your comment about tipping pitches. One outing I came on in relief. I didn’t notice it until after the second inning i pitched when they picked up on this but when I would come set my glove was tilted towards the 3rd base coach with my grip exposed so he would be yelling numbers to his batters indicating my knuckler or my fastball (I don’t throw too much of my other stuff) too bad fir them though my knuck dances enough to keep me from getting tagged but with my fastball (or lack thereof) it was dangerous for them to know when a uh, non-knuck was coming. I was told of this and so I fixed it and I didn’t have an issue with it after that.


#10

Thanks everyone, that is all very helpfull, I’ll get my pitching coach to check and make sure I’m not tipping or changing anything on my motion to give away my pitches. I think I’ll try and change my curve a little to make it more of a hard break outa the zone rather than a big get me over pitch. I also like that quote by maddox.


#11

In addition to what’s already been said:

Your “game” pitch IS your strike out pitch.

Yes- you will be predictable in certain situations. Every one does.
Yes - will be hit from time to time. Every one does.
Yes - your game pitch will be your foundation pitch. Every one does
Yes - all other pitches will take their learning curve from your foundation pitch. Every one does.
No - it will not be your only pitch.
No - you will not be easy to hit, THAT will be your game, your reputation.

So, in priority of confidence - list your pitches from the most confident to ther least. At the top of the list is your game pitch. Now using what you do, how you feel, what your mind and body tell you IS this pitch, employ that with the rest of your pitch inventory that comes next.
Coach B.


#12

Fosh changeup, its the reason i lead my conference in K’s right now.


#13

defiantly the splitter. great strikeout pitch. if you dont have agood fastball ur slider cant be that good. the faster the slider the more the break