# Is there a perfect velocity?

In other words,does a certain pitch,thrown correctly,have more movement at a certain speed?A curveball for example.MLB pitchers seem to throw it 72-78 or so.what does it do at 85?60?I know a combination of velocity/spin is required,etc.I just thought this would be interesting to throw out there.Speed for 2-seamer?Circle?Curve?

This is really only true for the knuckleball. In that case, the ideal speed is around 70 MPH for maximum movement.

When it comes to the curveball, the speed at which it is rotating is more important.

speed and spin are going together. a 2-seam fastball will move a lot more if throw slower than if thrown harder for the simple fact that it has more time to move. thats why people with good natural mouvement on there fastball have great change-ups. the 10 mphs they take off the ball gives it more time to move and so it acts like a screwball.

With a 12-6 curve the harder you can throw it the better within reasonable limits. The harder you can throw the curve the closer you can come to releasing it level or ideally even slightly downwards if you could throw it hard enough to do so and still be a strike. That will result in the curve moving downwards faster as it crosses the plate.

When a curve is released upwards part of the time spent going towards the plate is used up in overcoming the upwards velocity and it ends up having less time to break down than if it were thrown harder and released without upward velocity.

The reality is that most curves are released with some upwards velocity and the difference between a hanging curve and a sharp breaking curve is simply that the hanging curve was released with a bit more upwards velocity than normal.

The other thing to remember is that part of the effectiveness of a curve is the change of speed relative to the fastball. That is why Oswalt’s relatively slow curve can be so effective.

This sounds like a question for Robert Adair

Joe,
I’ve done the math.

In addition to what CADad said, throwing the curve harder and, therefore, more level causes it to look more like a fastball both in terms of the trajectory of the pitch as well as the pitcher’s arm speed. All of this improves the deception factor. Also, throwing the curve harder produces a later and sharper break which is more difficult to react to.

Humm this is pretty helpful for me. I notice that sometimes my curveball has an amazing break and then sometimes it just stays up. Throw the curveball at a downward slope. I have to remember that. It all makes sense now that I think of it. My curve is not 12 and 6 however. It’s more of a 11 and 5.

This is probably a function of arm slot, Ian.