Learning the cutter

My 9-year old son was just shown how to throw a cut fastball on Saturday. He wants to throw it in tonight’s game. What is the typical timeline for learning a new pitch before using it effectively in a live game?

If you can throw it for a strike about 60% of the time at a minimum.

He is about 7 years early for learning the cutter. Tell whoever showed him the pitch to leave him alone. Teach him a four seam fastball and a straight change. He can do very well with just those two pitches for quite some time.


If it is a true cutter (fastball arm speed with slight supination), there is no way a 9yr old should be throwing it. In my opinion the cutter is the last pitch a pitcher should learn, and only when they are physically mature.

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What age do you all feel is a good age for kids to start throwing a cutter and or slider?

I prefer learning fastball (2 and 4 seam), change and curve first. A youth pitcher that can locate any combination of these pitches will be successful. Way too often I see kids trying to add new pitches when they can’t control a fastball and change. The cutter and slider use faster arm speed with supination which is harder on the arm. To me those are high school level pitches. I have talked to some coaches that believe a cutter is a pitch that should be added after HS by pitchers that are good enough to continue beyond that level.

Completely agree. I do some pitching lessons with two ten year olds and we just work 4 seam change up and some two seam (not much movement but I think gettingredients feel for it helps). One kid really wanted to throw one so we experimented with cutter but it just doesn’t work at that age level. At that age kids don’t grasp distinction between finger pressure of cutter and more aggressive supination of slides so it would either do nothing or be a slider.
Just as an aside my teammates who lead the conference in Era this year threw 4 seam 2 seam and change up maxing out at 77 MPh with his fb. Just focus on Fb change up and developing athletism.

77 mph fastball in college?? What level?

California junior college. He had an amazing change up and had a crazy high strike one percentage.