I can not get as mush movement on my 2 & 4 fastball as I would like. How can I improve?
Let me tell you a story about a pitcher who was having problems with both those pitches. Jim Brosnan, a good reliever in the National League, was with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959, and one day he was having a conversation with pitching coach Clyde King. He mentioned that he was having trouble with both his two-seamer and his four-seamer, neither of which was working for him. King, a very astute pitching coach, promptly called in a catcher, and he had Brosnan throw for some fifteen minutes using both pitches. Finally he advised the pitcher to drop the four-seamer altogether and to go with the two-seamer which was working much better for him. Brosnan did just that; he refined his two-seamer to go along with his slider and did very well for the next several years, in St. Louis and then in Cincinnati .
It’s possible that you may find that one of those pitches is working much better for you. Try this. Get a good catcher, and throw to him for, say, ten or fifteen minutes, using both pitches, perhaps with a pitching coach looking on, and see what happens. And go with what the catcher and the coach suggest. For instance, you might be doing much better with the two-seamer—and you have the makings of a killer sinker there, so you can work on that. A good sinkerball is notoriously difficult to hit, so you can make that your #1 pitch and add a splitter, a slider or a cutter to go along with it—and, of course, a changeup. You need a good one of those babies, maybe even two. Let me know how it turns out, okay?
Your 4-seam fastball is a pitch with little movement to begin with. It’s meant to be relatively straight and thrown with a higher velocity than other pitches.
As for your 2-seamer, play with the amount of pressure you put through your finger tips. If you can apply a little more pressure to your index finger as you release the ball, it should help the ball to come out of your hand with a spin that is more conducive to sinking or running toward your arm side. If you can develop that movement, your 2-seam fastball will have a little less velocity than the 4-seamer.
It won’t come to you right away. You are going to have to work at it. Start by playing with finger pressure while just playing catch. When you get comfortable with it and can hit your target accurately, then you can work on progressing to the mound with your new found movement.
Some drop their arm angle a little to create a different spin, I only do this to my 2 seamer…I want the 4 seam to be a little straighter.
kcm3…in regards to the 4 seam FB it is true that this pitch is going to have minimal movement unless just created naturally…there are some pitchers who just have movement on this pitch for whatever reason…if it is not doing much for you don’t worry about it…work on locating it to both sides and especially elevating with this pitch…work on angles and elevation…
As for the 2 seam pitch…you may want to try scuffing it in the bullpen…sometimes when you add some scuff to the sinker it will help you see the movement it is supposed to make, the bigger the scuff, the more the movement…then as you are seeing this movement in your bullpen start switching baseballs from the scuffed ball to the non-scuffed ball…you will see how the 2-seamer will actually take that same movement as the scuffed ball based on what your body has been practicing and seeing…keep doing this during your bullpens until you see consistent sink to the 2-seam FB…you can lessen the scuff as you get better and better and eventually will not need any…(although you wouldn’t be the first to scuff if you really wanted to…LOL…don’t blame me though if you get caught)
But seriously…the movement comes from grip but more so from wrist position at release…I would not suggest messing with the pressure on the fingertips…you may move up your thumb on the side of the ball more but really the movement comes from the wrist…I do not mean you turn or move your wrist while in the process, it is locked in…but if you can imagine your wrist as different clubs like in golf…the wrist facing the batter is your 4 seam FB (your driver) the wrist slightly pronated to start is the 2-seamer (let’s say a 3 wood in this instance) the wrist pronated to start is your change-up, etc…
Make sure you never mess with your arm slot on any of your pitches…whatever slot you throw your FB is what you throw all your other pitches and everything must look the same…do not drop down just to make a pitch move more, you must make all your pitches work with a consistent arm slot…as you get older and become more saavy there may be times you can mix arm slots up but you would still need to be able to throw more then one pitch from the different slots so you can protect the pitches…older hitters, better hitters, will pick these things up…
Hope this helps…by the way…what level do you play at now??
If you really want a fastball with movement,
you should learn the two-seam, sinker, cutter, or splitter.
The four-seam fastball is generally thrown pretty straight.
Location is especially important with a four-seam fastball
because it does not have as much movement as other pitches.
A lot of pitchers in MLB throw two-seams, sinkers, etc.
and are successful.
A four-seam fastball is great to have,
but as long as you have one or two other good fastballs the four-seam is not always necessary.