My next pitch

Alright I am moving up to the division where we can start throwing breaking pitches that involve pronating or supination. By the time the season starts I will be 14 and close to if not 6 feet tall and 155 lbs. I have a 4-seam fastball and a huge dropping palmball. So what should I start developing as a third and fourth pitch. Oh and if you say “curveball” give me the specifics on it because there are like 10 different types of curveballs or just say its normal. Thank you

A splitter comes to mind with your height. It’ll look like your 4 seamer but’ll break down as it makes it to the plate.

I’m not going to get into curveballs but maybe a 2 seamer as a 4th pitch. Pronate to the point where your thumb is directly below the ball as you throw it. At your age I don’t think breaking pitches are as important but that’s just me.

Yeah a curveball still isn’t going to be needed yet. I’d recommend perfecting that palmball (changeup) as to where you can locate it wherever you want and throw it in whatever count. That’ll help you alot during high school.
Also try the two seamer. If you can get it to move, it’s very effective in producing ground balls.
But if you want to try to start throwing curveballs, the easiest grip for me when I was first starting (my sophomore year), was the beginners curveball. Just hold it like a normal curve ball but raise your pointer finger up in the air so its off the ball. And make sure the ball has the over the top 12-6 spin.

Alright, yeah I have previously tried to develop a splitter a 2-seamer and a knuckleball, with all of them they needed alot more work. I liked the splitter, but I threw it as a changeup and my palmball is better as a changeup. The 2-seamer I developed before a showcase tournament under the guidance of my coach and it ended up behind the batter the only time I used it. I was also wanted to throw a knuckleball in a few bullpen sessions, I think I killed a few squirrels in the forest beside the pens. But I would like a few more opinions before I fully make a decision. Thanks to those who have contributed

The new popular pitch to learn would be a cut-fastball. Pitch to contact, bad contact.

You’re 14 develop your fastball and change.

Remember any scout or coach can teach you a breaking ball or offspeed but they can’t teach you velocity.

Guys in College are still learning a solid 3 pitch and guys in the show only have 3 solid pitches and might have a 4th pretty decent pitch.

Alright I will continue to develop my fastball and palmball for a while. It willk be inevitable that my coaches at this next level will teach me a breaking pitch but I will just go with what they want me to do. Alberta is actually the only province in Western Canada that starts breaking balls at the 14-15 age group, other provinces start it at 11-13 age groups. Which I thought was quite early and could hurt there arms. But I guess it doesn’t matter where you start it matters where you end.

That’s good that they regulate it to some degree I can remember playing Pee Wee and being allowed to throw hooks.

You can start to learn a breaking ball from your Coaches but don’t let them over use it ok you and be sure not to fall in love with the fact that you can throw a curve or slider or whatever and the batters cant touch you. I’ve seen too many guys have that happen to them and within a few years there fastball is gone and all they can throw is a wicked curve.

Not having seen a curve in regular season did hurt our hitters in westerns though. It really throws you off when all you have seen before is a fastball that goes straight or maybe a weak changeup that somewhat gets lobbed in there, to a ball that is at your head then flies into the strikezone.

It’s all about discipline if you want to get to the next level you’ll be smart and look long term for your own goals it might sound selfish but winning a championship because guys cant hit a curve isn’t going to help you make it to the next level.

Look at kids from the DR they throw so much and they throw harder then most because they focused on their fastball at a young age rather then learning a curve till they were older.

But could it be beneficial to work on a pitch like a 2-seam or a splitter?

2 seam is a fastball so that’s fine and a splitter I wouldn’t bother with chances are your hands aren’t big enough at your age.

2 seamer really doesn’t take any time to work on, take the different grip and learn how the ball is going to move for you. Learn control with your fastball and changeup, find out what your 2 seamer is going to do and then work on your velocity.

Just turning 14 I would suggest focusing on fastball, changeup. Work on your velo and locating the fastball, then changing speeds with the change or palmball.

As for developing a third pitch, experiment with the 2 seam FB or the cut FB. Other than that I think you could start working on a curve ball. What type of curve ball is strictly up to what feels best in your hand.

For the most part the beginners curve is a good place to start. My son tried to throw the beginners curve ball but never could get the feel of the pitch. He started using a spike grip and found it more comfortable. (He has very large hands for a 15 year old)

I would stay away from throwing splitters for right now. The splitter is a tough pitch to command and puts alot of stress on your fingers, hand, wrist and forearm. Not to mention that your hand needs to be big enough to properly grip the ball.

Personally I’ve never been a big fan of knuckle balls, although with the right command it can be a really nasty pitch. I just feel like it’s a hard pitch to master and control and the time spent mastering that one pitch might be better spent working on locating the FB and CU. Just my opinion, lots of other people love the knuckler.

Jakob,

As you progress and develop, remember the main reason acquiring any pitch, a pitch that you decide to master - it’s a tool. Like any tool, you’re either capable of using it properly or not. Add to that, using the right tool for the right job requires understanding the purpose of said tool(s) to begin with.

Take a look at the picture below, for example:

Like the professional builder that’s about to select each and every tool at his/her disposal, each tool has a specific use and purpose. So, if this builder was capable of using the tape measure - no sweat. But, if he/she had less going for him/her in using, say a bulldozer… well you get the idea.

Your age and natural endowments have a lot to do with developing the tools of your trade - sort of speaking. Go with what you feel goes with you. In that regard, go with a pitch that builds a foundation of confidence. That confidence pitch should be your “go to” pitch when you want to get back into your grove. Scouts and others who will watch you someday can tell when your reaching back for that - trust me on this.

By the way, your “go to” pitch will keep you in the game longer, reduce the stress on your battery mate (catcher) and will give your skipper and his bench coaches more dependability to your track record, endurance, and predictability for your fielders to work with.

Your four (4) seam - by location, with a decent change-up by location … all for a mix and match with the right batting order is the order of your learning curve. Stick with it, keep notes after every inning of work of why and why not something effected your performance, your location, the batters that you faced, and so on.

All in all, you’ll develop a good memory base for what you’re doing. Granted, it’s a lot of work - but then, if this is something that you want to develop, then work it must be.

Good question.

Caoch B.

Coach Baker…

These kids need you, thank you for coming back. We’ve all missed you.

Thank you for all the really good feedback

Great post Coach B