Pitch Choices

Well, I am wondering what types of pitches everyone would suggest teaching to my pitchers this year.

Here is what we should have as far as pitchers, as long as everyone comes back next year that I am thinking would definitely play:
3 Seniors, plus the possibility that we could pull another one or two out just for the heck of playing.
0 Juniors
3-4 Sophomores, I just found out that I have another one that is definitely coming back to the school next year. So Woohoo.
7-8 Freshmen, lots of freshmen with pitching experience because we got all but one to play in Kidron with one team and had an Alumni go in and help them out.

I think the only ones that dont have the greatest command of their pitches might be the Seniors, but we will try and fix that this year.

Here are the pitches that I know and could teach, I dont know about any other possible assistant coaches and what they would know:

2 Seam and 4 Seam Fastballs
Regular and Circle Change-ups
12-6 and Typical High School Floating Curve. Both can be changed depending by quite a bit based on arm angle and velocity thrown.

I also want to check into the K-Curve, Slider and Palm Ball. What type of movement do these pitches have and should they be taught to freshmen and sophomores in high school?

So what does everyone think? I want to give them as many pitches as I can so that they can choose which pitches they are most comfortable with, and so that they can throw them all just in case we decide to have them pitch a certain one to throw off the hitter.

We’re talking repertoire here, and a fairly advanced one at that. The one thing I would advise waiting on is the slider, because until the age of 16 certain growth processes in the arm and shoulder are not yet fully developed—that would mean teaching that one to just the seniors.
Okay. Definitely the palm ball, which by the way makes an excellent changeup—I used one myself for more than two decades. This is a pitch which puts no added strain on the arm and shoulder, because you throw that one with a fast-ball motion. To throw that one you grip the ball with all four fingers on top and the thumb underneath, way back in the palm of the hand—but DON’T try to squeeze the juice out of the ball! And you can change speeds on it by tightening or loosening the grip.
The circle change is another good one to teach most of the kids. The usual grip is the thumb and index finger forming a circle on one side of the ball, like the “OK” sign, and the other three fingers on top of the ball. Now, some kids might not have a large enough hand to form a complete circle, so an alternative grip would be a half-circle—a backwards “c”, which my pitching coach showed me when he saw that my hand wasn’t quite large enough to do the complete circle—and try moving the middle and ring fingers closer together, the way one does with the index and middle fingers when throwing a slider.
And how about a knuckle-curve? I discovered that one as a young teenager, about 13 or so—I couldn’t throw a knuckleball to save myself because of the sharp wrist action I had on my curve ball, which by the way had come attached to my sidearm delivery. When I found that I could use any one of several different knuckleball grips and throw a curve ball with them, I promptly added that one to my arsenal, and a nifty pitch it is—it will fall off the table as it gets to the plate, and just watch the hitters as they swing and miss it by a mile! Mike Mussina picked his up the same way.
And if there are any sidearmers among the kids, they could work with a crossfire—that’s a move that works only with the sidearm delivery. I remember when I picked it up and worked with it; I fell so in love with that move that I used it extensively, with all my pitches, and the batters were thoroughly discombooberated because they had no idea whether I would throw any of my pitches the regular way or crossfire them. One day my pitching coach—he was an active major league pitcher—was helping me with that circle change, and he said to me "I know you’re going to crossfire it. You use that move with everything you throw."
These are just a few ideas you might consider. Any more questions, feel free. I’m no farther away than my stupid computer. 8) :baseballpitcher:

okay thanks for the help.

Im definitely hoping for a great year as far as pitching is concerned for our school. I also hope that these kids stick together and stick with it, because having that many capable pitchers when they are juniors and seniors will make them a great team.

I feel like when I throw my knuckle-curve (spike variant) I got a tighter rotation, which in turn contributed to more movement as opposed to a traditional curveball.
Also, with my palmball, I can generally locate it fairly well for a strike most of the time and it does have a little bit of movement to it.

this should help you decide which pitches to get your kids to throw


You’ve got quite a list of pitches there. I don’t think I’d try to teach all of them to each pitcher. Instead, I’d write down which pitches each pitcher throws and then identify “holes” in their repertoire. For example, if a pitcher throws a 4-seam, a 2-seam that tails, and a change-up then that’s pretty good and the only “hole” in is repertoire would be a breaking pitch.

This approach will let each pitcher work more intensively on only what they need to work on instead of spreading themselves thin working on a bunch of pitches.

One other pitch you could consider that I don’t think you named would be the sinker. I also agree with Zita about avoiding the slider except with your seniors.