As of right now, the only pitch I throw is a fastball. I feel confident in the pitch because of its unpredictable movement and speed. In the past, catchers didn’t even bother to call for the changeup, and as a result, I ended up dropping the pitch completely. The thing is, I need different pitches so I can throw off batters. What pitches should I throw?
Split-finger sounds good right now, and so does a slider.
How old are you? It makes some difference for pitch selection. I like the change up next for most players but a slow curve can serve a similar purpose depending on the level of play. Is your fastball movement unpredictable? Do you throw four seam or two?
Depending on level of play, you could get by with multiple variations of cutters if you can master the movement.
P.S. Look at pro pitchers who remind you of yourself (similar delivery, arm action, etc) see what kind of pitches they throw, find a good grip, and see how they use that pitch to get hitters out.
I am twelve years old and I throw a four-seam fastball. Some catchers have a problem with catching it as it does not have the same trajectory each time. For every catcher that has caught for me said the pitch some type of movement.
At twelve I think you are best served with a good change up. Sidearmboy raises a good question.
What is your arm slot?
I am a high 3/4 pitcher. People think that I am pitching over the top, but if you look closely, I’m actually 3/4.
Given your age and slot I would suggest you work on the change up. It will be the safest pitch to throw and will get guys out. I would look at some variation of the circle change first. I would also look at developing a two seam fastball with consistent movement and a four seam fastball that I can throw straight when I need to. Straight pitches are easier to get called strikes and you don’t always want your outside fastball to bleed back into the middle of the plate. Are you right or left handed?
Cool. It will be important for you to be able to run the ball in on lefties and stay outside to righties and not have the ball run back to the middle of the plate because of your arm side run. However you can use that same run to bust righties in and pull lefties off the outside part of the plate. You might want to try and develop some arm side run on your change for the same reasons and then use your next off speed pitch to go in the other direction.
I’m having a bit of trouble understanding what you said. Could you explain it?
Would different variations of a fastball be okay? Sometimes I tweak how I release the ball, making the ball move in different ways. I was also thinking of a split-finger fastball or a light forkball. I would throw the forkball without snapping my wrist down, making it a whole lot safer to throw. So @Ted22 what do you think?
Yes. I’ll try to explain it better. It is sometimes important to locate the fastball inside to the lefty and outside to the righty. Right handed fastballs usually have some amount of movement to the right (arm side). This can put the ball in the middle of the plate when you try to locate left side. A straight fastball or a cut fastball will prevent this from happening. A cut fastball is not a very safe pitch for a twelve year old. The bones in your elbow need to develop a bit more. So for now, I would work on developing a four seam fastball that I can rely to be straight. It would be used for left side pitches and elevated pitches. For right side pitches I would work on developing a two seam fastball that would have reliable movement to the right and possibly down. This pitch is good for jamming rightys and having leftys chase it off the plate.
So I think different fastballs are good.
I think you can throw a slightly split fastball as a change up. I have a son who does. However, I think that consistent movement is hard to achieve with this pitch, although sometimes it is very, very good. That is why I would investigate the circle change first as I think consistent movement can be more easily achieved. But you may find it to be different.
Do you have a breaking ball?
Thanks for explaining it better @Ted22, and yes, I do have a decent slider. I throw it by taking the two-seam fastball grip, moving my index finger so that it is touching my middle finger, applying pressure to that index finger, and throwing it normally as I would a fastball. I let the grip do the work for me.
+1 with Ted on the changeup. At 12 it is the safest pitch to develop & one if the most difficult to learn. Try different variations & find what works for you. Use the grip playing catch from distances beyond the pitching mound to develop a “feel”. Many younger pitchers skip the change and move onto breaking pitches. Develop the change while you’re young & you’ll be ahead of the game.
I came in here to say exactly this. Different fastballs and a changeup are fantastic.
Especially if you can mix locations on the same pitch.
You should watch Bartolo Colon a little bit, the man is effective using almost all fastballs of different sorts, in different spots.
@Pustulio Thanks for the advice, and welcome back! Yes, Bartolo Colon is very good with fastballs. The movement and locations on his fastballs are amazing.
I like the way you describe throwing your slider. You want to be very careful with it though. If your hand moves through the ball just like your fastball (are you familiar with pronation?) you should be okay but don’t throw it too much and stop immediately if you feel pain in your elbow or shoulder.
@Ted22 I am familiar with pronation when I pitch, as it has become part of every pitch.
Great. You sound like you have a lot of good stuff going on. Keep it up.