Should a 12 y.o. knuckleball?


#1

My son (almost 12) is the smallest kid on the team. He gets to pitch because he’s more accurate then any of the other pitcher. His fastball tops out at about 55 and he has a decent off-speed when he keeps it low.

Because he doesn’t have the heat of the bigger kids, he’s been playing around with a knuckleball with quite a bit of success but hasn’t tried it in a game. He would like to give it a try against some of the better hitters. He can throw the knuckleball for strikes about 2 out of 3 times. It has very little spin and a bit of movement.

My question:
1a) Is he too young to be throwing this pitch?
1b) Should he throw consecutively to a batter for their entire at bat or just use it in conjuction with a fastball?

Any and all advice is much appreciated.

Thanks all,
Craig in Ottawa, Canada


#2

[quote]It has very little spin and a bit of movement.
[/quote]

If it only has a bit of movement it is going to start getting hammered with good hitters. Knuckle balls should/need a good deal of movement.

I feel that at 12 yo kids need to develop good fastballs (even if they are 55 mph) and a changeup that takes the speed off maybe 10-12 mph. So if he has a 55 mph fastball that he can locate and a 43-45 mph changeup (with the same arm speed) that he can also locate then don’t worry about the knuckleball, it’s a flash pitch, use it just to show a batter or a team that he has it and to keep them off balance.