Slider, At what age?


#1

At what age should a youth add the slider to his pitch package?


#2

The day his strike percentage with his 2 and 4 seamers are over 70%, his CU is over 65%, and his curve is over 60%, in games, and not for just a few games, but for an entire season.


#3

Depends on the kid and how fast he has matured. I’d say anywhere from 14-17


#4

Are you talking about physical maturity, as in his growth plates are closed?


#5

it depends on the kid. it should be thrown when he has completely matured. and like any pitch. only when you have your other pitches mastered or above decent.


#6

Are you talking about physical maturity, as in his growth plates are closed?[/quote]

Basically when you are done puberty and done growing you should be able to throw a slider IMO. I don’ think a pitcher that still isn’t physically mature should throw ANY supinated pitch. Trust me I learned the hard way…


#7

it really depends on the physical growth of the player. Sliders themselves aren’t TOO terrible on the arm when thrown correctly. The biggest problem though is players try to create more of a break on it by getting their fingers on the side of the ball. This will cause elbow pain right away. If they learn how to throw with the fingers behind the ball they should be fine. As for an age, i would say anywhere from 13-15, but it really depends on the player.


#8

Define slider. My son has thrown a “slider” as a 10 and 11. But it’s not a hard slider, just the grip thrown off speed. Comes in like a change-up and then just dies. Seen kids almost fall over trying to hit it.

Agree that fastball location and a traditional change are first but…

Not every kid has great location with their fastball, does that mean they should just give up pitching. Really surprised with the cookie cutter mentality shown. It would seem that proper mechanics are in order, then what works, within reason.


#9

The slider is a pitch that is not as fast as a fast ball nor as sharply breaking as a curve, but that is easier to throw and control than either of the other two, and when thrown correctly is actually easier on the arm and shoulder. That said, the best time for a kid to learn that pitch is probably in the mid-teens, 14 to 17, although some have matured earlier and can throw it with the proper instruction. I learned mine when I was 16—I hadn’t even thought about that pitch until one day when I woke up thinking that I could use another pitch, and I thought that pitch might well be the slider. In September 1951 I learned it from an active major-league pitcher who threw a very good one, and it became my strikeout pitch.
So, if a young pitcher is ready, let him at it! :slight_smile: 8)


#10

from my experience, thats not a pitch you really need until you get to face mature hitters. first, if you dont throw in the upper 80’s it wont even be a real slider, just a sweeping curve that really isnt all that good. secondly, you REALLY dont need it before 18 year old when you get to face good hitters and even then you might not even need it, but before that its clearly not needed.

first of all, who have good sliders? pitchers with good fastballs. because a slider is a fastball until it disapears and if you arent scared of the fastball youre not scared of the slider either. and a good fastball doesnt always means a overpowering one, it mostly means a fastball you can control. when you control the fastball you can add any pitch you want to your arsenal and it will be a great pitch, just because hitters always have fastballin the back of their mind and everything else is off speed or with movement.


#11

doesnt means they should stop itching, it means they should work harder to get control. because one day they’ll reach a level where you need it. and they will more than likely quit pitching because they will be terrible below average pitchers that issue walks to those more talented hitters


#12

[quote=“SomeBaseballDad”]Define slider. My son has thrown a “slider” as a 10 and 11. But it’s not a hard slider, just the grip thrown off speed. Comes in like a change-up and then just dies. Seen kids almost fall over trying to hit it.

Agree that fastball location and a traditional change are first but…

Not every kid has great location with their fastball, does that mean they should just give up pitching. Really surprised with the cookie cutter mentality shown. It would seem that proper mechanics are in order, then what works, within reason.[/quote]

Ditto. Experimenting with the grip while keeping the same mechanics as a FB does seem to change the movement somewhat on the ball and gives the hitter something different to consider. This seems appropriate for a 10U/11U player who can already control his FB and is considering what’s next. My sons 2-seamer tails in to the RH hitter, and when he changes to a slider grip, it tails to the outside. Control isn’t an issue since he throws both pitches down the middle and let’s the tail move the ball to the corners. It’s not a Brad Lidge slider, but it moves just enough to keep the fat part of the bat off the ball, and is very effective to LH hitters.


#13

[quote=“SomeBaseballDad”]…Agree that fastball location and a traditional change are first but…

Not every kid has great location with their fastball, does that mean they should just give up pitching. Really surprised with the cookie cutter mentality shown. It would seem that proper mechanics are in order, then what works, within reason.[/quote]

Heck, no kid should quit pitching until he can’t make the team as a pitcher or get any innings! The problem is, when’s that likely to happen? I can tell you this, just about anyone who can pitch without falling down gets the chance to pitch on our HS JV team. They’ll all also get the opportunity to try to make the V, and in some cases there will be some pitchers who have little command make the team, and even get to pitch once in a while.

Out of 771 and 2/3rds innings of HSV pitching on our team, 54 have been from pitchers who’s overall strike percentage was less than 60%. Remember, that’s an overall percentage, so you can bet your bottom dollar that those kid’s fastballs who pitched a lot were at least close to that 70% number for a FB I gave earlier, because I can assure you there aren’t a lot of HS pitchers throwing their other pitches for a high percentage of strikes.

So, I guess I’d have to advise any pitcher who didn’t have pretty good location with their FB, or didn’t have at least 87+ velocity by the time they were a JR in HS, they should start working on hitting and fielding a lot more.


#14

I don’t like the slider or cutter for young pitchers and I would suggest not throwing either of them until a pitcher is close to fully developed physically or perhaps a high school pitcher who does not have a lot of baseball in front of him.

While the slider itself may not cause more harm than another type of pitch, I don’t see many kids who are strong or developed enough to throw it safely. The slider is thrown with a slightly supinated hand angle, with no twisting involved. Even with no twisting of the arm, there may be more risk involved with maintaining supination longer than probably desired (think the opposite of Marshall’s early pronation). So there may be some risk there, but more importantly is that most kids tend to not be strong enough to simply maintain the proper hand angle and it usually results in a twisting of the arm through release. I know of very few pitching coaches who would call that a good thing.

I think the curve ball is a safer pitch for pitchers 13-18 because they are less likely to twist their arm through release, it’s an easier pitch to maintain the proper hand angle.

So to sum up, my opinion is not that “proper” sliders that may be unhealthy, it’s the ones thrown improperly which may cause issues and most young pitchers are unable to throw enough proper sliders.


#15

On second thought after reading some of these posts I would like to change my position. I agree that a true slider can’t really be thrown until you are older and have more velocity. It is hard to get an actual slider break when your fastball is coming in at 70 or below. I feel cureballs or slurves are easier and better pitches for younger kids. I also think that it is easier for younger guys to throw a curve/slurve because they will tend to not get on the side of the ball as much, which could cause elbow problems. A slider is a good pitch, but it will become a great one when you have the fastball to go with it. I threw a slider in high school and it had always been my best pitch because most guys threw just a curveball. Once I got to college it seemed like every pitcher threw a slider, and only a few had a curve, or both.


#16

On the other hand (no pun intended)—very often a pitcher who is having a lot of trouble with the curve ball will do a lot better with the slider. The guy who would become my pitching coach—he was an active major-league pitcher who threw a very good one—told me, “Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don’t snap it,” and because I threw my curve with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap that meant just easing up on it. I got the hang of it in about ten minutes, but let me tell you, the slider is not a pitch you can get overnight—it took me several months to get it to do what I wanted it to, and it became my strikeout pitch, the one I could go to. :slight_smile: So I would suggest that you don’t dismiss it out of hand just because the pitcher isn’t old enough. You need to consider how successful he is, or isn’t, with the curve ball—if he’s having trouble with it he would do better with the slider. I don’t know about the slurve—that pitch can be too easy for the batter to get good wood on it.


#17

I agree with you, Zita, and I’ll go a bit further: I think low-3/4 and sidearm pitchers are probably much better off throwing the slider than the curve. Even a properly thrown sidearm-curve will not get close to the 12-to-6 rotation that most curveball pitchers really want.


#18

I’ll say this. The kid holds the ball with a slider gripe and then just throws it, nothing else that he’s been taught or that anyone who has seen him pitch has noticed. Comes off the side of the pointer finger…

When it works has the break of a 12/6 curve. Some of the parents called it a slerve. :roll: Whatever…it works.


#19

Why do you think most pitchers want a 12/6 rotation rather than a “tilt”, which is what most really do get?


#20

I guess it’s because the 12-6 curve looks more spectacular. But that is NOT the only way to throw a curve ball.