Trouble with 4 seam fastball


#1

New to the site, have a question…

I am a senior in high school, i am having trouble getting backspin on my fastball…the ball will come out with a “cement mixer” rotation, and that cuts down the velocity… sometimes, the ball cuts like a slider, and is difficult to control…what can i do to make the ball come out of my hand better with a better backspin rotation?


#2

The backspin comes from the ball rolling off the ends of the fingers with the palm facing the plate. The more you turn the palm in or out, the more backspin will be lost because other rotational spin will be imparted. Also, the more “over-the-top” the more the backspin will be 6 to 12 and the straighter the ball will go. The lower the arm slot, the more the backspin changes to side spin, and the more the ball will break toward the pitching arm side.


#3

I think I mentioned this in another post, but I don’t mind repeating it because it is pertinent.
When Jim Brosnan, a good relief pitcher in the National League, was with the St.Louis Cardinals in 1959 he had a meeting with pitching coach Clyde King in which he mentioned that neither of his two fastballs were working for him.
So King called in a catcher and had Brosnan do some throwing, mixing in both fastballs with his other stuff. After some ten or fifteen minutes, King advised Brosnan to drop the 4-seamer because his 2-seamer was working much better for him. So Brosnan became a sinker-slider pitcher and had great success with that combination for a number of years.
I would suggest that you try working with just the 2-seamer, which in effect is a sinker (and a darned good pitch it is), and add a slider or a splitter to your arsenal. No use knocking yourself out over a pitch you’re having trouble with—you’ll probably do much better with that two-seamer. :baseballpitcher:


#4

Cement mixer means only one thing, you are not “behind” the ball, your hand (Get video you’ll see) is getting "outside of the ball (The ball is in between your head and hand…supinated). This is very tough on the shoulder…though as you indicate it makes you throw a fundamentally poor cutter/slider.
Fastest quickest easiest way to fix that is to put a piece of tape around the ball (Or draw a line), if your hand is behind the ball it will be smooth and equal your arm slot \l/, it acts as a training aid and graphic display.

Try it and let us know how it works out for you.


#5

Put tape where around the ball and what do you mean it will be smooth?


#6

When you throw it…if your hand is behind the ball the tape won’t wobble or spiral, it will be a smooth line, once you get there, the hand is behind the ball in a fundamentally sound way.


#7

The idea is to create a “stripe” around the center of the ball that is easy to observe. You can draw a stripe with a black marker or put a piece of black electrical tape around the center of the ball.

Then hold the ball with your fingers parallel to the stripe and try to throw the ball such that you see the stripe. If you don’t stay behind the ball, you’ll put some side spin causing the stripe to appear to “wobble”.


#8

A wise man once told me to focus all of my energy on one phrase, keep your palm behind the ball, and you would instantly gain velocity, that wise man was Dan Quisenberry. (Just kidding, it was me)