im 13 and i dont know what pitches i should be using
im 13 and have a fastball curve slider and change up…but idk about the slider…i really dont throw it much…but im great with my arsenal
Fastball and change-up at a minimum. Fastball might include 4-seam and 2-seam varieties.
Other than that, starting to learn the proper way to throw the curve is ok as long as the number of curves thrown are limited to no more than about 20-25% of your pitch total.
Young kids (under 17) should avoid the slider, IMHO.
While my son is 14 now, he basically has 3 pitches, just variations of them. He throws a fastball 4 seam and 2 seam, circle change up, throws it with a regular 3 finger release, and also now loosens the grip with his ring finger and pinky so the ball slides off those 2 fingers and has a slight reverse rotation so it drifts towards a right hand batter (he’s right handed) it doesn’t drift a ton, but a good 6-8". He also throws a cut fastball that breaks left about 12" with a slight dip, and he came up with an off speed version that has an incredible breaking action on it, starts at the batter’s head and breaks down to the knees and over the inside part of the plate. And I’ve watched him and taped him throwing it to make sure he doesn’t turn his wrist over and he doesn’t, just downforce from his wrist.
He’s trying to get a knuckle ball but its just not working for him yet.
At 13 just slight changes in velocity is enough to be successful and then a slower change up. More important than a fancy pitch is to throw strikes though.
176, the first answer to your question should be…the pitches that you can throw effectively. You have to start with 4 seam/changeup. The natural progression from that is a 2 seam fastball.
Master the 2 seam fastball. It show your velocity and its not straight. From there, change speeds and use the 4 seamer (up) or the changeup (down) to get hitters to swing and miss.
That’s 3 pitches, all with fastball-type arm action. No need to experiment with curves or sliders (or knuckleballs…yikes!!).
At 13 all you need is a fastball and a change-up. No curve, trust me.
It seems, to me, this hits the nail on the head.
But I don’t believe I’d rule out any pitch. The more pitches you can throw the more effective you’ll be. That leads to throwing less pitches, and that’s better for the arm no?
Goes without saying it should be progressive, master one before moving on to the other. And it should be done under the direction of a knowledgeable pitching coach so the pitches are done with proper mechanics…
Listen to Roger… Curveball should be thrown seldom at this age, it leads to arm problems down the road in my opinion… If you can locate a fastball… LOCATION is most important thing… you can advance to higher levels of competition…
so fastball and changeup and if you really feel the need breaking balls but not to often.
I remember when I was eleven years old, and I discovered I had a natural sidearm delivery—and a nice little curve ball that came attached to it. It was just there (one of those things that happen sometimes). I wanted to try a knuckleball, but I couldn’t do it because of the sharp wrist snap on the curve—but then I discovered there was such a thing as a knuckle-curve, and I picked that up, along with a nice palm ball. I figured out ways to change speeds, such as it was; not having a fast ball to speak of I had to go to the breaking stuff right away! Then, at age 16 I learned how to throw a good slider, courtesy of one of the Yankees’ Big Three pitchers, and I quickly built up a good arsenal around that slider. I ended up with seven or eight different pitches, not to mention changes of speed on all of them, and because I had the control and command to go with them I delighted in discombooberating the opposing hitters and making them look very silly.
And then something happened, and I ended up with an 81mph fast ball, a good four-seamer with a lot of movement on it. Somewhere along the line I had picked it up, just like that…So, if a pitcher can get his or her stuff to do what it’s supposed to do, and can throw strikes consistently, go ahead!
Good point! My youngest son (10U) has three speeds on his fastball (~ 62, 54 and 47) that he consistently can throw for strikes. Boredom sets in so he experiments with other pitches. No curves or sliders, but mostly cut fastballs and the knuckle-curve. The cut fastballs are fun for him since he doesn’t always know where it will go. When he gets one that works he’ll keep throwing it, but isn’t able at this age to replicate it in a consistent manner. He has location control of the knuckle-curve, but only a quarter of them have the good movement needed to fool a hitter. The other 3/4 are home-run pitches. To throw a change-up consistently for a strike would be valuable for the 11U TT, but I think he’s a year away from it and this year he’ll be sticking with the three speeds on his fastball, with the goal of adding an off-speed pitch (knuckle-curve?) next year.
Until baseball season gets into full swing, I hope to be able to avoid the “when to start the curve-ball” question. Yet, something tells me if he starts experimenting with a curve ball and gets one to work, I’ll be facing this question head on! I hope at that time he’ll listen to the advice provided on the board and wait.
Shoshonte—if your kid starts experimenting with the curve ball and gets it to work and can throw strikes, not to worry. The key is to throw it with the same arm speed and the same arm motion as all the other stuff. And here’s a tip: I threw mine with a sharp wrist snap not unlike a karate chop, and that is actually the least stressful on the arm and shoulder. Just make sure he’s using good mechanics and follows through on his pitches.
My old pitching coach—an active major league pitcher who was one of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation way back when—told me that just about any pitch I threw could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated a few of those for me. So if your kid is into experimentation with different pitches, that’s a good place to start. And I strongly recommend the palm ball, which was the first change I picked up (and a good one it was). The one thing he has to be careful of is not to grip the ball too tightly, because, after all, you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of the ball! And you throw that one with a fast-ball motion, which makes things pretty simple. 8)
I really like your enthusiasm and your concern… You are already thinking about your well being and that, young man, is the first ingredient in becoming stronger and better. I feel that a four seam and two seam with a beautiful change that HAS some movement, is all you need. Slider? hmmm. I would not use that pitch to much and would stick to more of your four seam and two seam. When you get older (16) or so , and you have grown much stronger because of your self discipline, your slider that you laid to rest, can be woken up once again, but this time, your arm will be ready and the stronger you throw a slider the better. So, keep up the ever so boring fastballs and change ups and when your on that mound, throw that batter off time, that’s KEY, and remember, no matter what, it is still just a game. Now, get out there and have some fun
2 seam 4 seam and a change. you should be starting to work on a breaking ball. im working a knuckle curve and i am making great progress. also maybe a splitter or a cutter