What should a 13 year old throw?


I’m 13, and I throw 4seam cutter and a splitter, what else to throw?


Change up is always good to have in the arsenal.




I’m also 13 I throw around the mid 50s with around a 40 mph change up and my arsenal is a 4 seam, 2 seam and star changeup along with a 12-6 curve (I only throw it around 1 time an inning to protect my arm) and a sinker. I also have a natural drop and left side movement on my 2 seam. I’ve pitched for 4 years now and my first 3 seasons I only focused on control until just adding these new pitches. Des anyone have any suggestions? ( I play on a 60’ 6" mound with 90’ bases)


4 seam 2 seam change and breaking ball. That’s it. Bag everything else. Split is very bad for your elbow. A Cut fastball is not something a 13 year old should be messing with. Both pitches at your age should not be used. I am an ex professional pitcher, currently 15 years coaching youth / HS / College baseball. Currently have a 13u team in NY.


+100%. Cutter and splitter are not for a 13YO arm… 2seam, 4seam, change, curve if you want…


I’m 13 I throw a fastball, curve, sinker, changeup. I also have a cutter, but I can’t control it yet. I throw in the mid to high 60s with ease.


Aside from my last post, The most important thing is being able to locate down and away with the 4-seam Fastball.


Well, there are a lot of 13-year-olds here!! Guess what? I’m one too!! I throw around 65 mph with my 4 seam fastball. I have a knuckle curve and a changeup as my breaking and offspeed pitches and can throw them at 50-55 mph. Any other pitches I should add? P.S. I don’t understand the difference between a 4-seam and a 2-seam fastball. HELP ME!


4 seam tends to be a little straighter as the seams are rotating cleanly while a 2 seam has the 2 seams than the side without seams which can cause arm side run and sink.


So a 2-seam has more movement?


You shouldn’t be looking to add more pitches kiddo, take one away! don’t throw the knuckle curve until at least 15 years old. I didn’t throw a breaking ball until 15 and i still hurt my elbow! It took me way too long to realize people were telling the truth when they told me not to throw it. Fastball Changeup! That’s all you should be throwing, I beg that you trust me. I don’t want someone to also hurt themselves due to stubbornness and a longing to throw a breaking ball.



“I’m 13, and I throw 4seam cutter and a splitter, what else to throw?”

What ever your choice is in pitch design, make sure you have the forearm Pronation of all pitch types down for continued health and a much better opportunity to overload train “sport specifically” ( compounded resistance in the motion you use to competitively perform with) without the traditional joint injuries.

Are you aware that 99 out of 100 traditional cutters are forearm driven in supination, like yours?, a big no no when it comes to eliminating elbow pathologies?

Age makes no difference in the pathologies produced by forearm supinated Cutters, Curves and Sliders. It will shred the elbow of an adult or youth.

Be aware that, while the Splitter is a forearm statically positioned pitch (not supinated or pronated) the elbow still hyper extends to the end of range of motion in the elbow, smashing the cartilage between the Ulna and the Humerus causing a wide range of injuries.

Only voluntarily forearm pronation allows for an “inside of vertical path” that has the elbow swivel the forearm to the front side of the Humerus releasing in direction back the other way, bypassing Hyper extension !!!

So, here you are with your 2 pitch types all ready eating away at you. If you add a couple of more supinated pitch types it will be a recipe for a downwards spiral to oblivion like most of the rest.

Are you capable of understanding what has been said? I will go over it for you or others if need be.


Oh yes this, couldn’t have said it any better or in as many words!

Here is your answer 13 year olds!
There is a reason for the proliferation of the Sinker in the last 5 years and if you have a 98 mph Sinker like Thor, or an 88 mph like Hendricks good luck batters.

This pitch can only be throw by voluntary forearm pronation and is considered the healthiest drive mechanic pitch type.

It allows for understanding of how to design forearm pronated drives and releases by learning how to present the balls leading axis for lateral movement to the ball arm side.

It will teach you how to drive your fastball with lateral movement to the ball arm side even with a 4 seam grip.


“Well, there are a lot of 13-year-olds here!!”

I’ll ask? Do any of you 13 cyo’s understand how biological age works in youth males?

“I have a knuckle curve”

Dump this one, it is driven in forearm supination

Any other pitches I should add?

I start all clients with the understanding that they are to develop 3 pitches that break laterally at 3 different speeds, that break to the ball arm side of home plate and 3 pitches that break laterally at 3 different speeds to the glove arm side of home plate.

All these 6 pitch types are driven and released with forearm pronation

“P.S. I don’t understand the difference between a 4-seam and a 2-seam fastball. HELP ME!”

First you guys need to understand why the ball move laterally.

You understand that a 2 seamer moves laterally but because of this people have to name it something and it is not the reason for movement.
Like I said earlier, pitchers can make a 4 seamer move and better laterally and the coaches think they are are throwing a 2 seamer.

If you throw a horizontally equaled axis direct back spun 4 seamer, the ball produces no lateral movement, just lift because the pressure at the bottom of the ball is greater than at the top.

The ball always moves away from atmospheric higher pressure.

If you throw a 12/6 curve this all happens in reverse where the pressure is at the top of the ball so it drops hard.

With a 2 seamer the pitcher by way of grip puts him in a position that allows for the inside axis of the ball (circle of friction) to be moved forwards some. This causes pressure to one side more, hence lateral movement.

If you now take that axis and moved it forwards even more you get to a Sinker.

If you move it all the way forwards so the “circle of friction” is exactly straight, you get a an inside Gyro ball that only goes down because of now being back to pressure equalization.

To learn the forearm pronated Slider , cutter and fastball you just present the other end of the balls axis forwards where your forearm passes to the outside of the ball with the thumb down still.
This is how Steve Carlton threw his Slider. if you keep moving the axis forwards, you again get to an outside Gyro ball spinning in the opposite direction and the ball goes only vertically down.

I call this the axis fan and it is all I teach them, it makes it very easy to teach even 9 cyo’s this system. The older you are the tougher it gets.


“You shouldn’t be looking to add more pitches kiddo”

Yet you should ! especially if you are producing forearm supinated pitch types, they need to be eliminated?

“ I didn’t throw a breaking ball until 15 and i still hurt my elbow!

You were taught the intuitive curve mechanic (forearm supinated from outside of vertical) that 99 percent of all coaches and family teach. These are known pathomechanics

There is a safe version of this pitch, are you aware of it’s existence?

“Fastball Changeup! That’s all you should be throwing,”

Pitchers can jack their elbows up with a forearm supinated fastball or changeup just as bad as a FS.Slider or FScurve or FScutter!

You guys know how long it takes to perfect many pitch types?

Unless you are at the highest level of motor performance (this is 1 in 10) learner you better get started at 10 cyo. Just learn safe pitch types and let your self go at it. You should not forgo early motor learning oppertunities because this is when your brain works the best, gray matters.

“ I beg that you trust me.”

Hmmmm maybe I need to say this?


I don’t want to curse what what in god’s name are you talking about? You literally try to contradict me by contradicting yourself. You literally tell the kid to learn new types of pitches while talking about how hard they are to learn/master.

This isn’t learning more pitches, you’re literally telling the kid to pronate his forearm. That’s not learning more pitches. It doesn’t matter if you pronate or supinate your forearm, a fastball is still a fastball and a changeup is still a changeup no matter how you throw it. Yes i agree with you on that he should be pronating his forearm but what in god’s name are you even talking about learning new pitches. You’re trying to change how he throws pitches, not teaching him to throw more pitches.

I don’t really understand why you’re bringing up Supination again as you’ve brought it up only like 50 times in your post alone, and it’s not like i’m telling him to supinate his forearm. This is completely irrelevant.

And now you’re just assuming my first breaking ball And making yourself sound like an ass, way to go dude. For your information i did throw the safe version, i know of it thank you very much, and i still ended up hurt. If you want to know why most young kids tend to change their mechanics and throw breaking balls too much even if they’r throwing it the right way, especially when they lack proper coaching. The player in question is 13 years old and lives in a country where baseball is not a major sport which is why i did not want to recommend learning new pitches as this is the same kid pitching a tennis ball.

And why would you talk about teaching people to throw 6 different laterally breaking pitches only to talk about how hard it is to master pitches?

Seeing as how this kid literally threw a tennis ball in place of a baseball for lack of space and lives in an community where baseball is scarce, i don’t see why he should be learning such skills at such an early age just because his motor performance learning is at his highest. It’s actually proven that exercise increases motor performance learning. By exercising frequently he could be learning just as fast at 15 or 17 as he is at 13.

So no, i don’t trust you because i’ve spent 2 years, thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours reading secondary research by esteemed researchers in the field and performing primary research on pitch movement, pitching mechanics and stress on the arm with not only myself but with other esteemed researchers. I’ve spent too much time informing myself on the subject to trust someone who’s only point in a thousand word essay is to pronate your forearm.

Since everyone’s so focused on the “Pronation protects your arm” that they fail to realize that premature pronation or late pronation actually makes you more susceptible to UCL damage. E.G. Screwball.

So then again your pronation tip isn’t exactly very helpful seeing as how you’ve never seen his arm angle, motion and body kinetics and well as his overall flexibility and strength.


Don’t throw the splitter at that age, it’s bad for your arm.


I’ve had pitchers approach me, thinking about their inventory and just how effective they might be by tinkering around some with different pitches that’ve yet to master. So - splitter, sinker, knuckle, spike, slider, forkball, and so on is a pitch or two maybe on the horizon…

I just can’t help but putting down whatever it is I’m holding at the time, take the pose of a plate umpire, and stand straight up and quickly hold up my right arm - fist clinched, and ask … “what does this remind you of?”

The answer is an easy one – “A strike call!”

I go back to whatever it is that I was doing and then ask… " Any further questions?"

Just pitch STRIKES …… and you’ll make everybody happy.


Three things come to mind when reading this exchange:

  1. sjlp9 ……And making yourself sound like an ass…
    Go easy on the “ass” thing in the future.

  2. Dirtberry Your dynamics are appreciated and the depth of your responses. However, remember your addressing a 13 year old. Not that a 13 year old is out orbit of your context - but, I think your format and detail is a bit of a stretch for that age group. I’m probably wrong in some respects, but that’s my take on it.

  3. Everyone has they’re own slant on every subject posted here. Respecting someone else’s opinion is just expected here, and banter back and forth while learning is everyone’s main objective. Taking away from that objective by going high-n-inside on someone is not cool.

In regards to #3 - no one has a patent on how to do anything, with regards to pitching. Age, health history, physiques, and mindsets of those who pitch add so many variables to the mix, it’s not funny. SO GO EASY ON ONE ANOTHER.