I will be a junior in high school next year (RHP) so i will be playing at the varsity level. I currently have a 4 seam, a c-change that is slowly but surely getting better, and a knuckle-curve. The problem is I doubt that i will be affective with these pitches as I reach higher levels. The k-curve is really more effective when I drop down to side-arm because I get a nasty side-ways break. But as many of you know, this doesn’t work as you exclusive curve ball against better teams. I can also throw the circle and four-seam sidearm just so they don’t sit on the curve but IMO this wont be good enough later on. My plans are over the winter I will probably throw 3-4 bullpens a week like I am doing now, so I WILL be able to change my arsenal. What I would like to be able to do is throw ALL of my pitches in the same 3/4 slot. So what I want to do is get a new curveball that i can throw with more velocity, really really get my change-up good because it will be what my number 2 pitch (hopefully) and then add that in with my 4 seam that is currently in the low eighties (hope to add at least 6-7 mph on this winter), and then occasionally throw the side-arm k-curve to mix em up (4 times a game tops)
does anybody else have any input on this (ideas, suggestions, new pitches) if so please tell me. sorry for the lengthy novel on this but I am really seious about getting better
thanks for reading, please post your opinion
why change your arm slot? If I were you, I would throw from my natural arm slot, as it is the arm slot you will feel most comfortable with. On that k-curve, why not work on it to make tighter? Or perhaps learn a new curve that you might be better with?
Sounds to me like you need to practice. Practice does make perfect. Also, why not add a two seam fastball? Changing speeds on all pitches will help you EXTREMELY in the higher levels. Look at Adam Wainwright for example. He throws the same curveball every time. But each time he throws it, he changes the velocity on it just by a few mph.
Experiment with different finger pressures on your fastball to get different movements, and learn to change speeds with all of your pitches. Messing with hitters’ timing is the biggest illusion in all pitching. Add that with different movements on your fastball and change-ups and you will dominate.
But like I said above, it takes practice. You said, that you will be throwing 3-4 bullpens a week. That’s the time to experiment. You have a fastball, a change-up and a curve. The time you spend in those bullpens is the time to master those pitches. (Assuming that you’re comfortable with them.)
I see no need to change anything if it feels natural to ya. Don’t fix something that ain’t broken. But no one ever said that you cannot improve either.
As said in the movie “Forest Gump”: “I believe we all make our own destiny. You have to do the best with what God gave ya.”
I agree with billybob09—why change your arm slot if it’s natural and comfortable for you? You certainly can use those bullpen sessions to work on those pitches you want to tighten up, and as far as perhaps adding another pitch to your repertoire is concerned—if you’re at least 16 you might think about a good slider. I can tell you—and I ought to know, because it was my best pitch for nearly two decades—the slider, when thrown correctly, is easier on the arm and shoulder than just about anything else. And, as my old pitching coach told me once (and he demonstrated for me), just about any pitch you have can be turned into a nice changeup—it’s all in the grip.
One thing to remember—for maximum effectiveness with any and all of your stuff you have to get your whole body into the action. I remember seeing how the Yankees’ Big Three rotation of the late '40s to mid-50 used to do it—they all drove off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, and that was how they generated the power behind their pitches. I made a note of that, I worked on it, and I quickly discovered that not only was I getting more power into my pitches (such as they were; I was a snake-jazzer), I was also throwing harder and faster than I had ever done before, with less effort. How not to get a sore arm. Also, be sure to complete your pitches—follow through so that you end up in good fielding position, ready for anything.
Go to it! :baseballpitcher:
I agree with you guys about the arm slot, thats why I am wanting to change and only have one. But knuckle-curve is twice as effective when thrown side-arm. So i will probably drop this pitch because its easily tipped off. But it doesn’t work too well and I feel is too slow when thrown 3/4.
The 2-seam for some reason is just like a straight fb when I throw it, so im playing around with that but idk. Also, how would you throw a slider that won’t hurt your arm like Zito said, does anyone know?
I will never forget the day I asked Ed Lopat about the slider. He drew me aside and showed me how to throw it. He said, “Throw it like a curve, but roll your wrist, don’t snap it”—and he showed me the off-center grip he used and demonstrated the pitch, first slow-motion right in front of my eyes and then at normal speed as if throwing the pitch. He then handed me the ball and said “Go ahead. Try it.” I didn’t want to lose the ball—after all, it had been retrieved from the field and presented to him in honor of his twentieth win—so I simulated throwing the pitch, working from the full windup—I was a sidearmer, which made things easier. He watched me, and it seemed he was making some mental notes. After about ten minutes he took the ball from me and said "That’s it. You’ve got the idea."
I worked with that pitch all through the winter and spring—after all, the slider is not something you pull out of your hat like a rabbit—and by the end of July I felt comfortable enough with it to try it in a game. I used it, coming into a game in relief in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out, and I struck out the next two batters to retire the side. That slider, which I nicknamed “Filthy McNasty” after a character in a W.C. Fields movie, became my go-to pitch, and I spent almost two decades being very happy with it.
So if you think you want to try working with a slider, that’s the basics of that pitch. It’s easier on the arm and shoulder, as I said earlier, and if you can throw sidearm it’ll be easier still. You might even try to crossfire it! 8)