Different Types of Baseball Pitches you Should Know

In baseball, the art of pitching is more than just throwing the ball to the batter. Great Pitchers throw different types of baseball pitches. The strategy here is to confuse the batter in some ways, and this increases the chances of the defensive in getting the batter out.

The different pitches slightly vary in velocity, movement, hand position, trajectory, wrist position and even arm angle. The angles occur as a result of a slight variation on how the thrower grips the ball during release. Although the change is slight, it creates a big difference in how the ball crosses the base to the batter.

Different kinds of pitches

Different Types of Baseball Pitches
  • Fastball

This type of pitch ranks highest in popularity among the various types of a baseball pitch. The four-seem is the basic and most common type of fastball pitch.

Here the pitcher throws the ball as hard and fast as they can while maintaining control. The four seem fastball involves relatively little movement.

The pitcher may appear to have a hopping, or rising motion which physicists claim is an illusion and not actual. The movement effectively causes batters to swing at the pitch and thus to result in swinging strikes, fly outs and popups.

  • Sinker

Also known as sinking ball, a sinker is a type of fastball with substantial downward and horizontal movement. Pitcher scan pitch the sinker either low and out or low and off the strike zone.

Depending on the pitcher’s arm angle; if the pitcher is right handed the throw sinks and moves from left side to right or vice versa when the thrower is left-handed. Right-handed pitchers are known to pitch a sinker than the left-handed counterparts.

  • Changeup

The changeup is thrown to resemble a fastball pitch, but the ball arrives at the slate slower than the fastball. Usually, the ball moves at 8-15 mph slower than the fastball. The reduced speed and deceptive delivery confuses the batter’s timing.

The changeup is thrown the same way as the fastball only further back in hand. Consequently, the release is slower but appears like a fastball. If pitched in the right way, the human eye is unable to judge that the ball is coming at a slower pace only to do so when the ball is roughly thirty feet from the plate.

As a result, the batter swings too early to hit the ball and has no time to react to the mistake. Some pitchers pitch a changeup that has a little depth while some just throw it and depend on the change in speed and a spin that is similar to fastball for effectiveness.

  • Screwball

A screwball is pitched to move in the opposite direction of slider or curveball. It is a very rare pitch because of the demand it puts on a pitcher’s arm. A screwball may also throw depending on the angle or arm of the pitcher.

If correctly thrown by a right-handed thrower, the screwball breaks from left to right and cuts right to left when tossed by a left-handed person.

Due to the motion, a right-handed Pitcher uses a screwball against a left-handed batter, and a left-handed pitcher will throw a screwball against a right-handed pitcher. When the screwball is thrown correctly, the ball approaches the slate spinning in a way opposite to that of a curveball.

  • Cutter

Also called the cut fastball is a kind of fastball that breaks towards the thrower’s glove side as it approaches the home plate. The cutter is pitched faster compared to a slider but involves more motion than a fastball.

Consequently, the cut fastball is seen to lie in between a fastball and a slider. Pitchers regularly employ the four-seam grip setting the ball slightly off center in the hand when throwing a cutter.

The movement of the pitch typically keeps the ball away from the sweet spot of the baseball bat and if a hit occurs it frequently results in a soft contact. The cat fastball moves at 2-5 mph slower than a four-seam fastball pitch. The good thing about the cutter is it easily jams hitters.

  • Slider

The slider also known as snapper or yakker is pitched with speed below that of a fastball but higher that the pitcher’s curveball. The throw tails laterally and down through the hitting zone of the batter. The break on the slider pitch is shorter than that of a curveball. The release technique lies in between those of a fastball and the curveball.

The slider pitch resembles the cutter, a fastball but inclines more towards a breaking ball than a cutter. The slider differs from the curveball in that there is a downward yank in the delivery of a curveball and a lateral spin created by the slider’s grip. Again, the curveball is released off the pitcher’s middle finger, while the slider is released of the pitcher’s index figure.

  • Curveball

The curveball is thrown in a characteristic grip with the pitchers middle finger on the inside seam and the movement of the arm creates a forwards spin to the ball making the ball to dive in downwards as it reaches the plate.

The amount of break on the pitch is dependent on how hard the thrower snaps the throw off and the amount of forwarding spin put on the ball. The pitch is more with a hard snap. Typically, curveball breaks downwards. However, they sometimes break towards the pitchers off hand.

Pitching Grips

Final Note

Learning a new pitch is challenging but fun and requires a lot of practice and patience. A pitcher must plan and learn the crafts of a pitch to take effect on that pitch. To be a great pitcher, one must learn several kinds of pitching techniques as this is crucial if a team needs an advantage over their opponents. All these efforts demand the input of the team.

In a game, the coat is the one that typically decides which pitch to throw and the decision is conveyed to the catcher via hand signaling. The catcher relays the selected pitch to the thrower. Hand signal aid in communicating a pitch and simultaneously keeping it a secret from the opponent team. The must not know the pitch beforehand.


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