The four-seam fastball is traditionally the first pitch that every baseball player learns. By putting your index and middle fingers across the four seams of the horseshoe, you get the fastest and straightest pitch a pitcher can throw.
Four-seam fastballs are used to get ahead in the count or to try to get a batter to miss by throwing at high velocity.
The four-seam grip is standard and usually only varies by the distance between the index and middle fingers on top and the thumb’s position on bottom. Both can be changed depending on each athlete’s hand size and comfort level.
Besides velocity, four-seam fastballs can differ in the rate that they spin. Fastballs that spin faster, or have a higher spin rate, get more swings-and-misses as well as more fly balls than those thrown with average spin rate. High-spin fastballs are used best when they are thrown middle or up in the strike zone.
On the other hand, low-spin fastballs get more ground balls than an average-spin fastball. Low-spins are most effective when they are thrown to the middle and lower part of the zone.
Pitch Grips: Changeups
Changeups are intended to be slower than fastballs, often having downwards or down and arm-side run. Changeups also spin slower than fastballs, meaning they have a lower spin rate. The changeup grip can vary a lot, from circle-change grips to ...
Pitch Grips: Cut Fastballs
Cut-fastballs move opposite of two-seam fastballs, to the glove side of the pitcher. The amount of movement can vary with some cutters moving more horizontally and others both horizontally and downwards. The cut-fastball grip is similar to a ...
Pitch Grips: 2-Seam Fastballs
Two-seam fastballs are often classified by their movement to the pitcher’s arm side and some possible downward sink. They can pair with a straight four-seam fastball to either get a hitter to swing overtop of the two-seam or for them to get on top ...
Pitch Grips: Splitters
Splitters are similar in nature to changeups. Based off of a wide grip with two fingers, splitters spin significantly less than fastballs, resulting in downward movement and occasional side movement. Because of the wide grip, pitchers are going to ...
Pitch Grips: Curveballs
Curveballs are meant to slower pitches that have significantly more vertical drop than other pitches. Most curveballs move in a 12-6 or 1-7 fashion. A good curveball can be paired well with fastballs to take advantage of tunneling. The curveball grip ...