5 Basic Baseball Pitches and How to Throw Them

Learning how to throw five basic baseball pitches will help make you a great pitcher. But learning how to throw these basic baseball pitches is only the first step, perfecting these pitches will take lots of practice.  The 4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and circle change up are the keys to becoming a good pitcher.  If you can master the mechanics of these basic baseball pitches, you will simply need time to work on the perfection of the location of the pitches.  To be a good pitcher you need to have multiple different pitches to throw and be able to throw the ball where you want.

 1.         The 4-seam Fastball. The 4-seam fastball is the most important pitch to learn.  To throw this basic baseball pitch, you will need to hold the ball with your index and middle fingers spread about an inch apart across the fat part of the seams of the baseball.  Your thumb will rest on the seam at the bottom of the ball when held at that above mentioned angle.  This pitch is basically a straight pitch that will be your fastest thrown pitch.  The reason this is the most important basic baseball pitch to learn is because this is the pitch you really need to know how to throw for strikes, all the other pitches work off of this pitch. 

 2.         The 2-seam Fastball. The 2-seam fastball moves like a fastball but with a slight tailing action.  Like the 4-seamer this pitch will be relatively fast in terms of speed compared to the other basic baseball pitches you will learn how to throw here. To throw this pitch hold the ball with your index and middle fingers going with the seams on the skinny part of the seams.  Your fingers will simply sit on top of those seams, the thumb will rest like the 4-seamer on the bottom of the ball on the seam.  During your throwing motion, you will begin turning your hand inward toward your body to the point where the middle finger is in the 12 o’clock position upon release.  This action gives the ball a tailing action with some speed on the ball.

 3.         Curveball. The object of this basic baseball pitch is to offer a change of speed on the pitch with a lot of movement.  Position the ball in your hand with the stitches forming a “C”.  From this position place your index and middle fingers together on the top of the C, with the seam on the outside of your middle finger.  Now rotate your fingers to the 12 o’clock position, your thumb should naturally land on another seam on the bottom of the ball.  During your throwing motion you will rotation your hand upward toward the sky, upon release your fingers should be toward the top of the ball pointing inward toward your body, forming a backward C.  This release will give the ball more of a 12 to 6 drop on the ball.  The ball is supposed to start in the strike zone and end up out of it.   

 4.         Slider. The slider is a basic baseball pitch which generally has more speed than the curveball and moves on a much sharper degreeLike the curveball, this pitch is designed to begin in the strike zone and end up out of it.  Position the ball just like the curveball, however upon the release of the pitch your fingers should be on the side of the ball rotating out away from the body. 

 5.         Circle Changeup. The Circle Changeup is probably the second most important basic baseball pitch to learn.  The object of this pitch is to come out of the hand looking like a fastball, but be much slower and therefore mess with the timing of the batter.  Hold the ball like you do for the 4-seamer, slide your hand to the inside and allow your middle and ring fingers to rest across the seams.  Your index finger and thumb will form a circle on the inside of the ball and your pinky will be on the outside of the ball in the 3 o’clock position.  When you release the ball you will want the circle to be pointing down toward the ground, the ball will come out of the hand rolling off your middle, ring and pinky fingers. 

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