How To Throw A Screwball In Baseball

How to Throw a Screwball

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation Baseball’s screwball is a highly sophisticated throwing method that, when delivered correctly, can be deadly to opposing batters. The screwball has a downward trajectory and a small spin, similar to a curveball, which makes it difficult to predict and much more difficult to hit. To throw a screwball, begin by securing a firm grip on the ball at the seams of the ball. After that, you’ll wind up as normal, except that just before you release the ball, you’ll tilt your wrist inward and allow your pointer finger drag down the side of the ball to commence the spin.

  1. 1Take the ball and place it in your dominant hand. It should be positioned just slightly higher than the upper border of your hand’s palm. Check to see that both sets of seams are visible. 2 The top of the ball should be wrapped around your pointer and middle fingers. Allow your pointer finger to rest directly on the inside of the inner seam on the inside of the inner seam. The stitches will create traction and a more comfortable and natural grip, which will improve the overall experience. Slide your middle finger away from your pointer finger until it is around an inch to an inch and a half distant
  • Some players find it simpler to keep their fingers parallel to the seams on one side of the ball, while others prefer to keep their fingers a bit closer together on the other side of the ball. Make the one that seems most comfortable for you. You will have the dexterity necessary to put some spin on the ball at the point of release with this “claw” style grip.
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  • s3 With your thumb, grab the bottom of the ball and pull it up. Clamp down on the ball by wrapping your thumb around the underside of the ball. If you’re wondering how to place your hands correctly, your thumb is the final piece of the jigsaw. If you have good hand-eye coordination, it will allow you to manage the ball without it sliding out of your grasp.
  • Make sure not to grasp the ball too hard
  • Instead, grip it firmly enough to keep it in place until the pitch is completed. Instead of pinching the ball with the whole length of your finger, pinch it with the pad of your thumb. When the moment comes, it will be easier to make a swift release as a result of this.
  1. 1 Assume a typical throwing posture for the moment. Standing with your feet around shoulder width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your upper body relaxed is a good position to start. The shoulder of your non-throwing arm should be pointed toward the batting cage. Keep your attention fixed on the batter and don’t let it stray until you’ve secured it in place
  • Hide the ball either inside a glove or behind your back leg as you re-set your grip so that the batter cannot see where your hands are placed. Otherwise, you can unintentionally give them a heads-up. It is important to remember that the ball will most likely break to the outside of your body, and you should be prepared to modify your posture on the mound appropriately
  • 2 Determine where you want to go. When you throw a screwball, your aim is to strike out a hitter who is on the other side of the plate. In other words, if you’re a right-handed pitcher, you’ll be searching for opportunities to get the ball down low and to the right side of a left-handed hitter. For left-handed pitchers, the situation will be the inverse.
  • Make an effort not to make it too evident where you’re preparing to throw anything out. If you communicate your intentions verbally, you may wind up giving the batter an easy run.
  • 3 Start the winding down process. To keep your balance, take a tiny step back and to the side as your knee rises to stabilize your position. Draw your pitching arm up and back like you’re throwing a regular fastball, then raise both hands high in front of you like you’re throwing a regular fastball.
  • Don’t give it too much thought. The setup for a screwball will be the same as for any other conventional pitch until the release
  • It’s important not to add any unnecessary movements or quirks to your pitch in order to keep the batter guessing
  • And it’s important not to add any unnecessary movements or quirks to your pitch in order to keep the batter guessing
  • 4 Take a step forward and throw. As you come to the end of the stride, widen your base and land on the ball of your foot to finish the movement. Bring your pitching arm in line with your shoulder, making sure that your forearm remains upright during the motion. Maintain a firm core and a relaxed shoulder as you begin to develop velocity for the pitch.
  • The length of your stride should be nearly twice as wide as the width of your typical standing position. It is possible to lose your equilibrium if you eat too much or too little.
  1. 1 Take a deep breath and lean into the pitch. Your center of gravity should be shifted to your front leg, and you should let your pitching arm to lag behind you. As your arm continues to travel forward, brace yourself for impact. It is important to maintain your palm towards the batter at all times in order to keep the ball lined up for a precise pitch.
  • Make a slight rotation of your hips in the direction in which you’re throwing in order to increase the power of your pitch
  • Due to the fact that screwballs aren’t often thrown with as much force as other pitches, your rear foot should remain firmly planted on the ground to provide additional stability throughout the follow through.
  • 2 Inwardly rotate your wrist. Bring your arm in a tight arc to the ground. As soon as you achieve full extension, begin twisting your wrist and forearm such that the tops of your knuckles are pointing in the direction of your spine. You’ll need to apply a significant amount of tension to the ball in order for it to break appropriately to one side.
  • When throwing, right-handed pitchers should pronate their wrists in the anti-clockwise direction, whereas left-handed pitchers should pronate their wrists in the clockwise way A lot of practice will be required to get a hold of the motion. Attempt to rotate a couple screwballs at a slow pace to see if you can feel the ball turning.
  • 3 Let go of the ball with your grasp on it. Just as your arm reaches a level with your face, release the ball from your grip. You should be able to let it go effortlessly out of your hand, keeping your fingers out of the way to avoid them from interfering with the release
  • The only exception will be your pointer finger, which will be used to commence the spin.
  • It is possible that the pitch will travel higher if the release is too early, which will counteract some of the spin and make it easier to strike the pitch. There’s a potential that the ball will not even make it to the plate if the pitch is delivered too late
  • Thus, make the final section of the pitch as quick as possible. A well-placed screwball thrown at a fast rate of speed is practically hard to anticipate
  • Nonetheless,
  • 4 Allow your pointer finger to go along the inside of the ball with the ball. Just before you lose contact with the ball, use the inside edge of your finger to draw it firmly downward. Due to the spin created by this motion the ball finally breaks in the opposite direction of its original path.
  • Ideally, your pitching hand should be pointed straight at the hitter at the moment of release if everything has been done correctly.

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  • Question Should I start working on my screwball pitching skills right away? Even though I’m still a young pitcher, I aspire to be a screw baller. Trevor GentryAnswer from the Community No. It can put a significant amount of strain on your UCL
  • Question Breaking the screwball is a difficult task for me right now. Is there anyone who can assist me? Continue to practice (in a safe environment), and be certain that you are torquing your wrist to initiate the spin. You should be able to feel the ball with your pointer finger until it exits your hand. As a matter of fact, if you don’t throw the ball fast enough, the ball won’t have the ability to veer in mid-air.

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  • Keep in mind that practice makes perfect. It is possible that you may need to throw several thousand screwballs before the mechanics of the action become second nature
  • Yet, the screwball is an advanced pitch. In case you’re practicing by yourself, consider videotaping yourself to check your technique and ensure that the ball is traveling in the proper direction. Use screwballs to strike out opposing-handed hitters, or keep the ball close to the center of mass of opposing-handed batters to throw them off their stride. By practicing with a baseball bat or other comparable item, you can improve your ability to induce the ball to swerve to the side of the tee opposite from where you are standing. In some ways, thinking of the screwball as a type of reverse curveball may be beneficial. The fundamental concepts remain the same, with the exception that the ball will shatter in the other direction.

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  • When drilling your screwball, proceed with utmost caution. Many elite athletes have experienced long-term shoulder injuries as a result of putting an excessive amount of strain on their joints. Keeping this pitch as an ace in the hole and only throwing it on special occasions may be the wisest course of action.


About This Article

Summary of the ArticleXTo toss a screwball, begin by grasping the ball with your pointer and middle fingers along the inside seam, and your thumb beneath, as shown in the illustration. Then, take a regular pitching stance, begin your wind-up, and elevate your arms in front of you as if you’re ready to throw a fastball to simulate the action. After then, take a stride forward towards the pitch and twist your throwing arm such that your knuckles point in the direction of your body. To produce spin on the ball, run the inside of the ball with your pointer finger until it is in line with your face, then release the pitch.

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Strictly speaking, a screwball is a breaking ball that is meant to go in the opposite direction of almost every other breaking pitch. It is one of the most infrequently thrown pitches in baseball, owing mostly to the strain it may place on a pitcher’s arm. The movement of the screwball – which moves toward the pitcher’s arm side – is generated by the pitcher’s throwing action, which is exceedingly unconventional.


A screwball is thrown when a pitcher snaps his wrist in such a way that his palm is turned away from the glove side of his glove. This is in sharp contrast to sliders and curveballs, which are thrown by snapping the pitcher’s wrist such that the palm of the hand is towards the glove side of the plate. A screwball is significantly more difficult to throw than a curveball because of the unusual arm action required. However, in principle, it should have the same effect as a curve, with the exception that it should break in the opposite direction.


tracing the roots of the screwball is extremely difficult because, in its early years, it was thought to be nothing more than an amorphous variation of the curveball.

Carl Hubbell, a Hall of Fame pitcher who utilized the screwball to revitalize his career, attracted national attention to the field.

In A Call

“scroogie,” “reverse curve,” and similar expressions

How to Throw a Screwball (10-Step Guide)

The screwball is one of the most destructive pitches in all of baseball, and it is used by pitchers all over the world. It’s particularly perplexing for batters since the pitch will travel in the exact opposite direction of the majority of pitches. For a right-handed pitcher, almost all breaking balls will go from right to left, while for a left-handed pitcher, almost all breaking balls will move from left to right. Right-handed pitchers’ breaking balls will break away from right-handed hitters and towards left-handed batters, and vice versa.

Breaking balls like as the curveball and slider are designed to shatter in the opposite direction of most other breaking balls on the market.

This is one of the primary reasons why the screwball is both perplexing and successful at the same time.

Let’s have a look at a step-by-step instruction on how to throw a screwball with accuracy and precision.

How to Throw a Screwball:

As with every pitch, the procedure begins with the way the baseball is held in the hand. In order to begin, you must first position the ball in your hand, at the upper edge of your palm. When you look at the baseball in your hand, you should be able to see both sets of seams on the ball.

Step2: Your Fingers

Once you have the ball in your hand, it’s time to start placing your fingers in the right positions. Both your pointer finger and middle finger will be positioned at the top of the baseball when you throw it to the pitcher. You’ll want to put your pointer finger just within the baseball’s inner seam, so that it’s barely touching the seam. The stitches on the ball will aid you in gaining traction while also providing you with a more natural and comfortable grip. Your middle finger should be about an inch or so apart from your pointer finger when you’re writing.

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Some pitchers, on the other hand, find it more comfortable to place both their pointer and middle fingers on the seams of the pitching machine.

As with any pitch, the most crucial thing to consider when it comes to the grip is whether or not it is comfortable for you to use.

Step3: Your Thumb

Your thumb, on the other hand, should be positioned near the bottom of the baseball. It should be wrapped tightly around the bottom of the ball at this point. Grip it firmly to ensure that it remains stable in your hand. Maintaining a firm hold on the ball will help to ensure that it does not slip out of your hands during play. Nonetheless, you don’t want to grip the ball too tightly either.

Instead of applying pressure to the whole thumb, gently pinch the baseball with the padding on the thumb and squeeze the baseball together. When you arrive to that spot in the pitch, it will be much simpler to release the ball swiftly as a result of this.

Step4: Conceal the Grip

In certain cases, it is difficult to discern the grip of a screwball from the grip of other breaking pitches. The location of your fingers on the baseball will be visible to a hitter who has trained his or her eyes to look for signs of a breaking ball or other type of changeup. Furthermore, if the hitter is aware that you are capable of throwing a screwball, your grip might give your pitches away. This is why it’s so crucial to work on your grasp in scenarios other than game play situations. When you get into a game, you won’t have to fiddle with the ball in your hand as you try to acquire a better hold on the game ball.

Step5: Decide Where to Aim

To complete your windup before actually starting it, you must choose the location on the plate where you wish to direct the pitch’s trajectory. Because a screwball will break in the opposite direction as the pitches, this will be radically different from where you would ordinarily aim conventional breaking balls. Learn to throw a screwball with the intention of striking out the hitter as your ultimate aim. Moreover, you’ll most likely throw this pitch to a hitter who is on the opposite side of the plate as you are throwing the first pitch (i.e.

  • This is due to the fact that the ball will appear to be headed straight for them in the batter’s box before diving back over the plate for a called strike instead.
  • In order for the pitch to break correctly and land exactly where you want it to, you’ll want to aim it as if you’re trying to hit the batter right in the middle of the plate.
  • If you’re pitching to a batter who is the same handed as you are (i.e.
  • In order for the ball to dive on the outside of the plate at the final minute, you’ll want to aim for the batter’s box that is now empty.

Step6: Windup

Now that you have your grasp on the ball and know where you want to aim the pitch, the following step is to actually begin moving your body in order to throw the ball. Your windup should be the same as it would be for any other pitch you’d throw in the same situation. It’s critical to maintain the same action in your windup for a screwball as you do for all of your other pitches when throwing a screwball. This will not only guarantee that the hitter is not given a heads-up on what pitch is coming, but it will also allow you to throw with a single, firm action as soon as you begin to toss the ball.

Step7: Added Stability

It’s important to let your arm trail behind you when you’re transferring your body weight from the rear to the front of the room during your wind-up. Your arm will continue to travel forward in tandem with your body, and you must ensure that your palm remains towards the batter during the whole process. When you throw a screwball, you won’t be throwing it with the same amount of force as you would other pitches, such as a fastball or curveball. As a result, it’s critical to twist your hips a few degrees in the direction in which you’ll throw the pitch in order to generate greater force behind the ball.

Your rear foot, on the other hand, will remain firmly planted on the mound or ground, providing you with more stability throughout your follow-through.

Step8: Turning Your Wrist

We’ve reached the point when you’ll experience the polar opposite motion on your screwball. Toward the conclusion of your windup, you’ll want to bring your arm down in an arching manner, close to your torso, in order to finish strong. When your arm is fully extended, you’ll want to rotate both your forearm and your wrist to ensure proper alignment. Make sure to maintain the tops of your knuckles pointing inward toward your body while doing so. This will assist you in obtaining the additional torque that you’ll want in order to cause the ball to break in the opposite direction of the way that your body would ordinarily cause it to break.

This is the component of the pitch that can be perplexing and difficult for pitchers to grasp since it is such an unusual action when compared to the other pitches in the arsenal.

Step9: Release the Grip

While you’re falling, you’ll want to let go of the ball as soon as your arm reaches a level position with your face. Keep all of your fingers, with the exception of the pointer finger, out of the way to ensure that you can release the ball quickly. When you’re learning how to throw a screwball, it’s very vital to time the release of the pitch correctly. If you release the ball too soon, the pitch will most likely rise in altitude, which not only neutralizes the spin of the ball but also makes it simpler to smash the ball with the bat.

Step10: Snap Your Pointer Finger

As previously stated, your pointer finger is the digit on your hand that will generate the spin that you will need in order to execute a successful screwball toss. You’ll want to slide the inner side of your pointer finger down quickly just before the ball is totally released from your hand. In turn, this will assist in generating the necessary rotation for a screwball, resulting in the ball finally breaking in the opposite direction of your other breaking pitches. If you have followed the instructions to the letter, your hand should be pointed squarely at the batter when you release the ball from your grip.


If thrown correctly, the screwball may be one of the most efficient strikeout pitches in the game. It’s a difficult pitch for hitters to pick up since it rotates and breaks in the opposite way of practically every other pitch, which makes it extremely perplexing for them. When thrown from a pitcher’s hand, a screwball will appear to be either going to strike the batter (for hitters who are the opposite of the pitcher’s dominant hand) or being thrown far off the plate (for same-handed batters).

The screwball, on the other hand, is one of the more difficult pitches to throw.

This is why it is so vital to practice throwing a screwball in non-game conditions many times before attempting to include it into your game repertoire.

Screwball – Wikipedia

It is abaseball and fastpitch softball pitch that is thrown with the intention of breaking in the opposite direction of a slider or a curve ball. The ball may also have a sinking movement depending on the angle at which the pitcher throws it. Carl Hubbell was a screwball pitcher in the Major League Baseball era who was widely regarded as one of the best ever. As a result of his mastery of both the pitch and the frequency with which he threw his scroogie, Hubbell was dubbed the “scroogie king.” In addition to Tug McGraw and first Hall of Fame memberChristy Matthewson, other well-known screwball performers include Cy Young Award winners Mike Cuellar, Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Marshall, andWillie Hernández, among others.

Grip and action

The baseball is held with the open end of the horseshoe form (where the seams are closest together) facing up and the closed end of the horseshoe shape facing down. Place the thumb slightly beneath the bottom of the horseshoe and curl the index finger against the top of the thumb, producing a tight circle to the side of the ball with the index finger and thumb. The middle finger is then put on the top of the ball and grips against the top seam, as shown in the illustration (the seam closest to the index finger).

The grip is identical to the circle changeup, but the seams are placed in a different location than on the circle changeup.

When a left-handed pitcher’s middle finger pulls down firmly on the ball at the finish of the throwing action, their hand pronates (turns inward) in a clockwise direction, burying a large portion of the hand beneath the ball until the ball is completely submerged.


When thrown by a right-handed pitcher, a screwball breaks from left to right from the pitcher’s point of view; the pitch moves down and in on a right-handed hitter and down and away from a left-handed batter as a result of this. When thrown by a left-handed pitcher, a screwball breaks from right to left, traveling down and in on a left-handed hitter and down and away from a right-handed batter, depending on the pitcher’s hand position. In order to take advantage of the ball’s left-to-right movement (when thrown by a right-handed pitcher), right-handed pitchers use a screwball against left-handed batters in the same way that they use an aslideragainst right-handed batters.

If thrown correctly, a screwball will break in the opposite direction of a curveball if it is delivered accurately.


Christie Mathewson, who pitched for the New York Giants from 1900 to 1916 and whose pitch was then known as the “fadeaway,” is considered one of the first great screwball pitchers. Although historians have been unable to verify this, baseball legend holds that Giants manager John McGraw arranged for Black pitcher Rube Foster to teach Mathewson the screwball because McGraw was prohibited from hiring Foster directly. Among the major league pitchers who have thrown the screwball at some point in their careers are: Contrary to common misconception, the screwball does not place a significant amount of strain on a pitcher’s arm.

During Tommy John surgery, the forearm is pronated to provide for the preservation of the ulnar collateral ligament, which is replaced during the procedure.


  1. has a page devoted to Carl Hubbell. Obtainable on October 7, 2015
  2. Steven Ellis’s “Pitching Grips” may be found online at
  3. s^ Bruce Schoenfeld is the author of this work (July 10, 2014). The New York Times published an article titled “The Mystery of the Vanishing Screwball.” In reality, Matthewson learned how to throw the pitch from minor leaguer Dave Williams. Ken Burns is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (September 19, 1994). “Inning Two: It Feels a Little Bit Like a War.” Baseball.PBS
  4. s^ The New York Times published the following articles: “Hubbell Out for Season”, August 24, 1938, pg. 26
  5. “Blanton, Pirates, Stops Dodgers, 8-2”, May 19, 1935, pg. S5
  6. “Arroyo: Artist of Yankee Bullpen”, August 21, 1960, pg. S2
  7. “Orioles Get Baldschun of Phillies”, December 7, 1965, pg. 61
  8. And “Shrine of the Eternals 2006 The original version of this article was published on The 29th of September, 2013., retrieved on November 7, 2012
  9. “Roundup: Cuellar Holds Showing of Old Art Form,” New York Times, June 12, 1970, page 43
  10. “Peter Gammons,” Espn, retrieved on November 7, 2012. “The Herrera Screwball,” Fox Sports, November 7, 2012
  11. Retrieved November 7, 2012. “Unheralded Braden continues convincing us that this is his defining year,” according to the New York Times on November 7, 2012. Sports Illustrated, published on May 10, 2010
  12. Bruce Schoenfeld is the author of this work (July 10, 2014). “The Mysterious Disappearance of the Screwball.” The New York Times, for example.

Pitching Grips (Cheat Sheet): How To Throw 8 Different Baseball Pitches

HomeArticles Gloves for Pitching Learn more about my pitchers’ exercise routines here. The proper method of developing functional strength should be used. Discover my pitching routines and throwing plans for athletes that are dedicated to their craft and refuse to accept defeat. More information may be found here. Before we go into the specifics of different baseball pitching grips, let’s get one thing out of the way first. Clayton Kershaw throws a curveball that is just crazy. Take a look at it right here: is the source of this image.

  • You’d be hard pressed to come up with a better curveball in baseball than this one.
  • It’s been mentioned many times before that hitting is all about timing.
  • FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER Sign up for my daily pitching tips email newsletter to receive exclusive tips and insights that are not available anywhere else on the web.
  • Several essential baseball grips involved with pitching are covered on this page, including how to pitch a fastball, how to pitch a changeup, and how to pitch a curveball.
  • Let’s get this party started.

1. Four-seam fastball is the source of this image. According to MLB statistics, the four-seam fastball is the most frequently used pitch in baseball. Four-seamers account for 35.3 percent of all pitches thrown in the major leagues, and on average, they travel at a velocity of 92.9 miles per hour on the ground. So, who do you think has the greatest four-seam fastball in baseball at the moment? Madison Bumgarner gets my vote because she has the following qualities: is the source of this image.

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The fact that he is not scared to throw the ball with two strikes distinguishes him from other pitchers.

According to one measure that I find very intriguing, known as True Average, Bumgarner’s fastball is the second-best in the league.

2. Two-seam fastball is the source of this image. According to MLB statistics, the two-seam fastball or sinker is the second-most common pitch in the major leagues, accounting for 21.8 percent of all pitches thrown at an average speed of 91.7 mph. The two-seam fastball or sinker is thrown at an average speed of 91.7 mph. As their name implies, these pitches “sink,” meaning that they land lower in the strike zone than their four-seam counterparts do. So, who do you think has the greatest two-seam fastball in baseball at the moment?

Zach Britton receives my endorsement: is the source of this image. If there is one reliever who has been dominant with only one pitch, it is Zach Britton. He has been great with his two-seamer with a sinker for the most of his career.

3. Change up is the source of this image. According to MLB statistics, the changeup accounts for 9.5 percent of all pitches thrown in the majors and travels at an average speed of 83.6 miles per hour, demonstrating the opposite use trend as the slider does. It’s interesting to note that lefties seldom employ it against their own kind, but they do it frequently against righties. Likewise, right-handed pitchers employ it far more frequently against left-handed batters. Every time, an opposite-handed hitter faces a changeup, he or she is nearly four times as likely to see one than a same-handed batter is.

Which player now possesses the greatest changeup in the majors?

Hernandez threw the changeup more than any other starting pitcher in MLB, according to Baseball Prospectus.

The pitch is not only the greatest in its class, but it is also one of the top pitches in the whole game, according to many experts.

4. Curveball is the source of this image. According to Major League Baseball statistics, curveballs account for just 9.9 percent of all pitches thrown in the majors. They also provide an overall location signature that is comparable to the slider, but they do not produce variances that are nearly as extreme in terms of frequency or efficiency as the slider. The curveball is also the slowest pitch in Major League Baseball, clocking in at an average speed of around 78 mph. So, who has the best curveball in baseball right now, and how can you know?

According to the Washington Post, Betances’s curveball (orslurve) produced an incredible.075 batting average and.124 slugging percentage in 2014, by and away the greatest stats among pitchers who threw at least 300 curveballs throughout the season.

The fact that it is one of only two pitches thrown by the man is the most astounding of all.

And, despite the fact that everyone knows it’s coming, it can’t be stopped from happening.

5. Slider is the source of this image. Sliders rank third among major league pitching statistics, and they are the most often used breaking ball. They account for 14.1 percent of all pitches thrown and travel at an average speed of 83.9 mph, according to MLB figures. When pitching against a batter who has the same dominant hand as the pitcher, pitchers are significantly more likely to employ the slider; the slider is often far more successful against a “same-handed” batter. And as pitchers become older, they want to be able to take advantage of any single benefit that comes their way.

My vote goes to Corey Kluber, who is as follows: is the source of this image.

He has the best horizontal movement of any pitcher in baseball, breaking an average of 10 inches to the left while sinking nearly three inches on the other side. This is the slider that will outperform all other sliders.

6. Splitter is the source of this image. Pitchers who are older and more experienced who want to add another nasty weapon to their arsenal to help them get more outs and win more games can consider using the split-finger fastball. Roger Clemens was a supreme master of the splitter during his career. So, who do you think has the best splitter in baseball at the moment? It is Joaquin Benoit who receives my vote: is the source of this image. With 41 strikeouts, one walk, and four singles in 68 at-bats, the splitter was a productive weapon in 2014.

That splitter nastiness is superior to that of any other pitcher in the game at this point in time.

7. Sinker is the source of this image. The sinker is simply a two-seam fastball (see my definition of the two seamer above), except that it dips or drops downward rather than running to the throwing hand side of the plate. Pitchers may get their two seamer to act more like a sinker or more like a regular two seam fastball depending on how much they pronate their wrist at the moment of release.

8. Cutter is the source of this image. Due to its ability to be thrown safely while keeping decent throwing velocity, the cut fastball has become the fastest growing pitch in the baseball community. Mariano Rivera, without a doubt, was the greatest pitcher in the history of the game. So, who do you think has the best cutter in baseball at the moment? Adam Wainwright gets my vote because he has the following qualifications: is the source of this image. Even while it isn’t a violent strikeout pitch, nor is the movement/velocity extraordinary, it is an excellent “main” pitch for a player who has a wide range of pitches in his or her arsenal.

5 tips for learning new grips

Listed below are five considerations to bear in mind when learning new baseball pitches with various baseball pitching grips.

  1. Fastballs account for at least 70% of all pitches thrown by pitchers in any one game. For younger children, this is the maximum amount of throws they will make. As a result, here is where you should naturally devote the most of your time
  2. Keep your expectations reasonable when learning a new pitching technique. Remember, it’s very new, so don’t expect everything to be perfect right immediately, including the spin and placement. These tasks require time to complete. When learning a new baseball pitching grip, patience is essential
  3. I would like to see you excel at a few pitches rather than mediocre at a large number of pitches. Attempting to acquire various throwing grips at the same time would almost certainly reduce your effectiveness on the pitches you’ll be using the most. Besides screwballs and knuckleballs, other pitches like as screwballs and knuckleballs just aren’t important for 99 percent of the throwing population, particularly in Little League and high school baseball. Concentrate on the pitches that have the greatest potential to contribute to your success
  4. Have fun! Learning different throwing grips is enjoyable since it allows you to improve your pitching ability, which is the ultimate goal.

Learn more about my workout programs for pitchers

When it comes to baseball, one of the most common myths is that playing the game keeps you in condition to pitch. That would be fantastic if it were true. It is not the case. Preparation is critical in order to go to the next level. Pitchers in the major leagues spend significantly more time preparing to prepare than they do actually pitching. You may learn more about my fitness and pitching programs for baseball pitchers of all ages if you feel that increasing your velocity will be vital to your future success.

What do you think?

What I want to know now is whether you know of any throwing grips that I may have overlooked. Alternatively, perhaps you have an idea for how I might improve this post even further. In any case, please leave a remark and let me know. WHAT TO READ NEXT: 7 Ways to Improve Your Pitching Command (For All Types of Pitches)

How to Pitch a Screwball in Baseball

Coach Darren Gurney demonstrates how to pitch a screwball in this baseball instructional video from Howcast.


How to toss a screwball the right way. When thrown in the opposite direction of the slider or the curve ball, the screwball, sometimes known as the screwgee, causes the batter to break away from the plate. A screwball would be thrown by a left-handed pitcher to a right-handed batter in order to get him away from the pitcher. Christy Mathewson was the first to invent the screwball, which she termed a fade because it faded away from the batter as it was thrown. Carl Hubbell and Tug McGraw were both well-known screwball pitchers in the later history of the sport.

Curve ball with four seams and two seams.

A left-handed pitcher would accomplish this by turning the doorknob to the right, and a right-handed pitcher would do this by turning the doorknob to the left, then pronating a thumb down to generate this run or fade on the pitch, respectively.

Fernando Valenzuela, a right-handed pitcher who threw a highly efficient screwball in the 1980s and 1990s, was rumored to have had arm problems as a result of this pronation of the wrist, or turning the doorknob to the right as a right-handed pitcher, during his career.

He put unnecessary strain on his elbow as a result of doing so. It is critical that pitchers, especially rookie pitchers, are aware of the dangers of throwing a screwball, and that they avoid doing so. These are some pointers on how to toss a screwball.

How To Throw a Curveball

Because of the unusual mechanics required, the Curveball is considered a more challenging pitch to learn and throw than the Fastball. Many coaches believe that younger players (those under the age of 15) should not practice throwing the Curveball with real baseballs because it might put an undue amount of stress on their developing arms and shoulders. Despite the fact that throwing curveballs with a Blitzball is likely to be safer due of its small weight, younger players should still get their parents’ permission before attempting to learn how to do so (you might want to learn a hardKnuckleballinstead to get a similar dropping action without having to throw actual Curveballs).

  1. For a good Curveball to be thrown, the pitcher must first get “on top” of the ball and then spin it downwards.
  2. The seam should be grasped tightly with your middle finger so that you may exert maximum leverage on it throughout the sewing process.
  3. As a result, as the Curveball reaches the hitter, it should spin forward, giving the Blitzball a significant downward movement.
  4. The majority of people receive better outcomes with a “1-to-7” break that is closer to three-quarters of the way in length (a pitch that drops and curves to the side).
  5. BackNext

How to Throw a Knuckleball

The seventh and final installment of the “How to Throw” blog series is now available online! In addition to being a fan favorite, the knuckleball is an unique pitch that only a select few have been able to perfect. Our resident knuckleballer, John Soteropulos, will provide his thoughts on how a knuckleball moves and what it takes to create your own knuckleballing technique. The Knuckleball of John Soteropulos

Overview of a Knuckleball

A knuckleball is a pitch that is delivered with little to no spin and has the potential to move unexpectedly. When the ball is traveling towards the plate, it will “dance” or “zig-zag” as a result of its low spin rate and what researchers refer to as an aerodynamic phenomenon of “unsteady lift forces,” which is most likely caused by the seams on the surface of the ball. This pitch is often thrown at a release point that is comparable to that of a fastball, but with less extension. You may notice that it moves at a substantially slower rate than any other pitch in your repertoire, and that it moves at speeds that are between 10 and 20 mph slower than a heater, depending on the movement profile.

The volatility of this pitch causes batters to get disoriented and off balance, resulting in a high percentage of soft contact or whiffs on the ball.

How to Grip a Knuckleball

The knuckleball grip is distinctive because it is by far the most personal of all the grips. This distinguishing characteristic has resulted in a wide variety of grips. We’re lucky at Driveline to have someone on our team that has a lot of knowledge and expertise. This pitch has been thrown by John Soteropulos, a hitting trainer here at Driveline, for the past few years. In regards to his grip and how he’s been successful in mastering it, here’s what John had to say: The first step is to bury the baseball as far into your hand as it will allow.

Afterwards, hammer your nails into the leather.

After the grip and nails are in place, the ring finger and thumb serve as secondary stabilizers, with the pinky remaining totally off of the baseball during the whole process.

If I may share a personal experience, after six months of consistently throwing terrible knuckleballs with the identical Wakefield grip, I eventually noticed that dropping my hand farther down, towards the 2-seam, really improved my consistency.” We’ll supply you with more grips at the end of this blog post so that you have more alternatives to choose from.

Throwing a Knuckleball

Despite the fact that a knuckleball is thrown with typical arm motion, it is not released until it has completely left the hand. A well-thrown ball with little to no spin gives the impression that the ball is about to slide out of your hand. A knuckleball is not pushed with the fingers; it is pushed with the hands. Instead, you will get the sensation that the ball “shoots” out as soon as it leaves your fingertips. To conclude, when it comes to positioning, aim for the upper-middle portion of the striking zone and hope for the best.

  • Maintain a firm wrist throughout the throwing action. It’s important to maintain the logo of the baseball towards the catcher throughout the game. Allow the ball to glide out of your palm, almost as if it were dripping with olive oil
  • And Throw it hard and rely on your grip to keep it there
  • Your knuckleball has probably been thrown successfully if the ball “ticks” off your fingertips.
See also:  What Is A No-Hitter In Baseball

Analyzing Knuckleball Movement

If you’re training on aRapsododevice, the spin rate will be the most crucial parameter to keep track of during your session. We want to keep the RPMs as near to zero and one hundred as feasible. A ball should spin at most 1.5-2 times over the course of its flight, according to this rule. Anything more than that, and you may be restricting the pitch’s potential to move wildly, much as a terrific knuckleball would do to the batter. The majority of knuckleballs will land close to the middle of the horizontal and vertical break plots, depending on their trajectory.


The knuckleball can be a fun and thrilling pitch to learn if you put in the effort. Many players and spectators are intrigued by it, but there is a reason why so few major-leaguers have been able to grasp it thus far. To master and perfect this pitch takes a great deal of time and effort.

It might take years of practice to become proficient at throwing and commanding a ball inside a game environment consistently. If you follow these instructions, we hope you will be able to develop into the next big-league knuckleball sensation.

Additional Kunckleball Grips

The Tim Wakefield storyline In the case of Phil Niekro The Roger Wolfe story is a classic. Jim Bouton is a fictional character created by author Jim Bouton. Additional “How to Throw” resources are available at the following links. Learn how to throw a four-seam fastball by watching this video. What is the proper way to throw a sinker/two-seam fastball? Instructions on How to Throw a Changeup The Art of Throwing a Curveball Slider Throwing Techniques Mike Tampellini and John Soteropulos demonstrate how to throw a cutter.

Major League Baseball’s last screwball pitcher

THE TEMPE, Ariz., AIRPORT — Baseball is evolving. Equipment changes, advances in knowledge of the game’s mechanics, alterations in how players are deployed, and breakthroughs in the means by which teams and analysts evaluate performance have all impacted the way the sport has been played over the course of the sport’s lengthy history. However, there will always be outliers, who will either push baseball in new directions or take it back to its earlier ages. Moreover, there are few pitchers in modern baseball that defy the current trends as much as Angels starter Hector Santiago, a left-hander with a respectable 3.55 ERA who is expected to slot somewhere in the center of the team’s rotation in 2016.

Christy Mathewson, a Hall of Fame pitcher and one of baseball’s first genuinely great pitchers, was instrumental in popularizing the pitch, which was then known as his “fadeaway,” in the early part of the twentieth century.

Nowadays, the term “screwball” is used far more frequently to describe a player’s bizarre personality than it is in its original definition, which refers to a logically defying breaking ball that moves toward a pitcher’s arm side — sort of like a reverse curveball — and strikes the batter on the opposite arm side.

Santiago was also the only pitcher in Major League Baseball who threw a screwball in 2015, according to the pitch-tracking technology PitchF/X.

When asked about his command of the pitch, Santiago said, “I think last year was probably my best year all around command-wise.” Santiago developed the pitch while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico prior to the 2011 season.

It got me to the point where I could use (the screwball) as a weapon later in the season because I had improved my command of my fastball, cutter, and breaking balls.” I threw it maybe 12 or 13 times — it was something I had as a trick pitch that I could use when I needed to get over a hump.” When throwing the pitch, it is necessary to pronate the arm such that the pitching hand finishes with the palm facing away from the body, as seen in the illustration.

Santiago claims he doesn’t notice any additional pressure on his arm when throwing the pitch, but he is aware that using it excessively might cause it to weary or hurt its ligaments and muscles.

For some reason, if I start throwing 30-40 screwballs in a game at some time, I could reach a point where I need to skip a start because I’m throwing too many screwballs.

“It’s simply something to be on the safe side.” Although video taken from oblique angles cannot fully convey the movement of a screwball, the following sample from illustrates one of Santiago’s deliveries that was detected as a screwball by PitchF/X in 2015: According to Santiago, the simple act of signaling he was ready to throw the screwball perplexed new Angels catcher Geovany Soto during a recent bullpen session, but Soto was so impressed with the pitch that he and Santiago agreed that the pitch will be utilized more frequently in 2016.

  1. Soto was unavailable for comment at Angels’ camp on Tuesday, but in the past, Santiago’s screwball has baffled catchers who are unfamiliar with the ball’s unusual movement and movement pattern.
  2. He almost manages to get it to turn over like a right-handed slider.
  3. hander’s I’ve never seen someone do it, and I’m aware that there haven’t been many men who have been able to throw that pitch and be productive with it in my experience.
  4. It’s a type of equalizer in a way.
  5. Once again, he only threw the screwball a couple of times in 2015, but Santiago maintained his consistently strong tendency to surpass his peripheral numbers by a wide margin.
  6. FIP stands for fielding-independent pitching.
  7. As a result, no one with at least 500 innings pitched has had a wider disparity (for better or worse) between his FIP and his earned run average since Santiago’s debut season in the Majors in 2012.

Both of these factors contribute to the discrepancy between Santiago’s FIP and ERA, with Santiago’s propensity to generate reasonably consistent weak fly-ball contact standing out in particular.

“I believe it’s just a way of deceiving people,” Santiago said.

I receive a disproportionate number of fly balls that go in for hits at times.

I get pop ups in the infield and pop ups in the short outfield.

Santiago also stated that being aware of his fly-ball proclivities has aided him in his development as a pitching prospect.

“I’d say it’s more mid-thigh to the belt if I’m sitting anywhere with my fastball.” ‘As long as it makes it to the belt, I’ll get a lot of pop ups.’ It’s when I keep it closer to my mid-thigh and down the middle that I start to give up home runs.

And while there is plenty of evidence to suggest that throwing 100-mph fastballs or creating a large number of grounders are the most straightforward paths to pitching success, there is always room — and possibly even advantages — for those who approach things in a different way than the norm.

He is also the most extreme fly-ball pitcher in the game, and he appears to be the one who will surpass his peripheral metrics if he stays healthy.

Moreover, with experienced starters Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson both suffering ailments this spring, the Angels will need on him to accomplish all of that once more if they are to regain control of the American League West in 2016.

Types of Pitches in Baseball

What exactly is a sinker? What is a knuckle ball, and how does it work? What is the best way to recognize and hit a cut fastball? What is the speed of each sort of pitch? What is the appearance of the pitch grips? Fastball pitch grip with two seams Those and other concerns are addressed in this overview of the many varieties of baseball pitches available. Additionally, Yankee pitchers Kevin Whelan and DJ Mitchell show the right grip on the baseball for a variety of different pitching situations.

When you are the hitter, understanding the different types of pitches and how to detect them when they are thrown can help you make more consistent contact with the baseball.

Understanding what each pitch does

Cut the fastball grip in half.

4-seam fastball
  • When thrown backwards, this pitch is the most difficult of the fastball varieties
  • It keeps the ball straight and with little movement.
2-seam fastball (sinker)
  • In essence, the 2-seamer, often known as the sinker, is a fastball that is grasped in a different way than the 4-seamer. 1-3 mph slower than a 4-seamer
  • This pitch moves arm side of the pitcher and down
  • This movement is a consequence of the seams catching the air in a way that drives the ball down and in to righties from a right handed pitcher
  • This pitch is held with the seams rather than across

Grip with a slider

2-seam fastball (runs)
  • However, while this is the same pitch as the sinker, some pitchers have difficulty getting the ball to dive towards the ground. As long as there isn’t any depth to the ball and it doesn’t travel to the pitcher’s arm side (inside to a righty from a right handed pitcher), the ball runs
  • It is 1-3 mph slower than the 4-seam fastball.
Cut fastball
  • While still in the fastball family, this pitch goes in the opposite direction of the 2-seamer
  • As it comes out of the hand, it looks a little like a slider from a cement mixer. Because there is no red dot in the middle of the baseball when throwing spin that is looser than a slider, it might be difficult to pick up the rotation early while throwing spin. It performs a similar function as the slider, but with less movement. In addition, it has more velocity than the slider (albeit it is 5-8 mph slower than the 4-seamer)
  • Yet, it only moves a few inches to the pitcher’s glove side and does not normally have much depth.

Curveball grip with the knuckles

  • This fastball glides at an angle to the pitcher’s glove side and has a lot of depth to it. When compared to the 4-seam fastball, it is typically 9-12 mph slower. In order to assist you recognize the slider, you will observe tight spin with a red dot (seams converging and spinning) on the screen. Typically, it has a break of 3-6 inches in length
  • This slider has a great amount more depth than the slider. It is customary to take a 12-hour break (as if staring at a clock)
  • There is no spin on the ball, and it will appear to have a hump coming out of the pitcher’s hand
  • However, this is not the case.

Grip changeup in a circle

  • The sole difference between a knuckle curve ball and a standard curve ball is the grip. A knuckle curve ball travels at a slower speed than a fastball, usually at least 15 mph slower. There are times when a pitcher will throw it harder, but it will always be less hard than the slider. Check out these advice from Garrett Richards on how to throw a curveball
  • And
  • A combination of the slider and the curve ball Although it is often large and loopy in appearance, its break angle is more of a 10-4 or 11-5 if viewed from a clock perspective, hurled by a right hander
  • The slider speed is more similar to the curveball speed than the slider speed
  • The slurve is more prevalent than a real curveball
  • Yet, it is not as effective.

Change alter your gripping style.

  • Has the same amount of spin as a fastball, according to the rules. The slowball is 8-15 mph slower than the fastball. Depending on the pitcher, some will throw a change-up with a little depth, while others will simply float it in there and rely on the change in speed and the same spin to be successful
Split finger
  • It can be thrown strongly or softly to mimic the action of a change-up. The action is the same regardless of the velocity at which it is thrown
  • An interesting movement with the baseball may be observed out of the pitcher’s hand as it sliding downhill. It starts in the zone and dives straight into the ground
  • This pitch has late down action, which makes it a pitch to avoid throwing in the field. The majority of the time, it is not thrown for a strike. It is mostly employed as a strikeout pitch.

Split finger fastball grip is a type of fastball grip.

Knuckle ball
  • When delivered slowly and consistently, the ball enters the strike zone with little spin, making it a useful pitch virtually every time. This will cause the ball to flutter, causing it to travel in unpredictable ways, making it difficult to hit and catch on the pitch. A popular saying when it comes to hitting a knuckle ball is, “If the ball is in the air, let it fly
  • If it is on the ground, let it go.”

If you found this quick explanation of several distinct sorts of pitches to be helpful, please let me know. I encourage you to ask questions or provide comments by leaving a comment below. Play with gusto! — Doug et al.

Read more about hitting fundamentals

  • Baseball batting stances
  • Situational hitting
  • The seven absolutes of baseball pitching
  • The best wood baseball bats

Back toAll Baseball Instruction

Doug Bernier, the founder of Pro Baseball, made his Major League debut with the Colorado Rockies in 2008 and has since played for five different organizations (the Colorado Rockies, the New York Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Minnesota Twins, and the Texas Rangers) over the course of his 16-year professional baseball career. He has experience at every infield position in the Major Leagues and has played every position on the field professionally, with the exception of catcher.

Doug departed from professional baseball after 16 years and went on to work as a Major League scout for the Colorado Rockies for two years after his retirement.

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