What Is A Changeup In Baseball

Changeup – Wikipedia

A changeup grip is a grip that is used for a changeup. Pitchinbaseball and fastpitch softball are two sports in which a changeup is used. The changeup is a standard off-speed pitch that is typically thrown to appear as if it is a fastball but really travels considerably more slowly to the plate. Its slowed speed, along with its deceptive delivery, is intended to cause the batter’s timing to get confused. It is intended to be thrown in the same manner as a fastball, but with the palm of the hand positioned further back in the hand, causing it to release from the hand more slowly while maintaining the appearance of a fastball.

Unless the changeup is thrown correctly, it will generate confusion among batters since the human eye will not be able to detect that the ball is moving substantially slower until the ball is around 30 feet away from the plate.

Other names for this phenomenon include “change of tempo” and “change.” Furthermore, until at least the second part of the twentieth century, the phrase “slow ball” was used to designate pitches that were not a fastball or a breaking ball, which almost often denoted a sort of changeup or a changeup variation.

The changeup is similar to the slower ballincricket in terms of speed.


Changeups are pitched with the same arm motion as fastballs, but at a slower rate owing to the pitcher’s use of a particular grip on the ball. Leo Mazzone, a former pitcher and pitching coach, said the following: “It is the changeup that allows a pitcher to throw something other than his best fastball when throwing his best fastball; when throwing his greatest fastball, a pitcher puts more into it. In addition to the difference in grips, the pitch will have less velocity on it as a result of adopting this attitude.

If a hitter is misled by the timing of a pitch and still makes contact with the ball, it will result in the ball or the ball being placed into play weakly, which will almost always result in an out.

The finest changeups combine deception with movement to achieve maximum effect.”


Changeups have grown increasingly popular in the Dominican Republic with the advent of Pedro Martnez, a Dominican pitcher whose changeup was one of the elements that helped him win three Cy Young Awards. Following Martnez’s success with the pitch, a number of Dominican pitchers, includingEdinson Vólquez, Michael Ynoa, and Ervin Santana, have all been credited with developing good changeups in their respective countries. Hall of Fame relievers Trevor Hoffman, Stephen Strasburg, David Price and Max Scherzer reinvented the pitch and employed it extensively in their arsenals during their careers.

Trevor Hoffman, a reliever who went on to become a Hall of Famer, possessed one of the finest changeups in baseball during his heyday and utilized it to make 601 saves.

Sports Illustrated released a story in 2013 stating that the pitch was revolutionized by starting pitchers Justin Verlander, Felix Hernández, Stephen Strasburg, David Price, and Max Scherzer, who all employed it extensively in their repertoire.

According to Fox Sports, in addition to increasing a pitcher’s performance on the field, changeups may also help to lessen the amount of injuries he or she sustains.


A circle changeup grip is one that is utilized for a circle changeup. Changeups may be created by utilizing alternate grips on the ball over the course of a game. There are numerous varieties of changeups. The circle changeup is a well-known grip in the game. Forming a circle with the index and middle fingers, the pitcher crosses the seams of the ball with his middle and ring fingers. When the pitcher releases the pitch, he or she can make the pitch break in the same direction as a screwball by pronating the wrist.

Pedro Martnez utilized this pitch to great effect throughout his career, and many people believe it to be his finest pitch.

In order to reduce the amount of speed created by the wrist and fingers, the ball is grasped with three fingers (rather than two) and held closer to the palm than is customary.

The palmball, the vulcan changeup, and the fosh are some of the other varieties.


  1. John Walsh is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (September 19, 2007). ” Pitch Identification Tutorial ” is a tutorial on how to identify pitches. The Hardball Times is a publication dedicated to the game of baseball. Retrieved on September 19, 2007
  2. Leo Mazzone and Jim Rosenthal are two of the most well-known figures in the world of sports (1999). Pitching Like a Pro: A Guide for Young Pitchers and Their Coaches, from Little League to High School, is a resource for young pitchers and their coaches. The Pitch of an Island, published by St. Martin’s Press (ISBN 0-312-19946-5)
  3. ‘James Wagner’ is a pen name for James Wagner, a musician from the United Kingdom. Thirteenth of July, 1992, A Gripping Tale Sports Illustrated is a magazine that covers sports. The impact of the changeup on the game
  4. “Not every pitcher need a changeup.” The 19th of January, 2015, according to Fox Sports. “Changeup Grip” is a phrase that was first published on December 21, 2016. The Ultimate Pitcher, as the saying goes. The original version of this article was published on June 29, 2012
  5. Rob Neyer, Bill Neyer, and James Neyer. The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers is a resource for pitchers of all levels. Page 12 of Simon & Schuster’s 2004 publication, ISBN 0-7432-6158-5

How to Throw a Changeup

Welcome to the third installment of our “How to Throw” series! If you’ve read the previous blogs, we’re sure you’re looking forward to learning more about off-speed and breaking pitches in this installment. This tutorial will teach you how to throw the changeup, which is the off-speed pitch of choice for the majority of pitchers. We’ll provide you the fundamentals of what a changeup is, as well as guide you through the grips and signals that you’ll need to know in order to throw one for yourself.

Overview of a Changeup

In baseball, a changeup is a slow-to-medium-speed pitch that is often employed to pair off a pitcher’s fastball. The trajectory of a changeup is often the same as that of a heater as it goes to the plate, deceiving the batter into anticipating a pitch that may be anywhere between 8-12 mph slower than predicted. Having a tempo disparity leads batters to lose their equilibrium, which can result in soft-contact or swing-and-miss at the plate.

Things to Consider

The way your changeup interacts with your fastball is key. However, it is also vital to take into account other factors, such as your arm slot and the rest of your arsenal, in order to decide how well the pitch meets your needs. Changeups can differ from pitcher to pitcher based on the sort of break they are experiencing. The arm side movement of certain changeups may be deadly, while others are more equivalent to a “slower fastball,” with virtually little movement on the arm side. One thing to keep in mind is that the greater the amount of sidespin imparted to the changeup, the more horizontal run it will create on the ball.

Because we aim to create a distinction in movement between the fastball and the curveball, the ability to optimize this component of your pitch will almost certainly boost its efficacy.

The bigger the space between the pitches, the more likely it is that we will be able to construct two pitches that move in distinct ways to confuse opposing batters. Rather of depending exclusively on a velocity differential, this can provide you with a competitive advantage.

Gripping a Changeup

In our grip tracker database, we discovered that there is a large range of preference across grip styles, which we found to be interesting. Therefore, no single grip style dominates the competition. Our players employ the “CH 2” grip the most frequently (it accounts for 35% of all changeups at our facility), so we’ll focus on it for the purposes of this article. Initial recognition of CH 2 stems from the fact that it is thrown in a manner similar to a two-seam fastball or sinker (“FT 1”) with a two-seam orientation, but the primary distinction is that it is delivered with the non-dominant side of our hand.

  • It is beneficial to utilize the non-dominant side of our hand and to remove the index finger from the side of the ball, as this results in slower ball velocity and aids in the generation of side spin on the ball.
  • The index finger should be placed on the side of the ball, same to how the pinky should be placed on the opposite end of it.
  • Last but not least, the thumb is positioned behind the ball to provide control.
  • Some players like to position the ball precisely beneath the basket rather than to the side, which is a personal choice.
  • In order to avoid the ball slipping out of your grasp, we recommend that your grip is neither too slack nor too tight, since this may restrict the amount of sidespin you can create during release.

How to Throw a Changeup

It has already been discussed that we want to produce as much side spin as possible to enhance the amount of movement arm side and maximize separation off the fastball as much as we possibly can. In order to do this, we frequently instruct players to “roll over the ball with your hand” or “swipe the inside of the ball” with their hands. When it comes to releasing those cues, don’t be scared to go overboard. Although it may appear as though the ball is about to slide out, comfort should develop with time and practice.

Greater side spin will be accompanied by a lower spin direction, and it may even inch closer to 3:00 or higher in the clock.

Analyzing Changeup Movement

Following a bullpen session in which you tested your changeup with a Rapsodo, we would anticipate this pitch to land slightly below fastballs (red baseballs) in terms of vertical movement and to have higher horizontal movement. The changeups are marked in purple on this plot, however their placement on the plot may differ based on your arm slot selection.

If you were a left-handed pitcher, your changeups would be mirrored across the horizontal axis. For the most part, we would anticipate a strong changeup to have a clear difference from your fastball, and the larger gap between the two would result in a more dangerous combination.

Additional Changeup Grips and Cues

Finally, we’ve included a few other changeup grips that are popular among our gym-goers and players. While grasping the ball with a two-seam orientation is the most common, we also see players adopt a four-seam grip on occasion. Using a four-seam fastball grip, the pitcher sets his ring and middle fingers on the seams of the ball in the first inning of CH 1. Additionally, some players may attempt to transfer the ball even further to the non-dominant side of their hand. With another way of saying it, the ring finger will be positioned closer the center of the baseball.

Another variable to consider is whether the fingers should be placed on or off the seam.

Nevertheless, as seen in Chapters 3 and 4, this is not always the case.

Because they are all somewhat different, each of these grips may be customized.

Splitter Grip

A entirely new style of grip is used in “CH 5”, which you should take note of. There are some similarities between it and a splitter, and it has a broad grip in which the index and middle fingers are placed in places that reach over the top of the baseball. This is prevalent among athletes who have large hands and are able to easily squeeze the ball between their index and middle fingers. When compared to other changeup grips, we would expect this grip type to create much less spin and horizontal movement on average than the others.

When thrown correctly, a splitter may be quite devastating.

Keep in mind that the primary purpose of splitters is to eliminate as much spin as possible.

Additionally, “roll over the ball,” “throw it with your ring finger,” “pronate sooner,” “swipe inside of the ball,” and “consider having a flexible wrist” are all suggestions.


Each person will have to experiment with the various grips and choose whether or not they should be included in their repertoire. In order to manage the ball and its movement to their liking, athletes need choose a grip that allows them to do so. This will help you find the grip that is most comfortable for you. As time goes on, we’ll continue to track the effects of different grips used by our in-house athletes and report back on our findings. Mike Tampellini contributed to this article.

Learn how to throw a cutter by reading this article. Learn how to throw a slider by reading this article. Learn how to throw a curveball by reading this article. Learn how to throw a sinker or two-seam fastball by reading this article. Learn how to throw a four-seam fastball by reading this article.

The Modern Changeup: The Best New Pitch In Baseball

The changeup is the baseball pitch that has historically been the most misunderstood. In spite of modest variations in grip, the majority of other pitches are thrown in the same manner by all pitchers. A slider has a specified spin, which is a combination of bullet spin, forward spin, and side spin, which results in a visible red dot. One of the characteristics of a curveball is that it has defined spin, with topspin travelling in a 12-6 or 1-7 configuration with the spin axis as true as feasible.

  1. The changeup, on the other hand, is another story.
  2. This is designed to be a more gradual transition.
  3. But by how much is it going to be slower?
  4. Six miles per hour?
  5. 10 or 12?
  6. Straight changeups are sooooooo dated these days.
  7. But what about James Shields’ changeup, which has been highly criticized?
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With that stuff, he consistently gets right-handed pitchers out of the game.

That’s always a plus in my book.

What kind of pitcher should a young pitcher strive to become?

Is there a change in the circle?

Is there a “Fosh” changeup?


Alternatively, if all else fails, we may simply say screw it and throw a splitter, which will function as a poor man’s changeup.

Let’s get this out of the way.

Characteristics of The Modern Changeup

First and foremost, let’s get one thing straight: a changeup has a definite set of features, and not all grips are made equally. The majority of folks are simply not on board with this at this time. The following are characteristics of the best changeups:

  • Excellent arm speed that looks to be the same as the fastball
  • Speed reduction of 8-12 percent (miles per hour figure varies depending on fastball velocity)
  • Speed reduction of 8-12 percent “Run” is a mix of arm-side movement (also known as “sinking”) and sinking movement.

One of the most notable instances is James Shields. Pay attention to the little video below to observe what I perceive to be the current changeup: Take the following into consideration:

Straight or Moving?

In the absence of any other factors, hitting a pitch that has movement is more difficult than hitting a pitch that is straight. The purpose of a straight change is not to deceive the opponent by seeming exactly like a straight fastball (which is possible with a straight change). Instead, a mis-hit or a swing and miss is the desired outcome. When the hitter’s brain is forced to deal with both speed change and movement away from the pitch’s initial trajectory, the risk of making poor contact increases significantly.

Pitchers try to generate as many variations as they can in order to prevent the batter from getting barrel to ball on the first pitch.

How Slow?

Because of the other significant half of the equation, movement, the solution is dependent on that factor. My professional pitching experience has taught me that the more movement a changeup has, the harder it can be thrown, which is consistent with my observations. On the surface, it’s no different from a slider or a cutter. Consider Noah Syndergaard’s “slider,” which is notoriously difficult to strike despite its extreme difficulty. Pitch velocity increases when the pitch is thrown harder, resulting in a longer flight time along the same trajectory as a fastball.

  1. The more speed we take away from a pitch, the more the pitch must vary from a fastball’s original trajectory, thus making it appear less like a fastball coming out of the hand, and vice versa.
  2. This is approximately 7mph slower than a pitcher who throws 90mph, or 83mph.
  3. When it comes to any other changeups, the speed change must rise in proportion to the reduction in movement.
  4. A changeup that was thrown a little too hard may often be saved by late movement, which causes it to drift off his barrel at the last possible instant.

How Hard?

This is a fundamental point that should be covered in every decent changeup post. A changeup must be thrown as hard as possible in order to have any chance of working. The “harder” a changeup is thrown, the more closely it matches fastball arm speed, and the more it tricks the batter into thinking that 90mph arm speed equals 90mph output at the time of the throw. We require an arm speed of 90mph with an output speed of 79-83mph. This is made possible by the grip and hand motion, both of which contribute equally to the reduction of the velocity output by the weapon.

What About Cutting Changeups?

Some of the time, Kyle Hendricks intentionally slices his changeup. However, this is simply another variation of his changeup, and a new technique for him to confuse batters in the process. Despite the fact that this works well for him, it is not the usual form for most pitchers for one primary reason: pitchers need a pitch that breaks away from batters who are hitting with their opposite hand. What is the difference between a slider and a changeup if we clip our changeup? The answer is that there isn’t much.

Mixing in an occasional cutting changeup can undoubtedly confuse a batter for a senior pitcher who throws a curveball, sinker, and sinking changeup in addition to his other pitches.

However, it is more of a habit that Big Leaguers develop in order to be effective, and less of a rule that we teach to an amateur or minor leaguer who, more than anything, needs consistency.

Throwing The Modern Changeup

Assuming we agree on a 10 percent speed reduction target, which will be great for the vast majority of pitchers, we must understand how we will achieve that decrease. We obtain around 5% of our power from the grip itself, and another 5% from the hand motion. Breaking pitches are slower than fastballs not because they are thrown with less intensity, but because they are delivered at a slower rate. Instead, by spinning the baseball, the arm speed and velocity are transferred into the baseball. In the case of the changeup, the same applies.

There is no consistent technique to lessen the speed of a changeup when power is exerted via the center, except from slowing the arm or hand down or not “finishing” the pitch.

When force is delivered to the middle of the baseball, the grip will only account for a 5 percent drop in speed, according to the data.

The second 4.5mph is provided by the hand movement, which is the same as a sinker but is in some ways the reverse of a slider: pronating the hand on the inside of the ball immediately before releasing the ball from the grip.

  1. We lower ball speed because less force is delivered to the middle of the ball
  2. We are turning ball speed into spin in the same way that a breaking pitch does. To achieve angled downward movement, we will tilt the ball’s axis of rotation to an axis that is diagonal to the table, a combination of both arm-side lateral movement (sink) and sink.

And with that, we have provided the changeup with a dependable set of qualities that are comparable to those of any other pitch. The method described above will consistently result in a 10 percent (plus or minus) speed reduction that can be readily replicated at any intensity. A dependable movement pattern for the hand is also established, with a generally similar amount of sink and lateral movement being produced. After throwing to the Rapsodo gadget, a handful of my high school pitchers demonstrated very “clean” diagonal spin axes on their changeups, confirming what I had suspected was taking place with their pitches.

  1. With equal parts lateral and sinking action, I’ve taught this precise form of changeup to hundreds of pitchers, and 70 percent of them have seen a 10 percent speed drop with it.
  2. As long as the speed decrease is in place, aberrations in movement are acceptable and to be expected — no two pitchers are exactly the same.
  3. The ball emerges in a distinctive manner, with a tumbling spin rather than an angled axis, making it stand out from the crowd.
  4. He recalls me of Brad Lidge, who once threw a slider that seemed to be largely moving downwards, but was actually mostly moving up.

Even if the teaching techniques are consistent, there will be inconsistency in the results produced. Most pitchers, on the other hand, will create a changeup that matches the aforementioned template on a consistent basis.

Can All Changeup Grips Accomplish This?

In a nutshell, no. It is feasible to achieve more consistent hand motion and spin application under certain situations, but doing so is rendered difficult or impossible by certain grips. 1st condition: The pressure must be applied at or near the intersection of the palm and fingers, rather than at or near the fingertips. We increase the amount of lateral spin applied by causing the ball to roll up the fingers until eventually releasing off the tip of the fingertip. Changeups that originate and exit from the fingers do not generate as much spin as other types of changeups, and they generally fly too straight and “flat.” Condition 2: The ball must be maintained in a steady state with as little force as feasible.

  • However, we must do it with complete focus and dedication, which is tough.
  • The thumb must be placed towards the bottom of the hand in order to do this.
  • Relaxed hand application of spin results in a more fluid and equal distribution of spin, which allows the pitch to more nearly resemble a fastball at release.
  • Unnecessary hand strain can be caused by several factors, one of which is forcing the fingers along the sides of the baseball.
  • Keeping the ball in the palm of the hand with the thumb allows for virtually total relaxation of the rest of the hand.
  • Tension and fingertip pressure will cause the pitcher to hook the pitch into the ground on a greater number of occasions.
  • Although they do miss high in the in zone, they are able to control the ball in the strike zone for the most part, with a frequency that is comparable to their fastball, and with less severe miscues than they were in the past.

Teaching and Throwing the Modern Changeup

This is the first in a three-part series on how to throw the contemporary changeup in baseball. A step-by-step approach of teaching and pitching the contemporary changeup will be covered in part two of our changeup essay series. My years as a baseball academy owner and professional pitcher have allowed me to teach this pitch to everyone from 11-year olds to 25-year old professionals with equal success. When it comes to teaching the pitch, I use a straightforward step-by-step method, with the cornerstone being regular observation and feedback on ball spin.

And, in part three, we’ll talk about the differences in how you pitch with a contemporary changeup against the traditional changeup.

Yes, without a doubt.

That’s not the case. When it comes to becoming a better pitcher, learning how to maximize the effect of a pitch while also minimizing its faults is essential. In the meanwhile, you may listen to my podcast, Dear Baseball Gods, and follow me on Instagram, where I am known as Coach Dan Blewett.

Baseball Pitch Types

  • Knuckleballs, Knuckleballs, Sliders, and Splitters are all types of breaking balls. Changeups, Curveballs, Fastballs, Forkballs, Knuckleballs, Sliders, and Splitters are all types of breaking balls.

Breaking Balls

The term “breaking ball” in baseball refers to pitches that curve in the direction of the batter’s throwing motion while in flight. These pitches can have an arced path while in flight, go toward the ground, or curve to the left or right. This is done in order to deceive hitters. Curveballs, forkballs, splitters, sliders, and backdoor sliders are all examples of this sort of pitching. Breaking pitches (also known as breaking balls) are pitches that, in contrast to fastballs, “break” from a straight course through the air, causing the batter to strike out.

The objective of these devices is to deceive hitters.

Then, when it is too late for the hitter, the ball deviates from its intended path, resulting in the batter missing the baseball.

They also have lower velocity than fastballs, which is another advantage.

Types Of Breaking Balls

There are several different sorts of breaking pitches that we’ll cover:

  • Curveballs, forkballs, splitters, sliders, and backdoor sliders are all examples of this.


Changeups are pitches thrown by pitchers that are different in pace from their prior pitches, frequently slower than their previous pitches, but that have the look and course of a fastball, misleading the batter and causing him to mistime his swing. A changeup is a pitch that allows pitchers to alter the tempo of a pitch. Batter deception is not limited to just changing direction of a pitch in order for it to be effective. It is also possible to employ different or slower velocities to make pitches more difficult to hit; these sorts of pitches are referred to as off-speed pitches.

They have a similar appearance to a fastball in that they are thrown in the same manner and follow a straight course, but they are substantially slower than a fastball.

For batters, distinguishing between a fastball and a changeup may be difficult since they both follow the same route and the speed of the baseball cannot be assessed until the baseball is extremely close to the batter.

Due to the fact that changeups are far slower than fastballs, the swing would be too early, resulting in either missing the baseball altogether or hitting it very marginally with strength.


By examining the seams of the ball, batters can determine the sort of pitch that is being thrown by their opponent. Curveballs are a sort of breaking ball that has a forward spin and often breaks downhill, which means that they appear to be traveling in a straight line at first, but then quickly deviate to the left or right. Some pitchers, on the other hand, will add variations to this fundamental idea. In the Major Leagues, curveballs are somewhat slow, averaging 70-80 miles per hour in the Majors, but they contain a lot of movement when compared to other pitch types.


Fastballs are the most fundamental and most used type of pitch by pitchers. They are also the most effective. As the name implies, its primary characteristic is speed, and as a result, it follows a very straight course when compared to other pitch kinds. Typically, fastballs are the first pitch thrown by a pitcher to a hitter during any given at-bat. In order to evaluate the batter’s response time and identify the batter’s strike zone, the pitcher delivers a straight fastball in what he believes is the batter’s strike zone, but the umpire calls it a baseball, forcing the pitcher to change his pitching strategy for the remainder of the at-bat.

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In order to determine the speed of pitch, a gadget known as a radar gun is used.


When it comes to baseball, a forkball is a sort of pitch that is comparable to a curveball but is more severe in nature. Forkballs are a type of curveball that breaks downhill, although its break is considerably more dramatic and abrupt than a conventional curveball. Because of the exhausting and even dangerous action required to throw them, they are an unusual sort of pitch. Forkballs are a sort of breaking pitch that is extremely unusual. When they break downhill, they behave similarly to a more severe sort of curveball, but their break is considerably more intense and quick.

This is one of the reasons why pitchers seldom (if ever) throw forkballs and why they are rarely (if ever) used in baseball.


In baseball, a splitter is a sort of breaking pitch that appears similar to a fastball but is slightly slower (typically between 80 and 90 miles per hour) and breaks downward immediately before reaching the batter’s box. Its purpose is to trick hitters into swinging at the wrong time. The splitter is a forkball variation that is far more prevalent than the forkball.

When compared to a fastball, they are somewhat slower, often averaging 80-90 mph, and they break downward immediately before reaching home plate. Their break, on the other hand, is not as dramatic or abrupt as that of a forkball, making them easier to throw and less prone to injuring players.


A slider is a sort of baseball pitch that features lateral (left/right) movement as well as breaking downhill as it is delivered. In comparison to a curveball, a fastball often has more velocity but less movement. Unlike curveballs, sliders have greater lateral (left/right) movement and faster velocity than curveballs. Sliders are similar to curveballs in that they tend to break downhill. Aside from that, they have a tendency to have less movement than curveballs, meaning that their deviation from a straight course is not as abrupt.

Unlike regular breaking balls, backdoor breaking balls (sometimes known as backdoor sliders, although the word can refer to either curveballs or sliders) act in the other direction.

The hitter does not swing because he believes it is a ball.


Knuckleballs are extremely unusual pitches that present batters with a difficult task because to their unexpected speed and movement. Knuckleballs contain very little rotational spin, which causes them to travel erratically (because spin is what determines how fast and where a ball will go in a given direction). The movement of a knuckleball is extremely unpredictable and uncontrolled; it is governed by elements such as wind and air resistance, among others. Not only does the irregular movement of the knuckleball make it difficult for hitters to hit, but it also makes it difficult for catchers to catch and umpires to rule balls and strikes.

Rare Pitch Types

For the purposes of this article, “screwball” refers to a baseball pitch that travels in the opposite direction of a pitcher’s conventional curveball or slider. It is quite unusual to come across one.

Backdoor Sliders

When a backdoor slider is used in conjunction with a backdoor breaking ball, the batter will be fooled into believing the pitch is a ball. The pitch will go laterally out from the strike zone, before curving back into the strike zone at the last second for a strike.


A cutter is a type of pitch in baseball that appears similar to a fastball but breaks in the opposite direction of a fastball when it is thrown. In most cases, fastballs break to one side of the pitcher’s throwing arm side, whereas cutters break to one side of the pitcher’s throwing arm side, catching batters completely off surprise.


In baseball, a spitball is an old-fashioned method of getting the ball wet in order to throw off the hitter. This was accomplished by the pitcher spitting the ball in order to enhance its velocity.


An off-speed pitch or changeup is a type of pitch in baseball that is similar to a palmball in appearance.

Two-Seam Fastball

A two-seam fastball in baseball is a type of fastball that is one of the common pitches in baseball. It varies somewhat from the four-seam fastball in that it tends to have slightly lower velocity and break more.

Pitch Placement

When a pitcher delivers a ball that is in the insideout of the strike zone, this is referred as as an inner pitch in baseball. This is on the side of the zone that is closest to the batter’s position.

High Pitch

In baseball, a high pitch is defined as a pitch that is thrown well over the strike zone or above the catcher.

Low Pitch

When a pitcher delivers a ball that is low to the ground and close to the plate, this is referred to as a low pitch in baseball.

How To Throw A Filthy Change Up (20 Pictures Of Grips)

HomeArticles PitchGrips for Alternate Pitch 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. Do you have a good understanding of how to throw a changeup? Everything you need to know about throwing an aggressive changeup that goes above and beyond “dirty” or “nasti,” and which almost always results in the hitter being embarrassed, is covered in this article.

  • He possesses one of the finest change ups in baseball, and he literally puts on a clinic for how to throw a perfect change up right here: pitcherlist.com is the source of this image.
  • It’s one of my favorites.
  • His change up pitches were the most effective in the majors last season (1,076), allowing him to slow down and manage hitters’ bat speed, which allowed him to set up his fastball or other offerings in the middle of the plate.
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Change up grip

So, what exactly is the secret to a successful change-up? Let’s take a closer look at how to grab the change and hurl it upward. The most often used grip is a version of the “circle change,” in which the thumb and forefinger come together to form a circle on the side of the ball with their fingertips touching. The ball is positioned near to the palm, and the remaining fingers are fanned around it to form a circle. Baseball-pitching-tips.com is the source of this image.

  1. The ball may be marked with your thumb and index fingers to form a circle or the letter “OK.” Place the baseball in the midst of your three otherfingers (as shown in the middle picture above right). If possible, the baseball should be nestled comfortably against the circle. The same arm speed and body mechanics as a fastball should be used to throw this pitch. The only modification is to toss the circle to the target, which will slightly flip the ball over a little. Pronating your hand is the term used to describe this. With your throwing hand, you are simulating giving someone the “thumbs down” sign. The fading movement to the throwing-arm side of the plate slows down the game’s pace.

More images of change up grips

Baseball-pitching-tips.com is the source of this image. WHAT IF I TOLD YOU? When it comes to fastballs, the change up is the great pretender. It’s designed to appear like a fastball while coming in slower and therefore throwing off the batter’s timing. The arm action and release point of the curveball are ideally the same as those of the fastball, with the exception of the grip. When compared to the fastball, which employs leverage to impart force and spin with its first two fingers, the changeup disperses force around the ball, concentrating it in the middle of the ball, and slowing the ball’s velocity.

The remaining fingers are stretched out around the ball as a protective measure.

The palm ball grip is the most common variation on the grip.

My favorite GIF of throwing a change up

When you put everything together, it looks like this. As an example, here’s Noah Syndergaard’s change up at 88 miles per hour on his way to striking out: pitcherlist.com is the source of this image. What a fantastic pitch. That is some very amazing work right there!

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?

Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts: Are there any other grips, ideas, or approaches that I’ve 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. Next, check out this cheat sheet on pitching grips, which explains how to throw eight different baseball pitches.

How to Throw a Changeup – The Best Method You Haven’t Tried

What is the proper way to throw a changeup? So, what’s the most effective method to get started with this very essential pitch? This is a question that many amateur players and their parents have. Throughout this tutorial on throwing a changeup, we’ll cover everything from the grips to the arm action, the spin, the hand action, and everything else in between. Learn all you need to know about throwing a sinking and running bomb with superb deception and arm velocity. As a pitching coach, one of my most important responsibilities is to improve a pitcher’s off-speed pitches.

The changeup is particularly difficult to master because, unlike other pitches, it does not have an immediately discernible break like the other pitches.

But today, we’ll debunk several changeup fallacies and provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to throw a superb changeup.

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Continue reading or go to the next section!

1 | How to Throw a Changeup The “Modern” Way

The changup I teach has a large sink and an armside run that is really long. If you put in the effort to practice and improve your changeup over time, yours will have movement comparable to that of the changeups thrown by Kyle Hendricks and Johnny Cueto. There is no smoke without fire, and I have trained a lot of pitchers over the years, and it is not difficult to generate a strong sinking changeup. I used to throw a variation of this that moved as much as any of these renowned MLB pitchers when I was in college and pro ball.

This Forbes article discusses the whiff rate for 2019 Major League Baseball pitchers; read it to find out about some of the top MLB changeups from the previous season.

If this is the case, then stick with me! In the Major Leagues, changeups with a lot of sink and run are becoming more and more popular among pitchers. It’s past time for us all to become familiar with this style of pitch.

2 | Why Is Throwing a Good Changeup So Confusing?

This was discussed with a buddy of mine who works as a scout and is a former Major League pitcher. What was his thought? Throwing a party with your mates isn’t quite as cool-looking. When learning to throw a breaking ball, we receive feedback by witnessing it shatter in front of our eyes, and our throwing partner provides input from his point of view (that one was sharp!) However, when a pitcher throws a changeup, the input I provide while playing catch with him is different. In most cases, I don’t use a radar gun and they won’t have access to one in this situation as well.

The only feedback a pitcher gets when working on his changeup is:

  • Changeup Feel: How a changeup feels off their hand when they throw an excellent, terrible, or average changeup. Movement: All they’ll notice is a small run and sink, which is far less important than any breaking pitch. We learn to recognize this with time, but we know that when we get the spin just correct, the speed will be just right as well.

It’s Hard to Learn Because It’s Hard to Tell When You Throw It Correctly.

The issue is simply that, when two 13-year-olds are playing catch with their changeups, they don’t receive a lot of feedback on how well they’re doing on their pitches. In order for them to improve their changeup throwing skills, they must get feedback. Without feedback, it is impossible to determine which versions are excellent and which are terrible, and the pitch will not improve since the fraction of good changeups vs bad changeups will not tilt in the proper way.

See also:  What Does Wp Mean In Baseball

And Feedback Is Critical To Learning Any New Pitch in Baseball.

As a catch partner for someone learning a changeup, your objective should be to provide feedback on a consistent basis so that they can make the connection between how it feels and looks when they throw it. A pitcher may feel for excellent and terrible changeups in this manner, even if they are throwing it to their mother or father, and continuously reinforce his positive practices. However, the first step is to educate people about what a changeup is and why it accomplishes what it does.

3 | Why Is a Changeup Slower and How Much Slower Should it Be?

It’s critical to understand WHY a changeup takes longer to complete. I explain to my pitchers that speed decline is caused by two causes, which together account for a 10 percent drop in pitching speed:

A Changeup Should Be 10-12% Slower Than a Fastball

We must avoid thinking of the changeup as having a fixed MPH decrease, because the MPH reduction will be different for a 13-year-old pitcher and a 19-year-old pitcher, among other variables. It’s easiest to conceive of a changeup as having a scaled, percentage-based speed reduction, such as 10 percent or such, rather than as a straight speed reduction. The changeup should be 10-12 percent slower than the fastball in terms of velocity. What’s the deal with 10 percent, give or take? In order to avoid the arm from slowing down any further, it is extremely uncommon to see pitchers toss a pitcher any slower than 10-12 percent slower than typical with their regular delivery and full arm speed compared to the previous example.

The Ball Comes Out 5% Slower Because of the Grip

This is accomplished by holding the ball deeper with the middle and ring fingers, which are less strong as a pair than the index and middle fingers together. When it comes to learning to throw a changeup, the grip accounts for around half of the equation.

And an Additional 5% Slower Because of the Spin You Apply to It.

The grip aids in the removal of speed from a changeup while also providing spin to it at the same time. As important as this is, since while any changeup grip might be used, not all grips will assist a pitcher in quickly spinning the ball and producing outstanding movement. Spin may be applied by turning the hand on the inside of the ball. Before releasing the hand, it pronates inward a little bit. This transforms a portion of the arm speed into spin, which slows the speed of the ball in the same manner that a curveball or slider would (except the spin is applied to the opposite side of the ball).

A changeup that sinks and runs to the armside is made possible by the second five percent of the pitch’s velocity.

4 | The Best Changeup Grip to Use

When I was in my junior year of college, I taught myself how to throw a changeup, and it turned out to be my finest pitch in professional baseball. My video on the changeup method The changeup approach that I teach is surprisingly simple to master for pitchers of all ages, and it all starts with the grip, as you can see in the video. But the grip is only one component of the equation; the hand motion is far more significant than the grip itself. The grip depicted below is a combination of the “circle” change and other grips, as illustrated in the illustration.

Because of the substantial movement in the pitch–it featured a lot of screwball characteristics–hitters frequently inquire as to what the pitch is.

1. Middle and Ring Finger Together in Two-Seam Orientation

The location of your middle and ring fingers is critical because they work together to deliver the right spin to the pitch, causing it to rotate in the same way a discoball does. This means that the middle and ring fingers must be as near as possible together. This enables them to work as a team to spin the ball inside, causing it to sink and run, rather than individually. They work together to complete the goal of delivering spin and speed to the ball as it moves over and inward. When the middle and ring fingers are separated, they begin to operate against each other, resulting in an irregular spin on the ball that frequently cuts the skin.

2. Thumb Must be Pointing Toward the Two Middle Fingers, Underneath the Ball.

This assists in maintaining a relaxed but solid grip. A key factor in determining the pressure point is the position of the thumb on the bottom of the ball. This is due to the fact that, when on the bottom, it has the ability to securely grip the ball against the bottom bridge of the fingers. Instead of applying pressure on the fingertips, we want to apply pressure to the very bottoms of the fingers. When a result, the ball can roll farther off the fingers as it is launched, increasing the amount of spin on the ball.

Pitchers may throw the ball as hard as they can since the thumb is positioned beneath the ball.

All four fingers must remain straight while holding the ball in place for the test to be successful.

Holding the ball with the thumb helps to hold it down for a longer period of time, decreasing the probability that the fingers may hook it into the ground.

3. Pinky and Index Fingers est on the Side of the Baseball

It is not necessary to “round” the fingers because it gives little to no benefit. Instead, because they don’t play a significant part, the pinky and index finger can be pleasantly resting on the side of the ball. The middle and ring fingers are responsible for rotating the ball inward (pronating over it), while the thumb is responsible for holding it in place while turning.

The pinky and index finger are only spectators. The idea is to avoid tenseness in the hand by not stretching the pinky or index finger down the ball – this is why forming a circle with the index finger is detrimental, at least on this grip, because it will cause the entire hand to tense up.

5 | When To Throw a Changeup

Okay, so once you’ve mastered this gleaming new pitch, it’ll be critical for you to grasp when and why you should throw a changeup. The importance of situational pitching cannot be overstated. First and foremost, make sure to watch the video below, which gets into the theory of throwing a changeup late in the count. This strategy is quite successful, and it is one of the primary reasons why the changeup is so effective. Take note though: even the most vicious pitch must be delivered at the appropriate time in order for it to be effective to the greatest extent possible.

6 | Troubleshooting Your Changeup

It is difficult to come up with a superb changeup (or any offspeed pitch for that matter). Practice is essential, but in order to throw a changeup that is truly effective, we must utilize some tactics. One of the most frustrating aspects of learning the changeup for pitchers who are new to it is that they bounce it too much. This is common for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They are unable to hold on to the grasp (tinker with it and try others)
  • They’re holding on to it too firmly. They are obliged to tighten their hands in order to keep the ball in place since they do not have a thumb on the bottom. They’re apprehensive of tossing the ball
  • Rather of throwing a fastball like a conventional fastball, they’re “steering” it

To get some more amazing troubleshooting ideas connected to bouncing it, see the video below. Always remember that, early on in the learning process, bouncing your changeup will be considered standard practice. Making modifications is critical to achieving long-term success in your endeavors.

Your Overall Pitch Repertoire

Take care to select a repertoire that is appropriate for your body type, arm slot, pitching style, and age level (if applicable). A disproportionate number of pitchers throw an excessive number of pitches. Another option is to use pitch kinds that are completely illogical, as I explain in the video below. Make sensible decisions about your professional baseball career and your growth as a baseball player!

7 | ChangeupChangeup Grips FAQ

Make a fist with your thumb on the ball’s bottom, and your middle and ring fingers joined together. Place the middle and ring fingers together in the space between the two seams, with the thumb on the bottom pointing directly towards them. When you’re finished, softly let your index and pinky fingers fall to one side of the ball. The thumb should apply pressure to the bottoms of the middle and ring fingers, and vice versa.

When should you throw a changeup?

It’s a good pitch to throw almost anywhere and at any time, but pitching a changeup in fastball counts is the most successful. When throwing an offspeed pitch, a fastball count is used to determine whether or not to throw the pitch (which are harder to control). Fastball counts include 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 2-1, 3-1, and 3-2, to name a few examples. It is possible to get an out with a rapid rollover ground ball by throwing a changeup when a batter expects to see a fastball, but it is not recommended.

What is a changeup supposed to do?

While it’s a good pitch to throw almost everywhere, pitching a changeup in fastball counts is the most successful way to use it in baseball. When throwing an offspeed pitch, a fastball count is used to determine whether or not to throw it (which are harder to control).

Fastball counts include 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 2-1, 3-1, and 3-2, to name just a few examples. It is possible to get an out with a rapid rollover ground ball by throwing a changeup when a batter anticipates a fastball.

How do you throw a changeup in Little League baseball?

There should be no difference between the way a little leaguer or other youth pitcher throws a changeup and the way a high-level or Big League pitcher throws a changeup. Every participant, regardless of his or her age, will use the same grip and perform the same arm and hand actions as everyone else. Hold the ball at the base of your middle and ring fingers, and then place your thumb on the bottom of your middle and ring fingers. Fold your other two fingers down the sides of the ball, then turn the ball inside out as if you’re pouring out a can of Coke as you release it.

Is a changeup a breaking ball?

Technically speaking, no. The “modern” changeup will create movement to the armside, as well as sinking action, if it is taught in the manner described in this article. So, in a technical sense, it does fail. However, breaking balls are often sliders, curveballs, and cutters, which are pitches whose primary objective is to break by curving or cutting the strike zone. So the answer is sort of yes, but the changeup isn’t exactly a breaking ball in the traditional sense.

Whats the best changeup grip?

The changeup grip I show in this post is quite simple to master and creates a heavily-sinking changeup with armside action, which is very effective. The finest changeup grip, on the other hand, does not exist. To get the greatest possible result, you should be playing with this grip and any others you experiment with to determine what works best for you. There is no one way to skin a cat in this situation!

Why do you call it the “modern” changeup?

Traditionally, the changeup was merely a slower pitch–it was straight and slower, and that was the extent of its functionality. Because of the advancements in Pitch F/X and Trackman grading of pitches, we can now say that a changeup with more movement is more difficult to hit, even if the speed change is smaller. Because of this, more Major League Baseball pitchers are throwing changeups that are tougher (eight to twelve percent slower than their fastball) yet have a lot of downward movement.

What happens if I throw a changeup too hard?

It just will not be enough to push batters out on their front foot–the speed shift will not be sufficient to throw their timing completely off. It is more likely that they will hit the ball with the barrel of the barrel if your changeup fits the “10-12 percent slower than the fastball” condition that I discussed previously.

Who throws the best changeup in the MLB?

If I had to pick one, it would be Stephen Strasburg because it has such a wicked sink and armside run that I’m not sure how anyone ever hits it. I really enjoyed Felix Hernandez’s changeup, as well as Kyle Hendricks’s variation on it. One of my favorite players of all time was Johan Santana, however his style depended more on bigger speed change (15 percent or more) than on movement. Santana, on the other hand, threw it with such deceptive arm speed that it came out extremely slowly. It was just fantastic.

Got a Question? Leave a Comment and Contact Me.

As you can undoubtedly see, the changeup is one of my favorites, and I like teaching it. On the same subject, I published an essay for the website Elitebaseballperformance.com, which you should read as well.

Please also remember to join up for my free email using the form below. Thank you for visiting. Every week, I bring out fantastic new information on anything baseball-related. It will be quite beneficial to you. Thank you for taking the time to read this! — Dan, the coach

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