What Is A Slider In Baseball

Slider (SL)

A slider is a breaking pitch that is thrown quicker and with less overall movement than a curveball. It is used to break up a fastball. It breaks with higher force and velocity than the majority of other breaking pitches on the field. The slider and the curveball are sometimes mistaken because they serve essentially the same function – to fool the hitter by spinning and moving away from the pitcher’s arm-side. (“Slurve” refers to a pitch that appears to be on the borderline between the two types of pitches.) Most professional pitchers have either a slider or a curveball in their arsenal, and some have both breaking pitches in their arsenal.

As a result of its sharper delivery and spin that more closely mimics that of a fastball – despite the fact that it does not generate as much overall movement as the curveball – a slider is intended to be slightly more deceiving than the curveball.


A slider, like a curveball, is thrown by a pitcher with a snapping wrist and spinning motion. It is often regarded as being somewhere in the middle of the cutter and the curveball spectrum. It is known to as a “hanging slider,” or simply “hanger,” when the slider does not break as much as the pitcher would like it to. Because of its straight trajectory and low velocity, a hanging slider is more simpler for the batter to hit than a fastball.


During its early years of popularity, in the first part of the twentieth century, the slider was referred to as a “nickel curve.” No one knows who originated the pitch; nevertheless, the aptly named Hall of Famer Charles Albert “Chief” Bender is largely regarded as the person who first brought the pitch to public attention.

In A Call

“snapper,” “sliding piece,” “breaking ball,” “sharp breaking ball” are all terms used to describe a fragment of broken glass.

Slider (baseball) – Wikipedia

A typical grip for throwing a slider is the squat grip. Aslideris a breaking ballpitch that tails laterally and down into the batter’s hitting zone in baseball; it is thrown with less speed than a fastball but more speed than the pitcher’s curveball; it is thrown with less speed than a fastball but more speed than the pitcher’s curveball. When the pitch is broken, it is shorter than when it is curled, and the release method is ‘in-between’ the release techniques of a curveball and a fastball.

The slider is also referred to as ayakker or asnapper in some circles.

Slider continuum

A pitch’s velocity can place it anywhere along the continuum from “fastball” to “slider,” with the following examples:

  • The following terms are used: fastball»cut fastball» hard slider » slider »slurve
  • Cutting speed: 3–5 miles per hour (4.8–8.0 kilometers per hour). slower than a fastball
  • Hard slider: 5–7 miles per hour (8.0–11.3 kilometers per hour)
  • Slower than a fastball slider: 7–9 miles per hour (11–14 km/h) slower than fastball
  • Slider: 7–9 miles per hour (11–14 km/h) slower than fastball

There is a distinction between a slider and a curveball delivery in that the curveball delivery incorporates both a downward tug on the ball as it is released and the lateral spin provided by the slider grip in addition to the yank. The slider is released from the index finger, whereas the curveball is released from the middle finger of the playing hand. It is likely that the pitcher is throwing a curveball or slurve and not a real “slider” if his wrist is snapping downward rather than laterally as he throws the pitch.

When a pitcher “comes around” the ball, he or she increases the amount of tension in his or her pitching arm in order to throw that pitch.

Slider movement is a direct result of the pressure and grip applied to the fingertip.

Standout sliders

Steve Carlton, a left-handed pitcher who became famed for his slider, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Right-handed pitchers David Cone and Bob Gibson of the Cardinals were both known for their sliders, which they were able to employ in a variety of various ways. Cone would pitch it to hook hard beyond the strike zone to right-handed batters, causing them to chase after it and miss it. He delivered the pitch from a variety of arm angles in order to confuse the hitter even more. A strikeout pitch for left-handed batters, Cone’s slider was thrown to curve back over the outer corner and catch the hitter looking at the plate.

  1. Dennis Eckersley attempted to strike out Kirk Gibson with a backdoor slider in the first game of the 1988 World Series, but Gibson was sitting on that same pitch and hit a game-winning home run to give the Yankees the victory.
  2. John Smoltz’s slider was particularly impressive, as it would appear to be a strike but then break out of the strike zone when it came in.
  3. Rollie Fingers, who won a Cy Young Award in 1981, and Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks, whose slider’s lateral movement earned him the moniker “Mr.
  4. Johnson’s slider was often quicker than the fastballs of most pitchers at times.
  5. Sparky Lyle taught Ron Guidry how to throw a slider, which he used in his own game.
  6. In 2008, among big league starting pitchers, CC Sabathia possessed the most effective slider in the game.

In 2011, Clayton Kershawwon thePitching Triple Crownby allowing only a.117 batting average against his slider throughout the course of the season.


Although the original inventor of the slider is debatable, some credit goes to Chief Benderas is the first to make use of the pitcher’s mound. While George Blaeholder is credited with introducing it to baseball in the 1920s with the St. Louis Browns (when the slider was known as a “nickel curve”), it is also believed that George Uhle and Harry O’Neill were responsible for creating the pitch. Bender relied on his slider to enable him pitch a no-hitter and win 212 games throughout the course of his professional career.

Recent examples include Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees, who used the pitch to great effect in 1978, when he went 25–3 and won the Cy Young Award.


  1. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Hall of Famers: Fingers, Rollie”
  2. “Major League Leaderboards » 2009 » Pitchers » Pitch Type Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball | FanGraphs Baseball”. Fangraphs.com. Retrieved May 27,2012
  3. “Major League Leaderboards » 2008 » Pitchers » Pitch Value Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball”. Fangraphs.com. Retrieved May 27,2012
  4. “Major League Leaderboards » Cameron Smith is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (August 26, 2009). According to Baseball Insider, “The best pitch in baseball is Greinke’s slider.” Voices.washingtonpost.com, retrieved on May 27, 2012
  5. Chuck, Bill, retrieved on May 27, 2012. (September 20, 2011). A blog on baseball analytics called “Kershaw and his improving slider.” Obtainable on May 27, 2012
  6. “WISCONSIN Magazine of History,” published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in the spring of 2004. accessed on the 8th of July, 2007
  7. Rob Neyer is a writer who lives in the United States (April 20, 2004). ESPN.com published an article titled “Neyer: History of the slider.” Retrieved on December 14, 2017
  8. “Hall of Famers: Bender, Chief.” National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The information was obtained on July 8, 2007.

How to Throw a Slider

Welcome to the fifth installment of our “How to Throw” series, which teaches you how to throw a slider. In this lesson, we’ll go over sliders, which are a type of breaking ball that’s well-known for being one of the most nastiest (and most valuable) pitches in baseball. We’ll look at why sliders are so successful at moving things around and go through several grips that you can try out for yourself afterwards.

Overview of a Slider

A slider is a breaking ball that may move in a variety of shapes and sizes, but it is most commonly used with glove side motion and 10-15 inches of drop off the front foot. The ball will revolve with a combination of side spin and gyro (or bullet) spin, resulting in this movement being formed. Sliders are also often thrown at a faster rate than curveballs, with speeds ranging from 6 to 10 mph slower than the fastball. As previously stated, there are several distinct families of sliders, any of which can be useful in a player’s arsenal if used in conjunction with the appropriate metrics.

How to Grip a Slider

The “SL 2” grip type is the most popular among our athletes, and it is the most prevalent grip type. It is a conventional grip in which the fingers are positioned slightly off-center between the inside seams of the handgun. The middle finger is put directly on a seam, and the index finger is placed directly on the leather surface. When a slider is released, it is critical that both fingers work together to impart the appropriate spin that results in the desired movement. The thumb is placed for support on the other side of the ball, just off-center, to provide additional stability.

When compared to a curveball, the slider may not be tucked into the palm as deeply — but this varies from athlete to athlete and is not universal.

After you’ve found a comfortable position for your fingers, you should squeeze the ball between your thumb, index, and middle fingers with a moderate amount of pressure.

How to Throw a Slider

With a few small exceptions, pitching a slider is quite similar to throwing a curveball. Take a peek at the Edgertronic film provided below as an example. The pitcher’s hand is somewhat off to the side, which allows his fingers to come around and pull down on the side of his pitch, resulting in side spin, also known as gyro spin and, eventually, the desired lateral movement. In order to “slash the zone,” we urge that you “throw it like a football,” which is one of the cues we recommend. When the pitch is released, it should feel as if it “slides” out of the player’s hand.

It is possible to pay attention to the sort of spin and movement the ball exhibits during catch play or bullpens even if you do not have access to high-speed camera footage.

Analyzing Slider Movement

In the event that you’re prepared to throw on aRapsododevice, you may use the horizontal and vertical break plots to study the movement profile of your pitch. Please keep in mind that the following graph depicts right-handed pitchers, and that the findings for left-handed pitchers would be the inverse of that. Using the H V break plot, you can see a spectrum of distinct sliders, each of which is marked in blue and situated to the left of the y-axis. This pitch (from a RHP) exhibits negative horizontal movement and a minor degree of negative vertical movement, as demonstrated in the diagrams above.

The break plot illustrates how “frisbee slider” would fall more away from the y-axis, while “gyro slider” would fall closer to the centerpoint, and a “slutter” would fall somewhat above the x-axis with just a tiny amount of horizontal movement, according to the break plot.

Although some slider types outperform others over a given sample (for example, frisbees outperform slurves), every pitcher will find a grip and SL type that is most appropriate for their abilities, arsenal, and degree of comfort with the pitching motion (not every slurve is worse than a frisbee).

Additional Grips and Cues

Additional grips and cues are provided in the section below. You’ll note that there are five different types of slider grips. Each grip will differ in terms of either seam orientation or the use of the index finger. The distinctions between SL 1, 2, 3, and 6 are the location of the seam. While both the index and middle fingers are put on the ball, the placement of the index and middle fingers vary. The SL 1 grip is comparable to a close four-seam fastball grip in its holding. In this posture, the finger pads are positioned on the seams, and the fingers are slightly offset to the side of the ball.

  • It follows the same path as SL 5, but makes use of the bulk of the horseshoe in this instance.
  • This style of grip begins to resemble a “spiked slider” in appearance.
  • The amount of pressure applied by the fingertip will differ from athlete to athlete depending on their level of comfort.
  • The following are some additional cues: “Throw it like a football,” “Throw it like a baseball,” “Pull on one side of the ball,” and “Dividual slash the zone in half.” “Standard Offset” is an abbreviation.

SL 1 “Standard Around” SL 3 “Standard Spike” SL 4″ “Horseshoe Spike” SL 5″ “Horseshoe Standard” SL 6 “Horseshoe Spike” SL 7 “Horseshoe Standard”


Sliders can have a variety of movement patterns, but they will mostly exhibit an element of glove side sweep and a considerable degree of drop when compared to the fastball. A well-honed slider can be a potent weapon in the arsenal of any pitcher. You may gain the momentum you need to generate a pitch type by understanding why it moves and how to throw it properly. Mike Tampellini contributed to this article. Learn how to throw a cutter by reading this article. Learn how to throw a curveball by reading this article.

See also:  How To Style A Baseball Jersey Girl

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

Curveball vs. Slider – Here Are Difference

We rely on the generosity of our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission. In addition, we get commissions from eligible Amazon sales because we are an Amazon affiliate. A number of baseball words will be heard by new baseball fans, who may believe they understand what they imply. In particular, this is true for specific types of pitches, such as a curveball as opposed to a slider, or even the knuckleball, which is very effective.

  • Alternatively, what happens to a ball when it “knuckles”?
  • It is clear that these are two quite different deliveries to batters.
  • The slider has a lot of lateral spin, which is caused by a specific grip and finger pressure on the ball during the slide.
  • Speaking of curveballs against sliders, there is plenty to be written about their respective triumphs and failures in Major League Baseball, as well as their respective disadvantages.
  • However, not all pitchers’ arms are created equal, and some hurlers have been throwing breaking pitches for many years.

What is a Curveball or a Slider?

Due to the fact that it has been there since the 1860s, the curveball is known as the “grandfather” of non-fastball pitches. In contrast, the slider did not appear on the scene until the 1920s or so. The slurve and cut fastball are only a couple of examples of the many hybrids that have emerged since then. All of these situations involve a pitch that does not go in a straight path toward the hitter. As a result, they are referred to as “breaking” balls or “off-speed” pitches when grouped together.

Fastballs may succeed against batters by sheer velocity, placement (e.g.

Fastballs, too, can shift while in flight, mainly due of how a specific pitcher holds or throws it (like Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera) (like Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera). It all boils down to aerodynamics, which we’ll explore below.

About those Seams

There are seams on baseballs; these are the points at which two pieces of rawhide are sewed together to make a distinctive shape on the ball, much like when two horseshoes are joined together at their open ends. To put it simply, it is two rounded oblongs joined together by a narrower middle piece. A baseball pitch’s ability to move is dependent on its seams. First and foremost, the seams determine how a pitcher will grasp the ball for a certain pitch. In most cases, fastballs are held with the index and middle fingers, either perpendicular to a seam (4-seam fastball) or parallel to/on top of seams (parallel/on top fastball) (2-finger fastball).

  1. Gripping curves and sliders along a seam means they are not centered on the ball, but rather to one side or to the other.
  2. The curveball is created by the pitcher snapping the ball so that it spins forward (and not backward like with the fastball).
  3. The middle finger has a significant role in the curve grip, whereas the index finger plays a larger role in the slider grip.
  4. It is hurled about with the same amount of force as the fastball, but it is gripped and twisted at the final end, causing the late ball movement side to side.

Types of Curves and Sliders

Even within the pitches themselves, there are variations:

  • Curveball with a score of 12-6. Thrown entirely overhand with the forearm coming vertically up and then down, the ball breaks straight down — as if from the 12 to the 6 on a clock face
  • Sweeper curve This version is thrown with an inclined arm slot, such as at 75% of its maximum range, or between straight overhand and straight sidearm, depending on the situation. A lengthy, looping diagonal throw is produced as a result of the break down, as well as the movement toward the off-hand (gloved hand). Sliders are difficult. The slowball is only 5 to 7 mph slower than the fastball when it is thrown. Slider. Fastballs are 7 to 9 mph slower than curveballs

Breaking Pitches and Aerodynamics

Baseballs have weight, and when they are thrown or hit, they spin in a variety of directions, according to the principles of aerodynamics in the process. The seams mentioned above have a significant impact on this since they are raised slightly above the surface of all of the rawhide and, as a result, are impacted by the air as the ball flies. Air molecules may grab and push things on a baseball, such as the seams, and propel it forward. That includes any imperfections on the ball, such as a glob of saliva on the surface, or a significant scrape or cut on the surface.

It’s the equivalent of bending slowly to one side while holding a heavy weight with only one hand.

The force with which a ball is hurled has an affect on the ball’s movement as well.

Pitchers frequently discover that throwing their curveballs slowly causes their curves to break more.

Sliders are thrown harder and rely less on angular spin than other pitches, relying instead on a tight grip and a fastball-like arm slot to succeed.

Deception with Off-Speed Baseball Pitches

Curveballs and sliders, in addition to causing ball movement, rely on disturbing the timing of the hitter, who often packs up pre-pitch to look first for a fastball before attempting to react rapidly to other types of pitches. The greater the amount of time a pitcher can deliver a pitch with the same arm movement as a fastball while also throwing a pitch that comes slowly, the better. The average curveball speed in the MLB is 77 mph — compared with the 90+ mph of fastballs. Pitchers go to considerable efforts to conceal which pitch is about to be thrown since timing is such an important component of hitting.

  • They must also be mindful of minor details such as a finger inside the glove poking out just when he throws curveballs, or a tiny jerk of the head when he throws fastballs, among other things.
  • Just that tiny knowledge — knowing a curve is approaching rather than a fastball — instructs the batter to hold back and wait to swing a bit later, because the ball will not rapidly whiz over the plate.
  • Changing up pitches and locales is also a good idea.
  • After everything is said and done, which pitch is more difficult to hit: the curveball or the slider?

Individual Pitcher Skill, or Batter Tendencies

Which pitch is superior is entirely dependent on the ability of the pitcher who is throwing it. A violent slider was a weapon that some legendary pitchers, including Sparky Lyle, Ron Guidry, and Steve Carlton, employed to perfection for spectacular seasons and lengthy careers. Others, including as Clayton Kershaw, were thrown incredible curveballs, which they rode to long-term success. It also depends on who is hitting the ball. Some batters, like as Tony Gwynn, have exceptional peripheral vision and the ability to predict what the ball will do as soon as it leaves the pitcher’s glove.

About the Knuckleball

We said before that the knuckleball might be referred to as the fingernail ball. Due to the fact that the grip for throwing a knuckleball requires burying the fingernails of 2 to 4 fingers directly into a seam or on the conceal region, this is true. The first and second knuckles of the fingers stick out from the ball in this grip, giving the impression that the grip is entirely made up of knuckles. It is not the case. When the ball is released, the fingernails and tips push it forward and over the top, preventing the powerful spin that is produced by regularly thrown balls.

  • The ball, which is not spinning, leaves the seams, which have been elevated a small amount off the rawhide, completely out in the open to be grasped by air molecules (or breezes) as it travels down the route of the ball.
  • unpredictably unexpected.
  • To put it another way, they have the ability to go in any direction, and the pitcher has little control over how it will move.
  • Because of the volatility of the knuckler, many pitchers who rely on it are prone to giving up bases on balls, especially if they aren’t on their game that day or if batters are patient with their pitches.

Because of their controllability and deadly effectiveness, sliders are a favoured weapon for many closers. They can be as controlled as a fastball while yet being just as deadly when thrown well.

Injury Caveat

It should be emphasized that both the slider and the curveball put a huge amount of strain on a human arm, particularly the elbow and shoulder, but even the forearms and wrists in some instances. Because of the off-speed nature of these pitches, it is possible that the wrist will crack violently upon release, placing stress on the joints further up the road — the elbow and shoulder. The majority of youth baseball instructors are well aware of the pitfalls of having young players throw these pitches too frequently, if they do so at all.

Some dads outright prevent tossing them till the child is even a little older than that.

Poor technique, genetics, or other factors have caused pitchers to blow out their arms and terminate their careers throughout the history of professional and college baseball.

Question:What does it mean when someone in the office says something “threw them a curveball?”

Answer: Most of the time, it has nothing to do with a baseball being thrown, but rather refers to a significant divergence from the usual. At work, this can mean beginning at 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., which is a significant shift from the usual start time.

Q.:How did concerns about the slider and arm injuries start?

In most cases, it has nothing to do with a baseball that has been thrown, but rather refers to a significant divergence from the standard operating procedures. Working hours may alter to 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., which would be an unusually early start compared to the regular workday.

How To Throw A Filthy Slider (8 Pictures Of Grips)

Answer: Usually, it has nothing to do with a baseball that has been thrown, but rather refers to a significant divergence from the usual. At work, this may mean beginning at 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., which is a significant difference from the usual start time.

Slider grip

So, what exactly is the trick to making a fantastic slider? Consider the proper way to grip and throw the slider in greater detail. Baseball-pitching-tips.com is the source of this image.

  1. When holding a slider, it is gripped in the same way as a two-seamfastball, but it is held slightly off-center. As throwing, attempt to adjust the pitch such that it comes off the thumb side of your index finger when it hits the ground. Do not allow the two-finger release (as utilized in the two-seam fastball) since it will cause the pitch to balance out, resulting in a reduction in spin. Your objective is the polar opposite – to trigger spin. When throwing a slider, most skilled pitchers hold the outside third of the baseball and tilt their wrist slightly (but not rigidly) to the thumb side of their throwing hand when releasing the pitch. With the index finger, a pitcher may apply pressure to the ball’s outer-half, allowing for more accurate pitching. When you release your grip, avoid twisting your wrist. Place the lengthy seam of the baseball between the index finger and the middle finger of your index and middle fingers. Using the opposite seam beneath the baseball (as seen in the first illustration), place the thumb on the opposing seam. The placement of the index finger along the seam of the ball is considered beneficial by certain pitchers. If you want to use a slider effectively, you must grip the ball slightly off-center, on the outside third of the baseball. When you release the ball, remember to gently cock your wrist but do not stiffen it to ensure a nice wrist snap. If your wrist is slightly cocked to the thumb side of your throwing hand, your wrist-snap will allow the pitch to come off the thumb-side of your index finger, resulting in a successful throw. In this motion, the ball acquires goodspin
  2. The movement on this pitch is caused by the baseball spinning off the index finger from the outside of the ball, rather than by twisting your hand beneath the ball. The speed of the slider arm should be the same as the speed of the fastball arm.
See also:  What Does Nlcs Stand For In Baseball

More images of slider grips

When holding a slider, it is handled in the same way as a two-seamfastball, but slightly off-center. As throwing, attempt to adjust the pitch such that it comes off the thumb side of your index finger when it hits the floor. The two finger release (as utilized in the two-seam fastball) should not be permitted since it will cause the pitch to balance out, lessening the spin. Instead, you want to do the reverse, which is activate spin. In order to properly release a slider pitch, most skilled slider pitchers grasp the outer-third of the baseball and tilt their wrist slightly (but not rigidly) to the thumb-side of their throwing hand.

  • When you release your grip, avoid twisting your wrist; Placing the baseball’s lengthy seam in the space between the index and middle fingers can help you catch the ball.
  • If you want to use a slider effectively, you must position the ball slightly off-center, on the outside third of the baseball.
  • If your wrist is slightly cocked to the thumb side of your throwing hand, your wrist-snap will allow the pitch to come off the thumb-side of your index finger, allowing you to throw a better pitch.
  • The speed of the slider arm should be the same as the speed of the fastball arm.

My favorite GIFs of throwing a slider

When you put everything together, it looks like this. Lefty pitcher Chris Sale throws a devastating slider that sweeps across the plate, as shown below. pitcherlist.com is the source of this image. Here’s a really stunning slider from Zack Greinke to get Danny Espinosa out of the game: pitcherlist.com is the source of this image. Finally, take a look at this slider from pitcher Andrew Miller, who is now one of the most powerful closers in the game, as he strikes out hitter Chris Taylor: pitcherlist.com is the source of this image.

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?

After that, it’s your turn: Do you know of any other slider grips, tips, or methods that I should know about? 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.

Baseball pitches illustrated

Baseball is one of my favorite sports. I’ve seen my fair share of broadcast games and been to a couple of live games. Even after all of this, I was still unsure of the difference between the different pitches. I was aware that a curveball was a downward-breaking pitch, but what precisely was a circle changeup? This information was gathered via reading baseball books and conducting web research to create the graphics shown below. This is not an exhaustive list of resources. I’ve selected twelve of the more common pitches, and they are:

  • Fastballs: four-seam, two-seam, Cutter, Splitter, and Forkball
  • Curveballs: four-seam, two-seam, Cutter, Splitter, and Forkball Breaking Balls: Curveball, Slider, Slurve, and Screwball are some of the most common. Changeups include the Changeup, the Palmball, and the Circle Changeup.

Learning to identify pitches

Although the amount of pitches may appear to be a daunting task to keep track of, bear in mind that each pitcher only employs a subset of these pitches. Pedro Martinez, for example, throws a curveball, a circle-changeup, an occasional slider, and a fastball in his repertoire. Before the game, do some preliminary study on the pitcher. Things to look out for that will assist you in identifying a pitch include:

  • The ball’s speed and movement, as well as the overall direction in which it is going. A break is a rapid change in direction

There are a few other characteristics that can aid in the identification of a pitch, including ball rotation, point of release, and grip. Although it may seem excessive to a casual fan, I do not draw or explain any of the last three topics in this section of the website.

Reading the diagrams

Take note of the ball’s speed, movement, and break as well as its break. Make no distinction between where the baseball is depicted in the strike zone and where it is actually located.

In addition to fastballs in the middle of the strike zone, you may throw fastballs high and away from the hitter as shown in the illustration. It’s still a fastball, mind you. The pitch is not determined by the location.

Four-seam Fastball

The straightest and fastest pitch. There has been little to no movement.

Two-seam Fastball

A Sinker is another term for this type of person. Occasionally runs in on a right handed hitter as he moves downhill and depending on the release timing of the pitch (RHH).


As it approaches the plate, it begins to separate from a right handed batter (RHH). A combination of a slider and a fastball. A fastball is faster than a slider, yet it has more movement than a slider.


Before reaching the plate, the vehicle has an unexpected breakdown.


Similar to asplitter, but with a more steady, less violent downward movement.


A 12-6 curveball is a type of pitch that is commonly used. The number 12-6 relates to the movement from top to bottom (picture a clock with hands at 12 and 6).


Breaks down and gets away from the aRHH situation. In the middle of a fastball and a curve.


11-5 movement is the order of the day. A curve with more lateral mobility is similar to a spline.


Movement from 1-7. The polar opposite of theslurve.


It is thrown more slowly than a fastball, yet it has the same arm action as a fastball.


The ball is securely grasped in the palm of the hand. This pitch is similar to a changeup in that it is slower than a fastball, but it is delivered with the same arm action.

Circle Changeup

The screwball is a changeup with a 1-7 moment like the screwball.

PDF Download

Each of the twelve pitch diagrams, with the exception of the text comments, is combined onto a single page PDF.

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.

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.

See also:  What Does Pa Mean In Baseball

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

An infield two-seam fastball in baseball refers to a sort of fastball that is one of the most commonly used pitches in the game. It differs from the four-seam fastball in that it has a somewhat lower velocity and tends to break more than the latter.

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.

Why Are Sliders So Hard to Hit?

It’s possible that if you lined up all of the major league pitchers in order of the number of pitches they threw in 2018, starting with those who threw the most and ending with those who threw the fewest, you’d learn something about the various strata of major league pitchers. However, it’s likely that you already knew that. It all starts with the aces, the workhorses, and the perennials, among others. Candidates for the Cy Young Award. After Blake Snell, you begin to see pitchers who are “good but frequently injured,” who are mixed in with pitchers who are “always healthy but are they excellent?” It continues for a bit before hitting Homer Bailey and the rest of the “Wow, we need five starters?” contingent.

  1. The list of starting pitchers concludes with top relievers, who are then followed by mop-up men, role-specific relievers, and finally the miscellaneous players who always seem to appear at the bottom of baseball leader boards and on Wednesday night trivia questions.
  2. However, while the sorts of pitchers are straightforward and categorised, the success of their pitching can be perplexing.
  3. I bet you couldn’t predict what it was since they all had one thing in common.
  4. Not all of them were effective, and not all of them were persistent in their efforts.
  5. Given the coverage of Ryan Pressley provided by Jeff Sullivan in early October, neither the ranking nor Pressly’s inclusion on the list should come as a surprise to anybody.
  6. While Sullivan went into great detail about what it is about Pressley’s particular pitch that makes it so difficult for hitters to hit, it was the rest of the top 10 that drew my attention.
  7. It was necessary to update the rankings to incorporate pitches thrown during the 2018 postseason while maintaining the 250-pitch minimum cutoff.
  8. If you look at the top of the leader board any further, you’ll find that sliders account for 21 of the top 30 and 28 of the top 50 most unhittable pitches in baseball.
  9. The splitter, on the other hand, benefits from its relative rarity, since only 16 pitchers threw splitters that qualified.

A slider, on the other hand, was the second most often thrown pitch in the majors. Batters may anticipate seeing a slider in every single game they participate in, yet it continues to baffle them. Pitch Type Influences Average Whiff Rate

Pitch Type Whiff Rate
Fastball 9.66
Cutter 12.88
Change 16.74
Curve 13.64
Slider 17.52
Spliter 19.41
Sinker 6.60

Why, therefore, are sliders so difficult to strike, despite the fact that they are so familiar?. As a sports vision consultant, Dr. Donald Teig has worked with 15 big league clubs over his career, transforming his optometry training into something that teams and players can utilize to improve their performance at the plate. However, his most important bit of advice may be heard on each Little League field on any given summer Saturday: “Keep your eye on the ball!” Granted, he also acknowledges that it is not as simple as that, and that hitting a baseball may be the most difficult thing a professional athlete can accomplish.

  • To help his players maintain their intense concentration across the pitch, he instructs them to seek for the letter “R” in Rawlings.
  • In order to accomplish so, though, you must exert considerable effort and maintain concentration.
  • According to Dr.
  • Laby will provide corrective glasses to a gamer who walks in with 20/20 eyesight thinking he has excellent vision because the typical human vision simply will not suffice in this situation.
  • When moving from hand to plate, the player must detect red seams on a white ball in around 400 milliseconds, which is far faster than reading characters on stationary paper.
  • Although it takes a pitch around 400 milliseconds to reach the plate, Laby’s test shortens the time allotted to 100 milliseconds since, after the first 200 milliseconds, a player’s visual system is no longer able to physically monitor a pitch, as demonstrated by Laby.
  • Players only have a fraction of a second to follow a ball, assess the pitch, and determine whether or not to swing.

They nearly want to swing at every pitch, but they determine within the first 150 milliseconds that they don’t want to swing and they stop.

Players, on the other hand, have their tricks.

Curveballs have a tendency to leap up a little out of the hand.

Sliders, on the other hand?

In order to throw a slider, the pitcher utilizes a grip identical to that used for a fastball, slightly twisting his hand on release and allowing the seams to generate a sliding action that begins around halfway to the plate.

Even more perplexing for the batter is the slider’s peculiar action, which has horizontal break rather than vertical break.

As an aside, Teig points out that, while the logical jump of a ball moving laterally with a batter’s plane of attack may help a hitter in some cases, it often doesn’t matter because the surprise of a ball moving in the opposite direction of expectation overrides a batter’s muscle memory, or what he calls visual-neuro-cognitive memory (VNCM).

  1. If you have a pitcher like Jordan Hicks, whose average fastball velocity is 101 mph, a slider may be a deadly complimentary pitch to your arsenal.
  2. “You still have to be on the fastball against a guy who throws 102 mph, and you have to be lucky against him if he throws you a slider,” Phillips said.
  3. Phillips’ thesis is supported by the fact that in 2018, pitchers with slider whiff rates more than 25 percent had an average fastball that was 2.8 mph quicker than pitchers with slider whiff rates less than 13 percent in 2018.
  4. According to the latest statistics, fastball velocity accounted for just 17 percent of the variance in slider whiff probability when modeled in 2018.
  5. Phillips believes that Max Scherzer’s slider is the finest he’s ever faced since the Nationals’ ace can place the pitch anywhere he wants, whether he’s aiming for a backdoor strikeout or a back foot swinging strikeout with the pitch.
  6. The nastiest slider of the year may have come from Max Scherzer in July, when he got Sandy Leonto to strike out on a pitch that nutmegged the Boston catcher.

pic.twitter.com/pJnUsSumTQ 2nd of July, 2018 — Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) In his post on Pressly, Sullivan pointed out that a portion of the increase in the efficacy of Pressly’s slider, from a 15 percent whiff rate in 2017 to a 32 percent whiff rate in 2018, might be attributable to his placing it in the bottom right of the zone, rather than down the pipe.

This brings us to tunneling, the final piece of the puzzle that explains why sliders are so tough.

Best pitchers, on the other hand, place a strong emphasis on tunneling their pitches, which means maintaining a breaking ball in the same path as a fastball for as long as possible before breaking.

pic.twitter.com/ZjQrZHTrzU 18th of July, 2018 by Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) Right up to that 200 millisecond moment where there is no turning back, the pitches appear to be identical.

In all but one minuscule, very unnoticeable indication, Scherzer successfully removes any information that Altuve’s visual system might utilize to discern between the pitches throughout the performance.

It’s only one of the little visual clues that sliders provide, yet it turns out that clue is virtually completely ineffective.

Phillips went on to say that when a pitcher throws as hard as Scherzer, you don’t even bother trying to find the dot on the radar gun.

And the current trends indicate that it will only become more difficult for hitters in the future.

The incidence of exceptional heaters has also increased by nearly thrice in recent years.

In 2007, only 68 such pitches were thrown.

So, what is it about sliders that makes them so difficult to hit?

And by the time the ball begins to shatter, the visual system has lost the ability to physically trace the ball’s progress.

The big surprise is not that sliders topped the list of the most unhittable pitches in 2018, but rather that anyone managed to hit a slider at all in 2018.

References and Resources

  • Baseball Prospectus article by Jeff Long, ” Pitching Backward: An Ode to the Slider “
  • Interviews with Dr. Donald Teig and Dr. Daniel Laby done on October 29, 2018
  • Interview with Brett Phillips conducted on November 4, 2018
  • Interview with Dr. Daniel Laby conducted on November 1, 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.