Fraser Valley Baseball Academy: Different baseball pitches

Do you want to level up your pitching skills? Uncover the different pitching styles here at Fraser Valley Baseball Academy:

Fastballs

One of the most common categories of pitches is the fastballs. These are high-speed pitches and some examples include:

Four-seam

A four-seam fastball has a speed of 85 to 100 mph. It is a straight pitch with little to no movement yet is quite challenging for a batter to hit accurately.

Two-seam

Another example of a fastball is the two-seam or the sinker. It moves downward and sometimes will run in on a right-hand hitter (RHH) depending on how it was released by the pitcher.

Cutter

Moving at 85 to 95 mph, the cutter is a combination of a slide and a fastball. However, it is faster than a common slider and involves more movement than a typical fastball. An interesting feature about this pitch is that it suddenly breaks away from the RHH when it reaches the plate.

Breaking balls

The breaking balls are pitches thrown in a manner that makes the ball appear like dropping or curving before it reaches the batter. These are harder to handle for catchers compared to fastballs that only move in a typical straight direction. The most popular breaking balls are namely:

Curveball

The curveball is commonly referred to as the 12-6 curveball because the 12-6 stands for its top to bottom movements, similar to the hands of a clock at 12 and 6.

Slider

A slider is described to appear like a mix of a fastball and a curve. It breaks down and away from the RHH, moving at 80 to 90 mph.

Slurve

A slurve has a speed of 70 to 80 mph that is similar to a curveball but with a more lateral movement. It goes in the direction of an 11-5 movement.

Changeups

Changeups are common off-speed pitches that are a crucial element in every pitcher’s arsenal. When done correctly, it causes a hitter to either miss a swing or weakly make contact with the ball. However, if the batter can identify the pitch, they can easily hit it because of its low velocity. The three specific pitches under this category are the following:

Changeup

A common changeup is thrown in the same way as a fastball but with a lower speed. Its speed ranges from 70 to 85 mph.

Palm ball

As its name suggests, the palm ball is gripped tightly in the palm of the pitcher. Although it is slower than a fastball, it is thrown in the same arm motion. This has a speed of 65 to 75 mph.

Circle Changeup

The circle changeup is a specific variation that uses a 1-7 movement like a screwball. It has a speed of only 70 to 80 mph.