This pitch is going to feature more horizontal movement than vertical movement to it. And that horizontal movement will occur towards the arm side of the pitcher. So for example, if a right handed pitcher is throwing a 2 seamer to a right handed batter, the pitch will dart in toward the batter. Historically, the plan with 2 seamers was to keep them low in the strike zone and try to get hitters to hit the top half of the ball for an easy ground out. However, on the MLB level, batters have adjusted well to the low 2 seam fastball in recent years and its use has decreased over the past decade. For the two-seam fastball grip, place two fingers close together, in between the seams, with your thumb underneath.
Unlike the four-seam, which is held across the seams, the two-seam fastball is held with the seams. For both grips, it’s important to have your fingertips rest on the stitches, not on the slick part of the ball. Holding the stitches enables you to pull on the ball, creating friction and backspin.
Unfortunately, I could not find any type of pitcher arm angle leaderboard so I cannot prove that the correlation between vertical release point and vertical movement should be higher. In the first two articles, we talked about how pitch selection, location, and velocity can all impact the swing and miss ability of different pitches. We saw how velocity clearly makes a difference when it comes to the success of 4-Seam fastballs as long as the pitch is thrown high over the plate. However, guys like Aroldis Chapman, Noah Syndergaard, and Ken “100 Miles” Giles all throw triple-digit high heat but don’t appear on any of the high fastball success leaderboards in the previous articles. Well, this likely means that there is more to fastball success than just location and velocity.
We break it down so you can add the heat to your pitching arsenal. Place your index and middle fingertips directly over the corresponding ball seams. It is called a 4 seam because as the ball rotates when thrown, 4 of its seams are spinning against the air. This makes the ball more aerodynamic allowing it to cut through the air and get from point A to point B.
Every pitcher has their repertoire of pitches that makes him or her unique. These are your curveballs, your sliders, and even your knuckleballs. You should succeed very well when throwing 4 seam and 2 seam fastballs with these tips. Now, let’s take a closer look at when you should use both of them.
For four-seam fastballs, there are typically two clear options. First, we’ll review some of the minor variations that pitchers use when they throw a four-seam fastball. If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my conditioning and throwing programs for baseball pitchers of all ages. It’s called the two-seamer because, due to the grip, the batter sees only one pair or horizontal seams spinning, instead of two. The 2 seamer is a pitch thrown much like the 4-seamer but with different finger placement and with a different function. It is called a “two seam” because when thrown, the pitch only has two seams cutting through the air towards the target.
Remember, baseball pitching grips are very important so be sure to give them the practice they deserve. Something else that I find interesting is the high fastball success switch hitters hobbies of sidearm and submarine style pitchers. As a Blue Jays fan, this became apparent whenever I would watch the Orioles’ Darren O’Day pitch to anyone not named Jose Bautista.
A knuckle curve ball has the same movement as a regular curve ball, the only difference is the grip. These results show that Cole and Sims both saw large increases in their Bauer Units – which tends to be incredibly hard to significantly change. This likely indicates that a major adjustment of some kind has taken place. Remember, it is important to develop your fastball early and often. When you pitch to contact that will help your defense make more plays and, ultimately, help you win more ball games.