And while that is an essential factor, it is only a fraction of the pitch’s worth. A slow fastball can still be effective – it just needs to be used and thrown in the right way. Using several criteria, this article will showcase some of the best methods a person can use to differentiate between a great and horrendous four-seam fastball. The drop ball is a tricky pitch for hitters to identify because it has similar spin to a four-seam fastball. Like the rise ball the pitch is rarely thrown as a strike and is thrown with velocity.
When the ball’s movement is straightforward, it will also be faster, which four-seam fastballs are. The 4 seam fastball is usually delivered with a smooth upward rotation of the pitching arm. The ball exits the thumb at the peak of the pitching action since the index and middle finger impart gripping action on the “top” seam to spin it down the “back” of the ball. When releasing a 2 seam or sink fastball, there will be less friction between the pitcher’s index and middle finger and the ball when compared to a 4 seamer. This causes the 2 seamer to spin less and helps create extra horizontal movement . This creates the unique movement that clearly separates the 2 seamer and sinker from the 4 seam fastball.
Everyone on this list has an above-average fastball movement profile. This makes sense since their high Active Spin rate means that the majority of their fastball spin contributes to movement. This made me wonder whether there is an ideal movement profile that affects high fastball results.
If you practice the 2 seam fastball, you’ll know when to throw this type of pitch over a 4 seam. Learning to harness the power of your balls movement is going to be the first step to throwing a good 2 seam pitch. Proper pitching mechanics along with a strong familiarity with your pitching tendencies will lead to a successful 2 seam pitch. Another difference you will notice is that the cutter breaks opposite of the two-seamer. If you are a righty, it will break in on the hands of a lefty – or away from a right-handed hitter. The cutter is a great pitch for you to throw on the outside of the zone against a lefty as it will appear to be a ball, but will break back into the strike zone.
The above criteria I consider to be the main facets necessary to judge a four-seam fastball – although, I encourage the reader to seek out more ways to look at a four-seamer. For now, Pitch Shape, Vertical Approach Angle, Velocity, Spin Based vs Observed spanish for kale Axis, and Spin Mirroring should do. As studies of baseball grow, I can only imagine how much this basic list will expand. This is the first step in the Seam Readers Process and should be the first thought in a batter’s mind when they approach the plate.
However, if you throw a little softer, then consider adding the 2 seamer to your pitch repertoire. Along with the arm slots from which the pitches are thrown, the grips will be the big differentiators between a 4 seam and 2 seam fastball. This is because the four seam fastball is actually a must “safer” pitch to throw when compared to the two seam fastball. It is considered safer because there is no movement or breaking on the ball. These types of pitches are important to throw when a strike is critical.
When the ball is at the top of the zone, the way that a four-seamer enters the plate is much more important. Pictured below is the scale of VAA AA, which was developed by Alex Chamberlain. The slider is pitch thrown with velocity that has a similar path as the curveball but does not move up out of the hand at first.