12 Pitching Grips For Baseball – Updated

The grips used to throw the ball are one of the most important tools a pitcher has. You’ll do better on the field if you add a few of these less common pitches to your standard two-seam fastball.

There are a lot of different ways to sell something. The list and instructions below cover most of the grips for throwing a baseball. I’ll show you how to get the best grip for each situation.

I’ll also show you some footage of real Major League Baseball pitches so you can get a better idea.

12 Baseball Pitching Grips You Must Know About

1. Four Seam Fastball

The four-seam fastball is the first pitch and grip on this list.

The four-seam fastball is the most common pitch that pitchers throw, so you’ve probably seen a lot of them.

With the four-seam fastball, a player can get both speed and control over the ball. A fastball with four seams is also the most reliable pitch a pitcher can make.

Pitching Grips

When a pitcher throws a four-seamer fastball, its speed may scare many batters enough to make them strike out or only swing half-heartedly.

The four-seam fastball grip is explained further down.

  • To throw a baseball, you should rest the knuckles of your index and middle fingers on the ball’s perpendicular seam, with the “horseshoe seam” (so called because of its shape) pointing toward the ring finger of your throwing hand.
  • Just put your thumb where the ball can’t touch it. One’s thumb needs to be right in the middle of the seam.
  • If you want to go as fast as possible, don’t squeeze the ball. Instead, keep your fingers loose. Coaches often tell their athletes to hold the ball “like an egg.” Also, you need room for your palm to move away from the ball.

Even though the four-seam fastball is used a lot, it may still work if it is used with other pitches to trick the batter.

2. Two Seam Fastball

The two-seam fastball is one of the fastest pitches a baseball pitcher can throw. It’s not quite as fast as the four-seam fastball, but it’s still one of the fastest.

The main thing that makes the two-seam fastball different from the four-seam fastball is that it moves more. When thrown, the ball gains speed in the opposite direction of the arm that throws it. This means that if a left-handed pitcher throws the ball, it will go to the left.

If a baseball pitcher isn’t fast enough to fool the batter with a four-seam fastball, he or she might throw a two-seam fastball instead.

People who throw two-seam fastballs have different grips that work well for them. But the most common one goes like this:

  • The first and third fingers go into the seams on top of the ball (where the seams are closest together). If you throw with your right hand, put your index finger on the side seam on the left and your middle finger on the side seam on the right.
  • The right place for your thumb is on the underside of the ball, in the leather between the seams.

A two-seam grip is often used to throw a fastball because it gives more control than a four-seam grip. So, when the ball tries to change its path, it will meet more resistance, which means there will be more friction.

3. Changeup

The changeup is one of the slowest pitches in baseball (or change up). The way it’s thrown is a lot like a fastball.

In contrast to the very fast four-seam fastball, the main goal of the changeup is to get the batter to swing early. The batter is fooled by a change-up that is well-hidden, but once they figure it out, it’s easy for them to hit the slow pitch.

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There are a few other ways to hold a changeup, but the three-finger pitching grip, which is also called the “trophy changeup” because of where the fingers are placed, seems to be the most common. It’s easy to understand and use.

Here’s how to do the three-finger change-up:

  • Use your ring, middle, and index fingers to hold the baseball.
  • The bottom of the ball is made of leather, so your thumb and pinky finger can rest there.
  • Some people find that touching the two joints of their pinky and thumb gives them a better idea of the pitch.

There is no one “right” way to hold a change-up ball, but making friction by holding it deep in your hand can slow it down.

The three-finger change-up is thrown almost exactly the same way as a fastball. But experienced players may try turning their throwing hand down (like giving a thumbs down) to give the ball more spin.

The circle changeup, also called the OK changeup, is a baseball pitcher’s grip that lets them throw a slower fade changeup toward the side of the plate where their throwing arm is.

Pitching Grips

Take a look at the following circle swap as an example:

Make the OK sign by crossing your thumb and index finger on the hand you use to throw.
Put the ball in the middle of the three fingers you still have.

For more trickery, the circle change is thrown like a fastball, but this time the hand is slightly turned inward (i.e., the thumb turns toward your body).

4. Palmball

The last changeup is the palmball, which is also called the four-finger changeup. This type of fastball is thrown with a slightly different grip than the others.

To play a palmball, wrap your fingers around the ball and put your thumb just below it. The ball will move more slowly if you squeeze your hands together.

5. Curveball

The curveball, also called a curve ball, is one of the most well-known pitches in baseball. It’s so well-known that the phrase “to throw a curveball” came from it. It means to trick someone.

Curve balls move more than other pitches and are slower than other pitches. This pitch has the same goal as the changeup: to trick the batter into swinging too soon.

There are a few ways to get a good hold on a curve ball. Beginner’s curveball is the most basic type. This is how you should hold a curveball:

  • Hold the ball between your thumb and forefinger, and then use your index finger to make a point.
  • Run your middle finger along the base of the ball’s hem.
  • You can try to thumb the seam in the back.

To catch this curve ball, turn your thumb up and your middle finger down. Your aim can be better if you keep your index finger pointed in the direction of the target you want to hit.

A beginner will naturally learn how to throw a curveball, and the index finger stance makes it easy to tell when one is thrown. For guys who aren’t in high school football, the straight or knuckle curveball is a better choice.

Pitching Grips

The straight curveball is thrown in the same way as a beginner’s curveball, except that the index finger stays on the ball the whole time. With that information, it’s easy to switch from a beginner’s curve ball to a straight ball.

The knuckle curveball is thrown the same way as the beginner’s curveball, but the index finger is tucked back into the seam of the ball. With the right grip, your knuckle should point in the direction of the pitch of the ball.

Some people may find it hard to tuck their fingers when throwing a knuckle curveball, which gives the pitch a lot of movement and rotation. So, you might need some time to get used to it.

6. Slider

Both the slider and the curveball are meant to trick the batter, which is why they are often confused with each other.

Compared to curveballs, sliders are faster and move less when they are thrown (just slower than four- and two-seam fastballs). The slider also has more of a fastball-like spin.

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The slider is held in a way that is similar to a two-seam fastball, but it is slightly off-center.

Put the long seam of the ball between your index and middle fingers, and put your thumb on the seam under the ball on the other side. Some pitchers like to put their index finger along the seam.

If you want your slider to spin more, try pitching it with your middle and index fingers pointing away from your thumb.

Give the ball a tiny snap toward the thumb side of your throwing hand as you let it go. Keep your arm speed about the same as when you throw a fastball.

7. Splitter

The splitter pitch is a slow one that is rarely used (albeit it is somewhat quicker than the changeup).

Curveballs that are thrown with the same arm speed as fastballs slow down significantly as they get closer to the batter’s box. For the splitter to work, it must cause the batter to make a weak swing and make contact with the ball.

How to hold a splitter right:

  • Use your middle and index fingers to spread your fingers out on the outside of the “horseshoe seam.”
  • You can try to thumb the seam in the back.

This pitch is very strong. When you do the splitter, keep your middle and index fingers stretched out high and your wrist still. Send your hand straight towards the target. This pitch works in the same way as a fastball.

If you want to catch this pitch, you’ll need very big hands. Some pitchers, especially those with small hands, might not be able to catch the ball completely in their glove.

8. Cutter

The cutter is a type of fastball that breaks away from the batter’s line of sight as it comes toward the plate.

As the ball gets closer to the hitter’s hands, it’s easy to miss-hit the handle of the bat, which makes this pitch very deceptive.

Curiously, the best way to hit a cutter is with a right-handed pitcher and a left-handed batter, or vice versa.

Just move your fastball grip a little to the side to throw a cutter. This means that you should start putting more of your weight on the outside edges of the ball.

Just like you would throw a fastball, throw the cutter without doing anything else with your wrist, like twisting or snapping.

9. Screwball

The screwball is rarely used because it is thought to be one of the hardest ways to throw a baseball. But research has shown that it doesn’t put any more stress on the joints than the most common pitch grip, the fastball.

The direction the screwball goes, which is toward the arm side of the pitcher, is what makes it interesting. When you compare this pitch to others, it stands out.

Even though there aren’t that many good videos showing how to throw a screwball, I’ll do my best to explain it all here.

Here’s how to hold on to a screwball:

  • Use your thumb and middle finger to hold the ball. The index finger should fit snugly into the inside seam, and the middle finger should be about an inch or an inch and a half away from the index finger.
  • Grab the ball with your thumb and index finger and push down. The ball should only be held by the pad of the thumb.

Hold the ball with enough force to shape the pitch, but not too much.

When you throw a screwball, you snap your wrist so that the palm of your throwing hand faces away from the side of your glove hand.

Pitching Grips

When a pitcher throws a slider or a curveball, the palm of his hand faces away from the catcher’s mitt.

Most people agree that the fast wrist snap that comes with the screwball is a big part of why it is known as a dangerous pitch.

The direction the screwball goes, which is toward the arm side of the pitcher, is what makes it interesting. When you compare this pitch to others, it stands out.

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Even though there aren’t that many good videos showing how to throw a screwball, I’ll do my best to explain it all here.

Here’s how to hold on to a screwball:

  • Use your thumb and middle finger to hold the ball. The index finger should fit snugly into the inside seam, and the middle finger should be about an inch or an inch and a half away from the index finger.
  • Grab the ball with your thumb and index finger and push down. The ball should only be held by the pad of the thumb.

Hold the ball with enough force to shape the pitch, but not too much.

When you throw a screwball, you snap your wrist so that the palm of your throwing hand faces away from the side of your glove hand.

When a pitcher throws a slider or a curveball, the palm of his hand faces away from the catcher’s mitt.

Most people agree that the fast wrist snap that comes with the screwball is a big part of why it is known as a dangerous pitch.

10. Sinker

The sinker pitch definitely moves down, which is how it got its name. The goal of this pitch is to make it hard for the batter to hit the ball.

One interesting thing about a sinker is that there is no one right way to hold it. Sinkers are balls that go down, no matter how you hold the baseball.

So, it looks like the most common way to throw a sinker is with the fastball grip with two seams.

But if you want the ball to spin sideways when you throw it, you need to give it force on the inside. Also, rubbing your throwing thumb on your lead leg can help the ball sink further.

11. Forkball

When the forkball is thrown, it moves down, which makes it a pitch. The splitter, which is the grip most baseball pitchers use, is the closest thing to it. The splitter is used often, but the forkball is rarely seen.

In addition, the forkball is played by snapping your wrist. As soon as the ball gets close to home plate, the batter snaps his wrist. This makes the ball spin forward and sink.

Forkball is played with a grip similar to that of a splitter, but the ball is held closer to the fingers. As a reminder, this picture shows how to hold a splitter correctly.

  • Spread your fingers as far apart as you can, and put your index and middle fingers outside the horseshoe seam.
  • Use the pad of your thumb to help the ball.

The forkball is thrown like a fastball, but with a stiffer wrist and more snap to it.

12. Eephus

I’ll end by talking about the eephus, which is one of the grips I use when I throw.

The eephus pitch has a snail-like feel to it. It’s also one of the rarest ways to throw a baseball in MLB (and any other baseball league, for that matter). So, it may be easy for batters to be caught off guard by it.

Some players might not know how to answer an eephus pitch because it is so hard to understand.

Pitching Grips

Most of the time, the eephus is thrown at a high speed, which makes the batter think he’s about to face a fastball. If the player is really confused, they might try to hit the ball in a bad way.

No matter how you hold the eephus, the ball must go in a tall, slow loop for it to be a good shot.

The Last Inning

This is the end of my tips on how to throw a baseball.

As a pitcher, you should learn as many pitches as you can. This will help you fool batters, who are your main opponent.

Getting used to a variety of grips is always a good thing. A baseball player should spend a lot of time practicing throwing the ball.

When you throw an eephus or other unusual grips from time to time, batters may be more confused than when you stick to the tried-and-true two-seam fastball or splitter.

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