A successful 4 seam pitch overthrows the batter with its pace, entering the hitting zone before the batter realizes and has time to adjust the swing of the pitch. Reaching speeds of 100 MPH and over, the fastball has made a name for itself in the baseball world. With random, unexpected twists and turns, different types of fastballs can massively change the outcome of a game; it all comes down to the orientation of the ball, spin speed, and spin axis.
With spin that that is looser than a slider, it can be tough to pick up the rotation early, because there is no red dot in the middle of the baseball. To throw an effective three-finger changeup, center your ring, middle, and index fingers on top of the baseball stick softball . Your thumb and pinky finger should be placed on the smooth leather directly underneath the baseball . Still a fastball so all force is applied right through the middle of the ball creating backspin with a little extra pressure on the index finger.
The goal when throwing the ball on defense is to get the ball from point A to point B as fast and accurately as possible. A 4 seam grip is faster and straighter making it easier for teammates to catch. It is called a 2 seam because when it is thrown, two of its seams are spinning against the air. This makes the ball less aerodynamic and causes it to move (usually to the pitcher’s arm side) based on the spin-axis of the ball. Overall, there’s a lot of difference between a 2 seam vs 4 seam fastball. Those who want to have a safe play go for the 4 seam fastball as it is thrown in a straight line and harder to play.
A softball curve can be thrown with some variations, but all curves have a certain circle look that the Seams make. A curve ball from a right-handed pitcher will break away from a right-handed hitter and in on a left-handed hitter. A 4-seam fastball travels on a straight-line path to the plate while the 2-seam fastball travels either to the right or left, depending on the arm you use to throw the ball. When a right-handed pitcher throws the 2-seam ball to the center with the right hand, it will still move to the left; likewise, if thrown by a left-handed pitcher, it moves to the right. You should throw a four-seam fastball when you need speed and accuracy on the pitch and when behind the count, and a strike can’t be lost. Two-seam fastballs should be thrown when ahead of the count and to trick the batter with unpredictable movement.
The basic differences between the 2-seam and 4-seam baseball come down to how a pitcher grips the ball — fingers across the seams for the 4-seamer but in line with the seams for the 2-seamer. Pitchers with the best two-seam fastball grip use them to break over the plate’s far side from the batter or start the pitch directly at the batter before having it break over the inside part of the plate. The main difference between a 4 seam and a 2 seam fastball is that a 4 seam is usually thrown harder and straighter compared to a 2 seam which is usually not as hard but moves more. If you’re a beginner or aren’t familiar with the seam pitches, you should learn four-seam fastball first as it’s overall more important. Only then should you learn the two-seam fastball to give you more room to work with when the time is right. You should succeed very well when throwing 4 seam and 2 seam fastballs with these tips.
Pressure on your index and middle finger at the release point will produce added movement. The key is to maintain consistent arm action and arm speed so as not to tip the pitch. Due to the orientation at which the hand grips the baseball, you can sometimes hear a 4 seamer referred to as a “cross seam” fastball. This grip is advantageous for pitchers blessed with an arm designed for throwing hard.
The movement comes on the ball by applying slight pressure with the fingers located on the inner or outer part of the seam. This pressure will cause the ball to rotate more, tricking the batter. The pitch has the speed of a fastball and can also include late-breaking action caused by varying the pressure of the index and middle fingers on the ball. There used to be a lot of debate about the four-seam fastball and the relationship of velocity, vertical movement, and spin rate. But now there is a new concept called Vertical Approach Angle that includes the height of the release and the height of the pitch’s path. With that in mind, let’s think again about what is needed for a good four-seam fastball.
This increase can be attributed to Giolito’s offseason training which involved throwing weighted baseballs and his mechanical work with the Rapsodo camera, which caused him to shorten his arm stride . Both of these methods are proven to increase velocity while simultaneously reducing the arm stress created from throwing thousands of pitches each year. If a pitcher generates a swinging strike on a singular straight fastball, then this swinging strike will still be counted as coming from a pitcher with above-average movement. This means that increasing the vertical movement on a pitcher’s fastball can significantly improve their swinging strike rate. This criterion goes hand-in-hand with the observed vs actual spin axis, although I believe it deserves a separate discussion due to the nature of the matter.
With a two-seamer, the ball moves in the same direction as whichever arm is being used to throw it (meaning a right-handed pitcher gets rightward movement on a two-seamer). The screw ball is like the curve with its velocity and that it has some variations. It differs with its rotation, breaking in on a right-handed batter from a right-handed pitcher and away from a lefty hitter. One pitcher calls what they throw as curve, but another calls it a slurve. One may throw a “slider,” while another will be throwing a cutter… same pitch different name. Announcers see one pitch and call it one thing where it is often something else.
For this reason, a right pitcher can gain a significant advantage over a left-handed batter and a right-handed pitcher over a left-handed batter. However, a successful two-seam fastball is effective nonetheless. Generally, four-seam fastballs are easier to throw, faster, and have a straighter trajectory, whereas two-seam fastballs that are slower with more movement. In addition, four-seam fastballs reveal four seams in each rotation, whereas two-seam fastballs reveal only two.