I do not spend a lot of time coaching pitching grips, mainly because with a simple Google search you can get more than enough information of professional pitching grips. If you found this page from a simple Google search then I hope to give you more than just some simple pitch grips. I hope to enlighten you on the lack of information you have on what separates the levels of this game and how pitch grips fit into this understanding.
I have developed my expertise in the art of performance enhancement for pitchers and I have taken it all the way to the Major League level. I am currently a biomechanics consultant for a Major League organization and also training privately many professional pitchers at all levels of the game. Pitch grips rarely come up in my coaching but this doesn't mean it isn't important.
In this article, I am going to give you the top ten professional pitching grips but first I will go over how you must first develop high-velocity pitching mechanics before you worry about pitch grips. I will also list an endless resource of pitching grips from professional pitchers, so you do not need to search anymore for pitching grips to help improve your game. Finally, I will give you the answers to the question in the picture here!
Pitch Grips and Pitching Mechanics
If you do not throw 90+mph then worrying about pitch grips is your last concern if you want to play at the professional level. Time and time again I find high school and college pitchers looking for more pitches instead of improving the pitches that they already have. This game is all about quality over quantity. Scouts are looking for one quality that stands out above the rest, not a bunch of average to below average skills.
If a pitcher is going to start on improving what he has, he needs to first start with his pitching mechanics. His pitching mechanics holds the clues to his weaknesses. Here at TopVelocity.net, we offer a pitching analysis for that single reason. To discover the pitcher's weakness so he can unlock or implement new strengths. Once a better set of pitching mechanics have been developed, like the 3X Pitching Mechanics in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program, then pitch grips can easily be built on top of them. For example; learning a slider with the 3X Pitching Mechanics takes learning the wrist position at pitch release along with the grip on the baseball as described below. No pitch should ever change your pitching mechanics or should a pitcher ever use different pitching mechanics for a certain pitch. This will create inconsistencies in the pitching delivery which will affect all of your other pitches and especially your pitching velocity. It will also give away what pitch you are throwing to observant hitters.
The best approach to developing yourself not only into a high-velocity pitcher but a pitcher with a professional arsenal of pitches is to first develop the best set of pitching mechanics with an explosive ability through the 3X Pitching Velocity Program. Once this has been perfected to a consistent level then the pitcher should implement the pitching grips that he wants to throw. Following this program will not only give the pitcher the top level of performance that he needs but a good base to build his pitches on top of. Here is a list of the top 10 professional pitching grips to implement following the 3X Pitching Velocity Program.
Top Ten Professional Pitching Grips
Here is a list of the most common and most practice pitch grips used by professional pitchers. I would only recommend learning one pitch at a time and do not use more than 3 pitches until you have perfected at least two of them in combination. In the next section below you will see videos of these pitches from the pros.
- 4 Seam Fastball - This is gripping the baseball across the horseshoe with your index and middle finger. It is called the four-seam fastball because when the ball spins out of the fingers all four seams are spinning around the ball. The four-seam fastball should have no movement but the illusion of staying up in the zone longer.
- 2 Seam Fastball - This is gripping the baseball along the seams with your index and middle finger. It is called the two-seam fastball because when the ball releases the fingers it will rotate only two seams per rotation. The two-seam fastball should have a little run left or right depending on the finger that has more pressure on the ball.
- Circle Change-up - This is gripping the ball with the last three fingers; middle finger, ring finger, pinky finger. The index finger and thumb touch to form the circle. This is why it is called a circle change. At pitch release, most pitchers will turn the circle towards the target which gives it its sinking and screwball like movement.
- Split Finger Change-up - This is splitting your index and middle finger with the baseball as you grip it tight into your palm. The ring and pinky finger should be placed together next to the middle finger on the ball. Your index and middle finger are more on top of the ball than splitting it though. At pitch release, the grip should almost kill the spin on the ball.
- Split Finger Fastball - This is also splitting your index and middle finger with the baseball and instead of tucking it into your palm you keep it more in between the fingers. You want to throw this ball as hard as your fastball. The grip should also reduce the spin on the ball at pitch release which will create sink when the ball gets close to the plate.
- Curveball - This is gripping the baseball with the middle finger on the side of the horseshoe of the baseball. The index finger should support the middle finger by pressing against it. At pitch release, the wrist should be cocked to the throwing arm side to create the break on the ball. The arm slot should be the same as your fastball. You should feel a lot of pressure inside your middle finger into pitch release.
- Slider - This is gripping the similar to the curveball but across the horseshoe with the middle finger flush with the seam. The pressure during pitch release will also come off of the inside of the middle finger like the curveball but the wrist position will not be as dramatic. The wrist is slightly rotated toward the throwing arm side at pitch release.
- Cutter - This is a similar grip to the slider grip but more across the seams than on the seam. The wrist position at pitch release is also less rotated. If you look at these three pitches you find the curveball has the biggest break with the more dramatic pitch grip and wrist position and the slider has a little bit less and then the cutter has the least. The cutter is a combination of the fastball and slider grip.
- Knuckle Curve - This is the same pitch grip as the curveball except the index finger is tucked up under the ball. It is thrown the same way off of the middle finger with the same wrist position at pitch release. The key difference is the tucked index finger applies more pressure to the middle finger during pitch release.
- Knuckleball - This is gripping the ball with the knuckles of the index and middle finger spread apart like a split-finger. At pitch release, the grip and the wrist action should kill all of the spin on the pitch. To kill the spin with the wrist action the pitcher must push the ball out of the grip by flicking the fingers into pitch release.
12 MLB Pitch Grips from MLB Pitcher David Aardsma
This Program has been designed to give the user a thorough understanding of the 12 pitches most commonly thrown in Major League Baseball. 10 year MLB veteran David Aardsma has compiled the knowledge he has acquired over his 13 professional seasons into this easy to use program.
David covers 13 different aspects of each pitch while giving in-depth analysis and showing how other MLB pitchers throw their pitches. Videos of each pitch in action are also included as well as the program will be updated with new pitches periodically.
The 3x Pitching Grips Program is an invaluable tool for beginners just learning how to throw pitches to professionals looking for that edge against opponents. Get to the next level with the 3X Pitching Grips Program.