Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Changeup: Best Pitch in Baseball?

Well, that depends on a lot of different factors.

First of all, every off speed pitch in a pitcher's arsenal works off of one thing, a well located fastball. If you've been keeping up with this blog you should already know that velocity isn't everything.
A well located fastball does 2 things to a batter. First, with consistency, it can tell a hitter that you are in control, decreasing the probability that you will leave a pitch over the middle thereby forcing the hitter to swing at your pitch, not his. If he knows you're not going to give in to him, then he will go out of his comfort zone to try and reach base.

Second, a well located fastball sets up your off speed. By throwing different pitches that start on the same plane, you can dramatically increase your ability to deceive the hitter. All of this, however, is dependent upon accuracy.

So why the changeup? 

We talk about pitching in planes. While it is another segment all together, what you intend to do with this philosophy is throw an off speed pitch that looks as close to the fastball as possible. The changeup is that pitch. Arm angle is the same, arm speed is the same, and wrist angle is the same. It's just slower and most of the time it moves.

While a well located fastball can setup your off speed pitches, a GOOD changeup can be the glue that holds all of your other pitches together. This includes your fastball.

What is a good changeup?

I like to say that a good change is 7-10 mph slower than your fastball and it changes planes (has some break in it).

I know several drills that can help develop a great changeup. Having an instructor when learning or developing pitches is invaluable.

Remember: nothing can get you to the next level faster than working with a professional. If you, or someone else you know, needs individual instruction please contact me via email at for more information.

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