In baseball, pitching is the act of throwing the ball to the home plate that marks the initiation of the match. Hence, it’s crucial to understand how to hold a baseball when pitching to ensure the outcome of the match is in your team’s favor.
Being a pitcher, you must have realized that practice sharpens the pitching skills and the stepping stone is the ball-holding and throwing technique. Let’s check out the most tried and tested methods that you must know to showcase your pitching expertise in the field.
Baseball Pitching Holding Techniques
Once you start pitching, the batter starts getting a sense of your timing, which might put you off the track. That’s the time when you offer a change-up pitch by tweaking your grip on the baseball. Though the pitch looks like any other fastball, it is delivered slower from your hands.
Use your index and thumb fingers to create an OK or circle gesture with your hand. Maintain the body mechanics and arm velocity the same as a fastball while adapting to the circle change-up pitching with the difference of turning the ball slightly over to the batter.
This technique is slower than a fastball by around 1-3 MpH and sinks to a certain extent. However, this can’t be termed as a breaking pitch and a slight movement is expected in this pitching technique, which makes it a challenge for the batter to hit the ball.
In this type of grip, place the middle and index fingers exactly above the narrow seams and the thumb directly under the baseball. However, make sure the thumb touches the smooth portion of the ball and not the seam. Hold the ball tighter and throw it with full velocity. This holding technique makes the batter see a pair of horizontal seams spinning.
This is the basic baseball holding technique that is the holy grail for all pitchers. Though this ball holding technique allows you to throw the ball faster than any other technique, it also allows you to control the placement of the ball in front of the batter.
Place the tips of your middle and index fingers across the seam of the ball perpendicularly while placing the thumb underneath. Like the two-seam fastball, rest the thumb tip on the smooth leather and throw with full velocity. This will make the batter see two pairs of parallel seams spinning.
This technique of holding the baseball is the best way to fool the batter, as the ball appears to be out of the strike zone but makes its way to the batter’s plate. Place the middle finger in line with the seam and the index finger beside it, while positioning the thumb directly beneath both the fingers.
Now that you know how to hold a baseball when pitching, it’s time to seek assistance from an expert to test these techniques practically. ProBatter Sports is a leading pitching device supplier that ensures your pitching skills are sharpened, so you will never fail to bamboozle the batter on the field.