Each of these methods makes the ball move out of the hand away from the center and the pitcher, identical to the movement of a change-up. When releasing a 2 seam or sink fastball, there will be less friction between the pitcher’s index and middle finger and the ball when compared to a 4 seamer. This causes the 2 seamer to spin less and helps create extra horizontal movement . This creates the unique movement that clearly separates the 2 seamer and sinker from the 4 seam fastball. The answer to this question really depends upon who you are asking. In this article, the writer has and will be using the terms interchangeably.
A 4 Seam Fastball will travel in a directly straight path to the plate, whereas the 2 seam fastball travels to the right or left depending on your throwing arm. A 2 seam fastball, if thrown down the middle, will move to the left with a right handed pitcher, and to the right if you’re a left handed pitcher. The 2-seam fastball breaks down and inside to a right-handed batter when thrown by a right-handed pitcher and vice versa for a left-handed pitcher. Like the Cutter, the 2-seam also breaks late close to the plate and is utilized to induce soft contact or ground balls. According to MLB Glossary, a cutter is not the same as a two seam fastball due to the direction in which it travels. A two seam will travel in the direction of the arm which throws it (a left-handed pitcher will throw the pitch leftwards and right-handed player rightwards).
A batter’s eyes can be tricked into seeing a high velocity fastball rise as it crosses home plate. There are a few different reasons why a pitcher would prefer one over the other, but the differences are pretty critical when it comes down to pitch decisions at game time. The movements of a baseball rely on the seams as they travel through the air. Take a look at the picture below to get a good understanding of each fastballs movement as it crosses the plate. If you throw this pitch to hitters using wooden bats, you may notice several broken bats because of the late break of the ball.
The Load is done right at release or right before or after depending on the hitter. One should already have a general idea of where the release is, in the Load step. Next, place your thumb directly on the bottom side of the baseball and on the smooth leather in between the narrow seams . Try to exaggerate pronation on this pitch and you’re more likely to execute it with great movement. Ball should run in and possibly down to the pitcher’s respective pitching arm side.
To correctly throw a 4 seam pitch, players should learn and practice the exact positioning of the hand on the ball, as well as the angle in which the arm should be positioned before delivering the pitch. Just like a changeup, this pitch is slower than a fastball, but thrown with the same arm motion. When pitch- and ball-tracking systems were put in place in all MLB stadiums in 2015, hitters learned more about ideal swing planes and launch-angle concepts. Uppercut swing planes connected effectively with the pitch and sent it soaring. This is the first step in the Seam Readers Process and should be the first thought in a batter’s mind when they approach the plate.
Holding the stitches enables you to pull on the ball, creating friction and backspin. 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. The two-seam softball catcher tips fastball is more likely to create bad swings on its own since Major League hitters can typically time a four-seam fastball regardless of speed. What many casual fans of baseball might not know is that these pitchers can actually throw multiple different types of fastballs.
In my opinion, if it moves or breaks, then it’s not a true fastball. I’ve seen a study which purported that there should be no significant difference in drag between a 2 seam and 4 seam fastball. There are many reasons to choose a 4 seam fastball over a 2 seamer . Whether you’re a little league player, or you’re a Major League Pitcher, the 4 seam pitch is going to be the most used in your arsenal. Without a doubt, you’ll need to use the 4 seam baseball pitch versus the 2 seam pitch more frequently.
Hard Focusing on release helps one pick up the ball and in turn the seams, as soon as possible. This is the most common pitch in softball and is thrown the straightest. The pitch has forward rotation and is thrown for velocity. Sadly, most of the kids who come to us in high school are cemented into throwing just a 2-seam fastball, a circle change, and a curve. Their hand size changes – as does their entire body and build – but their Little League and travel league coaches are often the same guys.
4 seamer pitches aren’t aimed at tricking the batter, it’s actually a test of skill, as the ball should have no movement except to travel in a straight line trajectory. It is often compared to the 2-seam throw, however, key differences lie in the technique as well as timing in a baseball game when choosing between the two. Another possible difference between the two grips is the amount of finger contact on the laces of the baseball. If we look back on the image of Cole’s grips, his new 4-Seam fastball grip allows his ring finger to apply pressure against a portion of somewhat horizontal stitching.