Watching one of the local instructors here in Missouri he teaches the kids to shorten the stride length on a change up. Is that correct? Also in the balance position you want the foot under the knee in the balance position correct?
About the change up, you wouldn’twant to shorten your stride. The change in velocity is due to the grip you use. When throwing a fastball you use more a firm grip, but when throwing a change up Mr. Mills says to “hold it like an egg” or have a loose grip.
You don’t change the stride on any pitch. When the leg starts down from it’s highest point you would want the foot hanging under the knee ready to move off the back leg efficiently.
Well, the experts will be along shortly. However, I have always believed that it is the grip that makes a changeup a changeup. The grip changes the spin and makes the pitch slower, ideally 5-7 less than the 4 seamer.
My kid is 11 and his hands are not super big yet. However, he uses the “ok” change grip and it works pretty well. Lately his 4 seamer is 61-62mph and he has gotten the changeup at up to -8 (53mph). We are working location but it is coming along, and when he throws it correctly its all but unhittable………:)
My son does not have very large hands and is have some trouble change speeds. When throwing a change up is it the grip, forearm and hand position or a combination of both that slows down the ball. Their seems to be a lot of different opinions.
I saw a post that you said that you used a certain grip for your change up when you used to pitch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
(u of m law school grad 1983!)
saw your post about the change up — DIck has tons of material on this, so he’ll be able to direct you. But I could at least tell you that it all depends on what type of change up a pitcher throws as to whether it’s grip/arm angle or both. And what type change up a pitcher throws will depend greatly on how large his hands are!
For example, to throw a circle change, a pitcher has to have adult sized hands, imo. Kids can imitate a circle change by not closing the circle–“C-change”. High speed video shows that circle change ups generally result in the palm of the hand facing out at ball release and follow through (for a righty that would mean the palm would be facing the 3rd base line). Some coaches recommend presetting the arm in an outward position so as to minimize the arm twisting of this throw. I honestly don’t know whether that works, but it’s something that you will find highly touted out there.
The only thing a change up really has to do is be slower than the fastball — by about 10mph– to be effective. imo. Circle changes can get some nice screwball type movement to them, but that isn’t the main reason they are effective.
Trevor Hoffman used to throw a “box” change–meaning he just had his whole hand—all fingers/thumb– gripping the ball. He threw it the same way as his overhand fastball, so it was very difficult to tell what was going on.
My son likes the splitter. There have been lots of debates and threads over the years here on Dick’s forum about the splitter. Some people think it hurts the pitcher’s shoulder, others think its not controllable. I like the split for pitchers who use a 2 seam fastball. My son uses that grip for about 80 percent of his fbs. So the split finger does the job nicely because it is exactly the same grip as the 2 seamer only the fingers are spread wider on the ball. The wider the split, the slower the pitch …no matter what the arm speed/angle.
The split works well imo for smaller handed pitchers. It doesn’t take that much of a wider finger placement to get a much slower pitch. And when thrown hard, the thing breaks down like a very nasty 12-6 curve ball. So much so that one of my son’s school coaches thought he was throwing a 12-6 curve.
Hey Tim thanks for the pointers. We have spoken a few times in the past. I live here In Wellington my boy plays for the 11u West Boynton team.
My son is getting ready to go to the AAU championships this summer and I want to have him work on his change up.
I was talking with a coach that we use on or team about pitching and your boys name came up. He knows that I follow coach Mills program. It was all good. The West Boynton team works with coach Jon Fulton.
Yep– coach Fulton is Clay’s coach for the summer. Clay is playing on his 16U team. To date, though, Coach Fulton hasn’t gotten to see Clay do much of anything. Had one scrimmage game where Clay’s velo hit 89, averaged 84-86, but ended up giving up 5 runs and not getting anyone out. It was against a local school’s 18u travel team and Clay was getting squeezed on some pitches, but he just had a really bad day. After that we went to a perfect game tourney in ft myers. Coach Fulton couldn’t make the trip though. Clay was ok there, but had a couple of 2 out snakebites resulting in 4 runs over 5 innings as a starter. He relieved in a 1 run game and retired the side in order in the 6th inning. His team lost it in the 7th though with a different pitcher.
My hope is that Coach Fulton gets to see a really good outing from Clay sooner rather than later. Clay was off the mound for about a month following the end of the regular season as our school team went with its senior ace throughout the state tourney playoffs. Clay does best when he’s pitching more often. Tends to lose the strike zone if he’s not facing real batters for any length of time.
The problem for Clay is that his delivery is so different from anyone else’s that he’s guilty until proven innocent so to speak.
Overall, though, I am optimistic. Coach Fulton seems like a great guy and I like the way he tries to teach the kids as well as work them. I just hope Clay turns it on soon…
here are a couple of clips from clay pitching in ft. myers last weekend: (max fb over the weekend was 80-81)
stretch:(these are 300fps but very short)
Here’s a nice sequence in live game speed from his last night of high school ball.. he was throwing 78-86 with a nasty slider coming in at 74-77.
3rd base view–1 pitch, called strike 86mph:
home plate view– 3 consecutive strikes…not sure of the mph on these…looked like alot of movement. 1st one backs up on the lh hitter.
one thing that was fun for clay in his last outing was that this was a wood bat tourney. He broke 4 bats in his 5 inning start and 1 bat in his 1 inning of relief. Not sure what that indicates, but he’s feeling like a bad-^&$ when he knows he can break bats.
i need some information on this jon fulton. i think i know him. Is jon fulton from danville va.? if so , my son has played for his grand father, father and his brother ed fulton. just wondering if this is the same guy.
Yes Jon is from Va. I do not know what part. He was drafted by the Marlins in the third round as a SS and converted to a pitcher. He was with the Marlins for 5 years. He played last year in the independent league. My boy really likes him and he is very open to new ideas when it comes to pitching.
yea thats him.jon fulton comes from a great baseball family. i meet him one time while he was in the danville va area. i know his dad frank fulton and uncle ed fulton very well.
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