Upon release, the fingers are lifted off the ball, the ball rolls up the fingers. Don’t set the grip until the ball is hidden in the glove just before the hand break. Hold the ball should slightly unbalanced by off centering the ball toward the ring finger and applying more pressure to the first finger pad. Check out this video clip of Felix Hernandez firing a 92-MPH four-seamer past Prince Fielder for a called third strike. Keep a firm grip, but allow the wrist and forearm muscles to be loose and relaxed.
Remember, even though this pitch may have little movement, it typically produces the highest velocity compared to other pitches and is the go to pitch for the power pitcher. When the experienced pitcher has developed a good arsenal of different pitches, his four seam fastball becomes even more effective because of the velocity at which it travels to the plate. The four seamer can be used to set up other off-speed or breaking pitches, or the pitcher can use these other pitches to make his four seamer appear to be faster than it is.
It is considered a direct pitch characterized by the greatest speed that can be thrown in the variety of all fastball grip variations. While it is true that the four-seam fastball is easily the most preferred throw in the game, it can be a dangerous pitch soft toss pitching machine to use if you become a fastball-exclusive pitcher. Offspeed pitches are great for switching up a play and keeping the batter guessing. Pitching is still a thinking game at the end of the day, and you need to stay one step ahead of the batter at all times.
The 80 Scout Grade is given to anything 99 MPH or above. A reliever with a quality fastball generally throws one at or above 97 MPH, with the 80 threshold hitting at about 100 MPH. But paired with a number of other factors, such as a great approach angle or a nice horizontal movement, it can be the icing on the cake of pitch quality. When a pitcher can throw what appears as a flatter fastball, he also has a wider margin of error to throw low in the zone.
There is a noticeable difference in the direction of the stitches which could lead to slightly different movement patterns. A changeup is thrown to appear like a fastball but gets to the plate more slowly. It is meant to derail the batter’s timing, often resulting in misses or fouls when the ball comes in contact with the baseball bat. The delivery and release is just like a two-seam fastball pitch. The ball will start dropping during the last 15 feet in flight.