Baseball Changeup (CH)

Baseball Changeup

In baseball, the pitcher’s ultimate goal is to get batters out. To do this, it is crucial for a pitcher to deceive the batter by throwing pitches with various breaks, speeds, and locations. One pitch that occupies a spot in a pitcher’s arsenal is the changeup. Read on to learn more about the changeup in baseball.


The changeup is named to reflect the purpose of the pitch. The changeup is a pitch in which the pitcher slows down the velocity of a pitch, literally “changing up” the speed. The pitch is one of the slowest in baseball and is based on deception. The goal of a changeup is to get the batter to swing way ahead of the pitch because they are expecting the pitch to reach them a lot sooner. This causes the batter to either completely swing and miss or make weak contact with the baseball. However, when a batter is able to anticipate the changeup, it becomes an easier pitch to hit because of its slow velocity.

How to Throw a Changeup

Since deception plays a key factor in throwing an effective changeup, a baseball pitcher’s goal is to throw their changeup as similar to their fastball as possible so that the batter cannot anticipate the pitch coming. Like a fastball, a pitcher throws a changeup directly at their target since the pitch does not have much movement.

Therefore, changeups are thrown using an almost identical motion as a fastball, just with a different grip. While the grip of a pitcher’s changeup varies, most pitchers have the ball sit further back in their palm to achieve a slower velocity.


All changeups have the same goal: deceive the batter by throwing a slower pitch while using the same motion as a pitcher's fastball. However, changeups vary based on the amount of movement they have.

Movement can make it even more difficult for a hitter to make contact with the baseball when a changeup is thrown. Different changeup grips produce different amounts of movement, giving the pitch a lot of variety. While resting the baseball further back in a pitcher's hand is a popular way to throw a changeup, there are many other grip variations.

One of these variations is referred to as the “C changeup.” The C changeup requires a similar grip to the curveball, with the thumb and middle finger resting on the top and bottom seams of the baseball, creating a C-shape. The C changeup is thrown using the same arm angle, velocity, and mechanics as a pitcher’s fastball. Another popular variation of the changeup is the “circle change.”

History of the Changeup

The changeup has been around since the beginning of baseball. In the early days of baseball, breaking balls (a pitch that breaks or drops right before it reaches the batter) were deemed unfair because the goal of baseball was to provide interaction between the hitters and fielders, and pitchers were not encouraged to be striking batters out. So, pitchers opted to throw pitches that had minimal movement in order to make it more fair for hitters.

Instead, pitchers began to experiment with changing their speeds in order to deceive batters, and they began to throw slower pitchers. This was when the changeup was born. The changeup is now one of the most common pitches thrown in baseball and plays a large role in many Major League Baseball pitcher’s arsenals.

Best Changeup Pitchers

These MLB pitchers are some of the best all-time at throwing changeups:

  • Jaime Moyer
  • Edinson Volquez
  • Mark Buehrle
  • Rich Harden
  • Tim Lincecum
  • Ubaldo Jimenez
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Mike Mussina


What is a changeup in baseball?

The changeup is a pitch in baseball that is used by a pitcher in order to deceive hitters by throwing a slower pitch. The goal of the changeup is to get a hitter to swing and miss or make weak contact with the baseball by slowing down the velocity of the pitch while keeping the same motion as the pitcher's fastball. The pitch gets its name “the changeup” because the pitcher is literally changing the speed of their pitch.

How is the changeup thrown in baseball?

Like many other pitches in baseball, a changeup can be thrown using a variety of grips based on the pitcher's preference. There are a few types of grips, including the circle changeup, the C change, and simply by resting the baseball further back in the pitcher's palm. The most crucial aspect of the pitch is that it is thrown using the same arm speed, angle, and motion as a pitcher’s fastball in order to deceive the batter.