ap-300x600
apst-300x250.jpg
ap-300x250.png
am-300x600
More Sports

Baseball

Baseball

101

Baseball 101Baseball Base RunningBaseball BattingBaseball Batting StancesBaseball Common PenaltiesBaseball DefenseBaseball FieldingBaseball HistoryBaseball Hit TypesBaseball InningsBaseball OffenseBaseball OutsBaseball Pitch TypesBaseball PitchingBaseball RunsBaseball Strike ZoneBaseball UmpiresBaseball WalksBaseball Windup And Stretch Pitching

Articles

10 Best Baseball Books In 202010 Most Common Baseball InjuriesHow Do You Win In Baseball?How Does Baseball Betting Work?Is Baseball An Olympic Sport?MLB All Star Game formatTop 10 Baseball BallsTop 10 Baseball BooksTop 10 Baseball BrandsTop 10 Baseball CardsTop 10 Baseball Games All TimeTop 10 Baseball MoviesTop 10 Baseball Video GamesTop 10 Fantasy Baseball PitchersTop 10 Fantasy Baseball WebsitesTop 10 MLB Baseball PlayersTop 10 Most Iconic Moments In MLB HistoryTop 10 NCAA Baseball ProgramsTop 25 Baseball Players All TimeTop 30 Baseball StadiumsTop 5 Baseball Coaching MistakesWhen do you have to run in baseball?

Equipment

Baseball Equipment List

Leagues

Baseball Leagues

Lingo

Around The Horn BaseballBaseball Ahead In The CountBaseball BallBaseball BaserunnerBaseball BatterBaseball Batter-runnerBaseball Batting OrderBaseball Behind In The CountBaseball BuntsBaseball Ceremonial PitchBaseball Contact PlayBaseball CountBaseball Even CountBaseball Fly BallBaseball Force PlaysBaseball Foul BallBaseball Full CountBaseball Ground BallsBaseball Hitter's CountBaseball Home RunsBaseball Lingo And TerminologyBaseball OverthrowBaseball RotationBaseball RundownBaseball StrikesCaught Looking BaseballFoul Tip BaseballLead Off BaseballPick Off BaseballThe World Baseball Classic

MLB Teams

Baseball List Of Mlb Teams

Players

Albert Pujols Bio And FactsAlex Rodriguez Bio And FactsBabe Ruth Bio And FactsBarry Bonds Bio And FactsBryce Harper Bio And FactsDerek Jeter Bio And FactsHank Aaron Bio And FactsJackie Robinson Bio And FactsMickey Mantle Bio And FactsMike Trout Bio And FactsTed Williams Bio And FactsWillie Mays Bio And Facts

Positions

Baseball CatcherBaseball Center FielderBaseball First BasemanBaseball Hitter TypesBaseball Left FielderBaseball PitcherBaseball PositionsBaseball Relief PitcherBaseball Right FielderBaseball Second BasemanBaseball ShortstopBaseball StarterBaseball Third Baseman

Rules

Baseball Appeal RulesBaseball Automatic Strike RulesBaseball Balk RulesBaseball Base Running RulesBaseball Batting RulesBaseball Dead Ball RulesBaseball Designated Hitter RulesBaseball Disabled ListBaseball Ejection RulesBaseball Extra Innings RulesBaseball Fair Or Foul Ball RulesBaseball Fighting RulesBaseball Forfeit RulesBaseball Ground Rule DoubleBaseball Infield Fly RulesBaseball Interference RulesBaseball Pinch Hitter RulesBaseball Pinch Runner RulesBaseball Pitching RulesBaseball Rain Delay RulesBaseball Replay RulesBaseball Roster RulesBaseball Rules And RegulationsBaseball Rundown RulesBaseball Sliding And Diving RulesBaseball Stealing RulesBaseball Substitution RulesBaseball Tag Out RulesBaseball Tagging Up RulesBaseball Timeout RulesBaseball Wild Pitch RulesHow Does Scoring Work In Baseball?Top 10 Baseball RulesWhat Are The Rules Of Baseball?

Statistics

Baseball AttemptBaseball Batting AverageBaseball Box ScoresBaseball Defensive StatsBaseball ErrorsBaseball Offensive StatsBaseball Pitcher StatsBaseball StatisticsWhat Is Slugging Percentage In Baseball

Strategy

Baseball ShiftingBaseball StrategyDouble Switch BaseballHidden Ball Trick Baseball

The Field

Baseball AlleyBaseball Base PathBaseball BaselineBaseball Batter's BoxBaseball Black SeatsBaseball Bleacher SeatsBaseball Catcher's BoxBaseball DugoutBaseball Field ComponentsBaseball Field DimensionsBaseball Field LinesBaseball Foul PoleBaseball Home PlateBaseball No Man's LandBaseball Pitching MoundBaseball Running LaneBaseball The FieldBaseball Uecker SeatsBullpen BaseballCenterfield BaseballCoaches Box BaseballFirst Base BaseballFoul Line BaseballInfield BaseballLeft Field BaseballOutfield BaseballRight Field BaseballSecond Base BaseballThird Base Baseball
ap-728x90

Baseball Pitch Types

Table of Contents

ab-300x600

Types of Pitches in Baseball

  • Breaking Balls
  • Backdoor Sliders
  • Changeups
  • Curveballs
  • Fastballs
  • Forkballs
  • Knuckleballs
  • Sliders
  • Splitters
am-300x250.jpg

Breaking Balls

A breaking ball in baseball is also known as breaking pitches, these pitches curve in a certain direction while in flight -- they can have an arced path, travel toward the ground, or curve to the left or right. Their purpose is to trick batters. This type of pitch includes curveballs, forkballs, splitters, sliders, and backdoor sliders.

Breaking pitches (more commonly known as breaking balls) are pitches that, unlike fastballs, "break" from a straight path through the air. This means that they curve in a certain direction while in flight -- they can have an arced path, travel toward the ground, or curve to the left or right. Their purpose is to trick batters. For example, at first a pitch may seem like it has a straight path, and the batter might swing at it. Then, when it is too late for the batter, the ball breaks directions and the batter misses the baseball. Breaking balls are more difficult to hit than fastballs since their path is less predictable; however, they are also more prone to being balls since their path can cause them to miss the strike zone. They also tend to have lower velocities than fastballs. Breaking ball is also used as an umbrella term for more specific types of pitches.

ap-300x250.png

Types Of Breaking Balls

There are few types of breaking pitches that we'll discuss:

  • Curveballs
  • Forkballs
  • Splitters
  • Sliders
  • Backdoor Sliders
am-300x250.jpg

Changeups

A changeup in baseball is a type of pitch thrown by the pitcher that is different in speed, often slower than the previous pitch but has the appearance and path of a fastball, deceiving the hitter and causing him to mistime his swing.

With a changeup pitchers change the pace of a pitch. A pitch does not have to only change directions in order to deceive batters. Differing or slow velocities can also be used to make pitches harder to hit; these types of pitches are called off-speed pitches. Changeups are a common type of off-speed pitch. They look very similar to a fastball -- they are thrown in a similar way and have a straight path -- but are significantly slower than a fastball. While fastballs are usually 90 MPH or above, changeups are usually only 70-80 MPH. For batters, it is often difficult to detect the difference between a fastball and a changeup, since they have the same path and the speed of the baseball cannot be determined until it is very close to the batter. That is why changeups are so effective: They trick batters into thinking the pitch is a fastball, and the batter will swing at it. However, since changeups are much slower than fastballs, the swing would be too early, either missing the baseball completely or hitting it weakly.

ap-300x250.png

Curveballs

Batters can recognize the type of pitch a pitcher is throwing by looking at the seams of the ball. Curveballs are a type of breaking ball that have a forward spin and typically break downward, which means they initially seem to have a straight path, then suddenly travel downward. However, some pitchers will add variants to this general principle. Curveballs are relatively slow, usually between 70-80 MPH in the Majors, but they have a high amount of movement compared to other pitch types.

ap-300x250.png

Fastballs

Fastballs are the most basic and the most common type of pitch that pitchers throw. As the name suggests, its main quality is speed, so it has a relatively straight path compared to other pitch types. Fastballs are usually the first pitch a pitcher throws to a batter in any at-bat. This helps the pitcher gauge the batter's reaction time as well as determine the strike zone for the batter (if the pitcher throws a straight fastball in what he thinks is the batter's strike zone but the umpire calls it a baseball, the pitcher will have to adjust for the rest of the at-bat). In Major League Baseball, fastballs nearly always reach velocities of 90 miles per hour or above. The speed of the pitch is measured by a device called a radar gun. After each pitch, the radar gun reading is usually displayed on screens around the stadium.

am-300x250.jpg

Forkballs

A forkball in baseball is a type of pitch that is similar to a curveball, but more extreme. Forkballs break downward, but their break is much more extreme and sudden than a typical curveball. They are a rare type of pitch due to the tiring and risky motion used to throw them.

Forkballs are a rare type of breaking pitch. They are like an extreme form of curveballs in that they break downward, but their break is much more extreme and sudden. Throwing forkballs requires the pitcher to snap his wrist, which can be tiring and may cause injury, and contributes to why pitchers rarely (if ever) throw forkballs.

ap-300x250.png

Splitters

A splitter in baseball is a type of breaking pitch that looks like a fastball, but is slightly slower (usually between 80-90 MPH) and breaks downward suddenly before reaching home plate. It is designed to deceive batters into swinging off-time.

A much more common derivative of the forkball is the splitter. They are slightly slower than a fastball, usually between 80-90 MPH, and they break downward suddenly before reaching home plate. However, their break is not as extreme or sudden as a forkball, making them easier to throw and less susceptible to causing injury.

am-300x250.jpg

Sliders

A slider in baseball is a type of pitch that has lateral (left/right) movement while also breaking downward. Typically has higher velocity but less movement than a curveball.

Sliders are similar to curveballs -- they tend to break downward, however, they typically have more lateral (left/right) movement and have higher velocities than curveballs. They also tend to have less movement than curveballs; that is, their break from a straight path is not as dramatic. Breaking balls like curveballs, forkballs, and splitters deceive the batter by pretending to be strikes that the batter might swing at, then change directions so the batter misses the ball. Backdoor breaking balls (often called backdoor sliders, although the term can apply to either curveballs or sliders) operate in the opposite way. Their path is initially lateral, traveling away from the strike zone. The batter thinks it is a ball, and does not swing. Then, at the last second, the pitch curves in and travels through the corner of the strike zone, becoming a strike.

apst-300x250.jpg

Knuckleballs

Knuckleballs are rare pitches that use both unpredictable speed and movement to challenge batters. Knuckleballs have minimal rotational spin, causing them to have erratic movement (since spin is what helps determine a ball's motion and direction). A knuckleball's movement is very unpredictable and uncontrollable; it is influenced by factors such as the wind and air resistance. Not only does the knuckleball's erratic movement make it hard for batters to hit, but it is also hard for catchers to catch and umpires to call. Mastering the knuckleball is also difficult for pitchers and not very practical, which is why knuckleballs are so rare.

apst-300x250.jpg

Rare Pitch Types

Screwballs

A screwball in baseball is a type of pitch that moves in the opposite direction of a pitcher's typical curveball or slider. It is a very rare.

Backdoor Sliders

A backdoor slider is also known as a backdoor breaking ball, this pitch type excels at deceiving the batter into thinking it is a ball by traveling laterally away from the strike zone and then at the last moment curving back into the strike zone for a strike.

Cutters

A cutter in baseball is a type of pitch that looks similar to a fastball, but breaks in the opposite direction that a fastball would. Fastballs usually break in the direction of the pitcher's throwing arm side, but cutters cut in the opposite direction of the pitcher's throwing arm side, catching batters off-guard.

Spitballs

A spitball in baseball is a vintage way to get the ball wet in order to throw off the batter. This was done by the pitcher spitting the ball to increase its speed.

Palmball

A palmball in baseball is a type of pitch that resembles an off-speed pitch or changeup.

Two-Seam Fastball

A two-seam fastball in baseball is a type of fastball that is one of the common pitches in baseball. It varies slightly from the four-seam fastball in that it tends to have slightly lower velocity and break more.

aa-300x250.png

Pitch Placement

Inside Pitch

An inside pitch in baseball is when the pitcher throws a ball that is in the inside out the strike zone. This is located on the side of the zone closest to the batter.

High Pitch

A high pitch in baseball is when a pitch is way above the strike zone or above the catcher.

Low Pitch

A low pitch in baseball is when the pitcher throws a ball that is low to the ground and near the plate.

apst-300x250.jpg

ap-720x300