Baseball Two-Seam Fastball (FT)
The two-seam fastball is a common type of pitch in baseball used by many different pitchers across all levels of the game. It’s fairly simple to learn, and when mastered, it can be one of the most effective pitches in the sport. Read below to learn about how a two-seam fastball works.
A two-seam fastball is a variation of a fastball, which is one of the fastest pitches that can be thrown in baseball. This specific variation is slightly slower than the other type of fastball (a four-seam); however, it has more movement, which is what makes it tricky to hit. Its movement depends on the handedness of the pitcher. For example, if the pitcher throws left-handed, then their two-seamer will move left.
How to Throw a Two-Seam Fastball
The two-seam fastball grip is fairly straightforward. “Grip” simply refers to how the pitcher holds the ball. When throwing this type of pitch, the pitcher places their index and middle fingers on the narrow seams of the baseball. The seams are the red stitches on the ball.
The pitcher’s thumb is at the bottom of the ball but centered between their index and middle fingers. The ring and pinky fingers aren’t used for this pitch and are placed at the side of the ball. Once the grip is good, the pitcher should throw with a lower arm angle to create the sidespin.
The two variations of the two-seam fastball are the cutter and the sinker. The cutter is similar to the two-seamer, except it breaks away from the pitcher. For example, if the pitcher is a lefty, their cutter should move towards the right side. However, the grip of a cutter is more similar to a four-seam fastball. Though a sinker has a similar grip to a two-seamer, expect this pitch to drop more vertically rather than move horizontally.
History of the Two-Seam Fastball
It’s unknown who invented the two-seamer, as it’s a common variation of a fastball. But, due to it being a fundamental pitch, it’s safe to assume that it has been around for a very long time.
The fastball alone has been around since baseball has begun. For example, Babe Ruth is known to have thrown fastballs while he pitched in the 1910s. Back to the two-seamer, it can be a lethal pitch for hitters to face, as it’s nearly as fast as a four-seamer, but it breaks more.
Perhaps the best two-seam fastball came from Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. The right-hander won four-straight Cy Young awards from 1992-1995, thanks in large part to the use of his two-seam fastball.
Best Two-Seam Fastball Pitchers
A few of the best MLB pitchers at throwing two-seam fastballs are:
- Greg Maddux
- Max Scherzer
- Bartolo Colón
- David Price
- Gerrit Cole
What is a two-seam fastball in baseball?
The two-seamer is a basic variation of a fastball in which it’s slightly slower than the four-seamer, except it breaks towards the handedness of the pitcher. When perfected, the movement of this fast pitch composes a dangerous foe for any opposing hitter, as they not only have to adjust to the speed but also its break. The best pitcher to unleash the two-seamer was Greg Maddux, who made eight All-Star Teams and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
How is the two-seam fastball thrown in baseball?
A fastball grip is fundamental for pitchers, making this pitch fairly simple to learn. All a pitcher has to do is place their index and middle fingers on the red seams, place their thumb on the bottom of the ball (centered between the gripped fingers above), and place their pinky and ring fingers to the side of the ball. Once the pitcher has the grip down, they need to throw the ball at a sideways arm angle to create the break.