The fastball is the renowned power pitch. While most other types of pitches rely on break to make the batter miss, the fastball relies on speed. It uses Back Spin to counter the effect of gravity, which gives it a flatter trajectory.
Here is an example of a fastball from a right-handed pitcher in pitchLogic:
The Clock Face displays your Arm Slot (yellow arrow) and Spin Direction (blue arrow) from your perspective on the mound looking towards home plate. Most pitchers throw with an Arm Slot between one and two o’clock, or what is commonly referred to as a three-quarter arm slot. Developing a consistent arm slot is important for reliable results and keeping the batter guessing about what type of pitch you are throwing.
Typically, a good fastball will have a backspin-dominant spin direction approximately in line with your arm slot. Once you are consistently achieving the arm slot and spin direction you are shooting for, you can begin to work on your forward extension to increase your pitching speed.
The curveball is an advanced pitch that breaks down and away from a right-handed batter when thrown by a right-handed pitcher. It is fundamentally different than a fastball because it uses Top Spin to make the ball dive much more rapidly than a fastball.
Here is an example of a curveball in pitchLogic:
The Clock Face shows the Spin Direction in the 7 o’clock direction, which is down and away for a right-handed batter. This breaking force is generated by the Top Spin which is shown as a negative Back Spin (-1720).
The slider breaks down and away from a right-handed batter when thrown by a right-handed pitcher. It is fundamentally different than a fastball, because the slider uses more horizontal spin to break to the side and drops more than a fastball, which uses backspin to counteract gravity. The slider is also fundamentally different than a curveball, which also breaks down and away, but a slider has much more Side Spin and less Top Spin to make the ball break more horizontally than downward.
Here is an example of a slider in pitchLogic:
The spin direction on the clock face indicates the pitch had sidespin that made the ball break horizontally. As you practice, focus on the blue arrow: It will tell you if you are getting closer or farther from the spin you need.
The changeup is one of the most effective pitches in the game when executed well. As they say, great batting is all about timing; great pitching is all about disrupting timing. The changeup is designed to look just like a fastball in terms of your arm action, but it comes out at a lower speed due to a special grip, which disrupts the batter’s timing.
The fastball uses high velocity and backspin to create a flatter trajectory. When you throw a good changeup, the batter is expecting the ball to arrive sooner. However, due to the grip change, a changeup has a lower velocity and spin rates, so it drops more and arrives later than a fastball, confusing the batter and making him miss.
Here is an example of a fastball vs. a changeup in pitchLogic:
On the most basic level, the changeup will appear to be a fastball when thrown, but will be from 8 – 15 MPH slower than your fastball. Because you want your throwing motions to appear identical, the Arm Slot and Forward Extension metrics should look the same for each pitch.