It’s a question that many baseball coaches of yore would ignore.
How could you possibly throw too many fastballs in a game? Fastballs are the best pitch to throw – right?
It’s something that’s been taught over and over and become common place in baseball, but Sports Illustrated recently published a very interesting article on the rise of analytics in baseball and the numbers to support a diminishing fastball game.
The New York Yankees: Less Fastballs Equals Success
One particular team, the New York Yankees, is the team they analyzed, a team that throws fastballs just 43.1% of the time. Let that sink in; they throw fastballs less than half the time.
So what are the throwing instead? One pitch that is on the rise is the slider, a pitch the Yankees throw just over 25% of the time.
Understanding the Slider in Baseball
Sliders appear similar to fastballs when thrown, but are deceptive and break laterally, either down and out or down and into the batter. As you’re working on your slider, here are some tips to consider:
- Keep your wrist straight and prevent it from twisting, as you’d do in a curveball.
- Hold the outside of the baseball, while maintaining good middle finger pressure as you throw the ball. Fingertip pressure is what it’s all about.
- The fingers – not the wrist – must make the throw. Practice letting the ball roll off of your fingers as it is thrown.
- Throw the ball with the same speed as you would a fastball.
- Try your best to not miss high! Missing high puts the ball up and into the strike zone.
If you’re interested in private pitching lessons and want to learn more about how to throw a slider, call D-BAT Sports today to get started! Our premier baseball training facilities are located across the United States, with expansion underway in China as well.