How To Throw A Filthy Cutter (with 10 Pictures of Grips)

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ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

 

Do you know how to throw a cut fastball?

In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about throwing a cutter that goes beyond "dirty" or "nasty" and usually involves embarrassing the batter...

But first, check out one of the prettiest cutters I've seen in a long time from the Pirates' closer Mark Melancon:

Mark Melancon cutter
Image source: pitcherlist.com

In the GIF above, the hitter Skip Schumaker doesn't have a chance as that pitch from Melancon breaks at the knees at 91 mph.

The cutter can be described as half fastball and half slider and moves horizontally to the pitching arm side of the plate, or ‘cuts'—and therefore is known by its two names: cutter and cut fastball.

It's useful for jamming hitters.

Cutter grip

So what's the secret to a good cutter?

Let's take a closer look at how to grip and throw the cutter...

Cutter grip
Image source: pitchingtips.com
  1. Take your normal fastball grip and shift it slightly off center to apply more pressure to the outside edge of the baseball. Some pitchers like to move their thumb up to the inside of the baseball, similar to a slider. When thrown correctly, a cutter will be similar to a slider, but, with sharper movement.
  2. Release the cut fastball as you would the fastball. Do not snap or turn the wrist as done with a curve or slider.
  3. Your arm movement should mimic that of your fastball. The pressure applied to the outside of the ball should naturally cause the spin needed to create the movement.

If thrown correctly, the cut fastball should produce a few inches of late movement that will break away from a right handed hitter when thrown from a right handed pitcher.

The delivery intent of the cutter is to make the hitter hit a ground out; don't expect the cutter to be your strikeout pitch.

More images of cutter grips

Cutter grip images
Image source: pitchingtips.com

How to throw a cutter video

Put it all together, and it looks like this...

Here's a great cut fastball from pitcher Kenley Jansen:

Kenley Jansen cutter
Image source: pitcherlist.com

Just plain wow, right?

It may be tough to pick up in this GIF, so take a few watches—check out the subtle movement this 94 mph pitch has as it darts away from Jean Segura.

Now that's an unhittable cutter.

Get my pitching velocity program

Youth pitching program
One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

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