How To Throw A Two-Seam Fastball

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Masahiro Tanaka two-seam fastball
Masahiro Tanaka throws a two-seam fastball. In this article, you'll learn how to throw a two-seam fastball.

Every pitcher wants to learn how to throw a two-seam fastball with nasty movement.

Unfortunately, many pitchers struggle to see any significant two-seam fastball movement. The goal of this tutorial is to help any baseball pitcher develop an absolutely nasty two-seamer.

Popular current and retired MLB baseball pitchers who throw two-seam fastballs include Bartolo Colon, Jered Weaver, Yu Darvish, Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy, and Greg Maddux. Let's examine how to grip and throw this pitch.

Here's what a two-seam fastball grip looks like:

Two-seam fastball grip

How to throw a two-seam fastball the correct way

The first step to getting movement on a two-seam fastball is to acquire the correct pitching grip. There are a few different techniques that a baseball pitcher can use to make the two-seam move.

First, grip the top of baseball with your middle and index fingers going with the seams. The key to developing movement is to experiment.

Not every person witnesses two-seam movement by using the same exact technique. Certain techniques work for some people, and others do not.

The first technique is to apply index finger tip pressure. By doing so, it is putting extra force on the left side of the baseball, and it will result in slight pronation at the release point. This is one of the most popular techniques for developing tailing two-seam movement, but it requires a significant amount of practice.

The other technique is to bury the baseball deeper into your hand, along with finger tip pressure. In this instance, you are much more likely to see sinking movement as opposed to tailing movement.

So like I previously said, knowing how to grip and throw a two-seam is only the first stage.

The only way that you will develop a truly nasty two-seam like Bartolo Colon is to practice it on a daily basis. This rule applies to any pitch grip that you interested in throwing. Consistent practice on the two-seam will without a doubt have excellent results.

Important note: Do not be discouraged if you do not see movement right away! This pitch takes a significant amount of practice and repetitions. MLB pitchers have spent hours, days, and years perfecting their two-seamers. Keep at it, and you will be pleased with your results!


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Two-seam fastball movement

So you are probably wondering what exactly does a two-seam fastball do when it is released out of a pitchers hand! If thrown correctly, a two-seamer is designed to have tailing movement.

For example, if a two-seam was correctly thrown, it would have tailing movement into a right-handed batter when thrown by a right-handed pitcher. To a left-handed batter, the two-seam would move away towards the outer half of the plate.

Two-seam fastball movement can be very deceiving to the batter, and when you master it, you will be able to throw it on both sides of the plate. The video below features former Cy Young pitcher Bartolo Colon.

In recent years, Colon has developed one of, if not the best two-seam fastballs in all of baseball. As you will see, Colon can start this pitch several inches out of the strike zone, but with his movement, it will tail in for a strike.

Colon's two-seam movement is absolutely incredible, and it is unlikely that many baseball pitchers can replicate it. However, as you can see in the video, Colon does an excellent job of mixing up his two and four seam fastballs. This keeps batters off-balanced, and produces many strikeouts.

Difference between two-seam and four seam fastball

Both the four seam and two-seam fastball share similar characteristics. Typically, the two seam will be thrown about 4-5 mph slower than a four seam because of the grip and trajectory.

Each pitch grip is thrown with the same arm speed, and same pitching mechanics. However, the distinction occurs when applying the grip and finger tip pressure for each pitch.

The best practice for throwing a four seam fastball is to grip the baseball very lightly with the finger tips of your middle and index fingers.

The four-seamer does not require any wrist movement, or finger tip pressure.

As many of us know, the four seam was designed to have little, to no side-to-side movement. It is the easiest pitch to throw for a strike, but it is also the easiest pitch to hit if thrown inaccurately.

This is exactly what makes the two-seam fastball such a desirable pitch for many pitchers.

I hope this tutorial gave you a better understanding on how to throw a two-seam fastball.

Keep working hard. No off days. No excuses.

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