The 4 seam fastball is easier to locate and will usually be thrown harder than the 2 seamer. We always recommend using the 4 seamer if we need a strike or need to hit a spot to our glove side or up in the zone. You can throw 4 seamers all over the plate, but for us, we throw a ton of 2 seamers to our arm side.
Good Tips for the 4 Seamer
- Stay behind the baseball.
- Some pitchers like to tuck the thumb underneath the ball.
- Some pitchers like to keep their index and middle fingers closer together.
- Get extended.
Now That We Have a 4 Seamer, How Should We Use It
When You Need a Strike or Need to Hit a Spot With a Fastball
If you need a strike or hit a spot with your fastball, it’s a little easier to get it with a pitch that doesn’t move vs. a pitch that could have quite a bit of movement on it. Whether you have to throw it arm side or glove side, up or down, if you need a fastball for a strike, we recommend using a 4 seam grip.
Throw it Glove Side
For many pitchers, when they want to go away with a fastball to their glove side, they are more confident using their 4 seamer instead of the 2 seamer. The reason for this is to keep it from running back over the middle of the plate. For a RHP, this would be against a righty batter and for a LHP, this would be against a lefty batter.
Hitters with Slow Batspeed
With these types of hitters, we don’t need to try to trick them with movement and/or sink. We also don’t want to help them out by throwing a fastball a couple miles per hour slower. This is when we go almost exclusively with our 4 seamer and we just keep throwing fastballs until they prove to us that they can hit it.
Pitch Up in the Zone
The 4 seam fastball up in the zone can be a very effective strike out pitch when you have a pitcher with good velocity. If you have a good 2 seamer with some sink, the 4 seam fastball up will appear like it is actually rising and is harder to hit. It won’t be rising, but it appears that way to many hitters. The key with this is to get it up enough. Leave it belly button high and you may be in trouble.