The Science of a Major League Fastball



The pitcher grabs a baseball and finds the area on it where the seams are the closest together, and puts his index and middle fingers on each of those seams. A sinker is a similar pitch thrown with almost the same grip, but with the thumb directly underneath the ball. Sinkers are also thrown slightly slower than two-seamers. Each finger should be touching the seam from the pads or tips to almost the ball of each finger.
The thumb should rest underneath the ball in the middle of those two fingers, finding the apex of the horseshoe part of the seam. The thumb needs to rest on that seam from the side to the middle of its pad. If you use your middle finger when you throw you get more whipping action making the pitch go around 10 mph faster.

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Breakdown



With the pitcher throwing the ball at a speed of 90 mph from 60 feet 6 inches away from the batter, he has less than .44 seconds to hit the ball. It takes .1 seconds for the batter to locate the ball. In the time that takes the ball has traveled 12 feet. The batter then has .07 seconds to determine the balls speed, spin, and trajectory. The ball has then traveled another 10 feet. Then the batter has .09 seconds to decide to swing. That takes another 22 feet. The body takes .17 seconds to swing. This is the process it takes to hit a 90 mph fastball.
The slingshot move of a pro pitcher’s shoulder is the fastest recorded action in sports. A pitch’s power, however, is generated by his entire body. For a right-handed pitcher, the chain of kinetic energy starts as soon as he lifts his left leg and faces third base. The energy of that foot landing transfers into the rotation of the trunk and then finally unleashes in the arm whipping around at the elbow. Glenn Fleisig, the research director of the American Sports Medicine Institute, has found that the hardest throwers rotate their pelvis toward home plate and follow with their trunk less than a tenth of a second later, snapping their bodies like a whip.
Here are some simulations for pitches thrown by a right-handed pitcher with a three-quarter arm delivery: four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, four-seam curveball, two-seam curveball,For all of these videos the ball rotation rate was about 20 revolutions per second (a major league curveball rotates at up to 33 rps) and the camera video rate was 60 frames per second. Photo credit Zach Bahill.

The Heater


The Cincinnati Reds' 22-year-old flamethrower Aroldis Chapman, who defected from Cuba in 2009, currently holds the Major League Baseball record for the fastest pitch with his 105.1 mph hurl last September.


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The Man That Can



Jason Heyward by robusry723
At 17, Heyward started his professional career for the Braves, first with theGCL Braves and then with the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League, hitting a combined .302 batting average with one home run and six RBIs in 12 games. In 2008 he hit a combined .316 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in 127 games for Class-A Rome and Advanced-A Mrytle Beach, including 91 runs, 15 stolen bases, and a .854 ops.

Randy the Pioneer


Johnson broke out in 1993 with a 19–8 record, 3.24 ERA and his first of six 300-plus strikeout seasons. Johnson was one of the first men to bear the title intimidation factor. Randy was known as the big unit for always being clutch in a tough situation. He was the first man to pitch consistantly around 100 mph. He's most famously known for killing a bird with one of his deadly fastballs.
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Ball Hits Bird
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What a Fastball Looks Like


A batter trying to hit a fastball sees nothing but the ball its self. Some hitters describe it as a bird flying towards home plate. The ball actually appears smaller than it really is. It takes a highly skilled batter to become consistant hitting a fastball.


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Submarine Fastball


A side-arm fast ball is thrown from an angle different from the normal one. It is at a lower angle and is thrown from the side, hence the name side-arm. It will have a sinking motion to the right if it is a right hand pitcher, or to the left if it is a left hand pitcher. It is usually slower than a normal four-seam fastball.
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Different Angles


Each finger should be touching the seam from the pads or tips to almost the ball of each finger. The thumb should rest underneath the ball in the middle of those two fingers, finding the apex of the horseshoe part of the seam. The thumb needs to rest on that seam from the side to the middle of its pad. This is what creates an angle to a fastball.
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