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Thread: Is the change-up the most important pitch?

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    Softball Junkie SoCalSoftballdad's Avatar
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    Default Is the change-up the most important pitch?

    I have read on another fastpitch website that the change-up is the most important pitch to have in your pitching arsenal. Do you agree with this statement, and if not, what pitch do you think is the most important & effective and why?

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    I can talk softball all day 2bucketdad's Avatar
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    Yes without a doubt. You need to be able to throw it where you want it at any time with any count.

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    Softball Junkie tojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalSoftballdad View Post
    I have read on another fastpitch website that the change-up is the most important pitch to have in your pitching arsenal. Do you agree with this statement, and if not, what pitch do you think is the most important & effective and why?
    A lot depends on the pitcher. If not the most important pitch; it would be a close second in most arsenals.

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    I can talk softball all day druer's Avatar
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    For the vast majority of girls it is the most important pitch. It keeps the batters off balance and back on their heels just enough that they don't start teeing off on whatever their #1 pitch is. As 2bucketdad said they need to be able to throw it anywhere in the count and they have to be able to throw it for a strike. If it is only thrown as waste pitch with 0-2, then it is no different than any other waste pitch and batters know to look for it.

    As tojo indicated it really depends on the pitcher, because if their #1 pitch is simply unhittable when they are on, then they might not even develop a change up. If I remember correctly Monica Abbott for didn't really have an effective change up until college was over. Whereas most pitchers don't have the kind of dominance with any 1 pitch that they can throw it over and over and over and not need a change up to at least get batters to think.

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    Certified softball maniac Chris O'Leary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalSoftballdad View Post
    I have read on another fastpitch website that the change-up is the most important pitch to have in your pitching arsenal. Do you agree with this statement, and if not, what pitch do you think is the most important & effective and why?
    A change-up isn't worth much if you don't have a good fastball to protect against. Without a good FB, then a change-up, especially a flat one, can just become a slowball.

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    Wannabe Duck Boat Owner Greenmonsters's Avatar
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    Default The converse is true, too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
    A change-up isn't worth much if you don't have a good fastball to protect against. Without a good FB, then a change-up, especially a flat one, can just become a slowball.
    Also true is the converse - A FASTBALL isn't worth much if you don't have a good CHANGE UP to protect against. Without a good CU, then a FB, especially a flat one, can just become a GOPHER BALLl.

    Hitting effectively (assuming swing mechanics are solid) is about timing the pitch. Pitching is about disrupting the batters' timing. Those who perfect it, ala BB's Greg Maddux, have a place in the HOF.

    A change up that can be thrown to any location in any count makes any FB seem faster if there's enough velocity differential. For kicks in HS and college, we used to hit v. the machine at max velocity c. 100 mph. Once you got the timing down (i.e., figured out when to start the swing), it wasn't any big deal. Vary the speed and pitches in a game situation and its a different story - and one that led me to my current non-MLB occupation!

    GM

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    Softball Junkie cshilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halskinner View Post
    No I dont, riseball, hands down. And I dont mean the high school rise either!

    WINNING FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
    I don't know, Hal, I'd take this HS riseball anyday ...

    YouTube - Ashley Brokeshoulder Softball Pitching Video - 2009 Recruit

    (Go to the 50 second mark for the riseball)

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    Certified softball maniac Chris O'Leary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmonsters View Post
    Also true is the converse - A FASTBALL isn't worth much if you don't have a good CHANGE UP to protect against. Without a good CU, then a FB, especially a flat one, can just become a GOPHER BALLl.
    Agreed.

    I learned this with my boys.

    Back in 5th grade we went up against a kid who threw VERY hard but threw every pitch the same speed to the same spot in the strike zone. It took them a while to figure out the timing, but once they did the balls started to fly.

    As I told the kids, the harder the ball comes in, the harder it goes back out.

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    Softball Junkie SoCalSoftballdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cshilt View Post
    I don't know, Hal, I'd take this HS riseball anyday ...

    YouTube - Ashley Brokeshoulder Softball Pitching Video - 2009 Recruit

    (Go to the 50 second mark for the riseball)
    For me it would depend on what age we are talking about. Anything before say 16U, I would say CU; after that Hal might be right with the riseball. On the video, how many pitches would you say this pitcher has good command of (out of the five)? The reason I ask is I have heard people complain on this board that everyone's DD has six pitches but in reality they only have command of one or maybe two pitches, tops.

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    No, the changeup isn't the most important pitch. My DD had a horrible changeup and had a pretty good college career.

    Philosophically, there is no "most important" pitch. Pitching is the art of using a variety of different pitches thrown at different speeds and at different locations.
    Ray

    Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...

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