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Change up (Change?)

Jun 1, 2013
"A good change up is an effective change up". I agree but I want to know more and I have questions and ideas that I don't hear people discussing. I have seen many different pitchers throw a lot of different change ups but there is 1 girl that throws a change up better than all the rest. (When she is executing properly) Makes me question if there is an "Elite" change up that few know or teach. This pitcher throws her change up with fastball arm speed and wrist snap. It is a bottom change.
She doesn't keep her arm fast to make it look like a fast ball, she has to have it fast to make it work properly. The ball comes out hard and about 2/3 of the way to the plate you can see it start to slow and die....BACKSPIN. Since we all know what spin does to a ball with curves, drops, etc., why are change ups not discussed and taught with rpm's of backspin as a focus point? A slow pitch is an occasionally good change up but a pitch that slows mid flight and drops is a killer. The pitching coach this girl goes to hasn't even picked up on the difference of her change vs everyone else he teaches. He teaches my dd as well. What do you guys think about this? Is a regular fast arm slow pitch "good enough" for a change up or is what I have described here a more "elite" change up that we should be pushing for? Has anyone else seen change ups that do this?
Jun 19, 2013
First change up my DD was taught had back spin. We quickly dropped it when we saw that it tended to hang up high and allowed the better hitters to reset and crush it. Not sure if we would have stuck with it if she might have learned to locate it better and bring it in low. But in reading on here it sounded to me like it was an inferior pitch as she moved up in age so we left it behind. Wish now we had the time back that we spent learning that one actually.
Sep 24, 2013
a change up with backspin is typically a flip change. If that's what you are discussing you can search for many threads where its discussed here.

A common point is at a certain age or level the flip change becomes too slow and a hitter can recognize the spin and have time to readjust to hit it.

Then again there are a lot of opinions on every type of pitch so lets see what the thread develops :)
Feb 7, 2013
The change-up you describe is likely a "back of the hand" or "flip" change-up. There are numerous threads here about c/u's but DD throws a flip and when she throws it correctly, there is no slowing down the arm, she tends to create some sidespin at release so it moves down and away from the right handed batter. It's nasty when thrown correctly but there are many different c/u's that are also effective. Some absolutes are the change should be approx 25% slower than fastest pitch, it should look like every other pitch before release, don't slow down the arm circle, and keep it low in the zone. Also, don't forget about when to use it on what counts is also very important and overlooked aspect of having success with the c/u.
Oct 2, 2011
Like most pitches, it is a matter of mastering them and spending the time mastering them.

I have hard time picking my DD's change up unless I know it is coming. She throws a horseshoe type change where the pops the ball out and uses finger grip and pressure to change speeds. She spends a lot of time practicing it and making sure she isn't tipping it off with a slow arm.

I know one pitcher who had the BEST flip change. It was awesome. She had been throwing it since she was 8 - so be the time she was 16 it was unbelievable - hitters who had been seeing her for years KNEW it was coming and still couldn't hit it (it was paired with a nasty drop away generally).

You can 'have' a pitch... but if it is not mastered then it is not going to be as effective as it could be.

To the original poster - the flip change is currently out of fashion. That doesn't make it a bad pitch - just means that until it comes back into fashion you might not see it as much. Pitches tend to come back into fashion when one of the elite pitchers comes along and uses it and it gets copied. And it tends to stay in fashion until the batters adjust to it...
Oct 2, 2012
on the Field
My daughter (12U) throws two change-ups(flip & upside down knuckle). We struggle sometimes to find the grove for the flip change in a game so our PC showed us a knuckle change. However it's not thrown like most you see. The pitch is delivered with ball palm up and pushed straight to the catcher. The ball comes out just like a fastball (similar spin) and then abruptly dies and I mean sinks right at the plate. It took my daughter about a month to get it consistent. When thrown correctly, I have yet to see a batter make solid contact if they hit it at all. I say all this to say, off speed pitches will strike out batters. I believe it's best to have as many as you can throw.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
You can 'have' a pitch... but if it is not mastered then it is not going to be as effective as it could be.
Absolutely correct. Few dads and DDs take the time to really master a pitch.

When thrown correctly, I have yet to see a batter make solid contact if they hit it at all.
They will.
May 31, 2012
Waldrop throws a great flip. It's better to have a few good pitches then alot of mediocre pitches. DD throws a flip. Most days it's good. Some days it's not so good but she's committed to it. So we spend a lot of time working on it.
May 17, 2012
Through 14u it doesn't really matter as long as it slow and thrown low. You could yell out change up when you are calling pitches and it wouldn't matter.

Once batters learn to resist (and not guess the timing) at 16u and up your change had better look like a fastball before you release it.

Hope that makes sense.

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