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Type of Pitch % breakdown in games

Nov 22, 2019
155
28
I was curious if any former or current pitchers (or coaches) know what is their average pitch breakdown in games was/is, especially college level or high-end travel (HS age).

I asked Amanda Scarsborough and she said freshman year (not sure if HS or college):
60-65% screw
20-25% curve
5-10% Change-up

Junior Year:
40% Drop
30% screw
20% curve
10% change-up
 
Aug 21, 2008
1,453
113
NJ, I cannot speak to Ms. Scarborough's numbers and pitch selection but they do seem a bit peculiar.

But there are so many variables that go into this question that it'd be impossible to answer. I had seen scouting reports of teams who hit the riseball very well, only to have our pitcher throw mostly riseballs in that particular game because that team didn't prove they could hit our pitcher's rise. Or maybe they just had a bad day? Maybe the scouting report was wrong? Or maybe the umpire was extra friendly giving a certain pitch more leeway than he did others? Or any number of 100 scenarios. The point is, a pitcher can only fight one battle at a time. One pitch at a time and hope that particular pitch is the right one to throw in that exact situation. That may sound cliché but it's true. I'm just saying things rarely work out as planned, if a dropball pitcher is sent to the circle but her drop isn't going down that particular day, can't find her rhythm or can't find the strike zone, then that planned attack of using dropballs just got scrapped. Time for plan B, whatever that is.
 
Nov 22, 2019
155
28
NJ, I cannot speak to Ms. Scarborough's numbers and pitch selection but they do seem a bit peculiar.

But there are so many variables that go into this question that it'd be impossible to answer. I had seen scouting reports of teams who hit the riseball very well, only to have our pitcher throw mostly riseballs in that particular game because that team didn't prove they could hit our pitcher's rise. Or maybe they just had a bad day? Maybe the scouting report was wrong? Or maybe the umpire was extra friendly giving a certain pitch more leeway than he did others? Or any number of 100 scenarios. The point is, a pitcher can only fight one battle at a time. One pitch at a time and hope that particular pitch is the right one to throw in that exact situation. That may sound cliché but it's true. I'm just saying things rarely work out as planned, if a dropball pitcher is sent to the circle but her drop isn't going down that particular day, can't find her rhythm or can't find the strike zone, then that planned attack of using dropballs just got scrapped. Time for plan B, whatever that is.

I was thinking more like season averages. When I was watching MLB playoffs, they would give the percentage based off of something (StatTrak maybe).
 
Nov 8, 2018
693
63
I was curious if any former or current pitchers (or coaches) know what is their average pitch breakdown in games was/is, especially college level or high-end travel (HS age).

I asked Amanda Scarsborough and she said freshman year (not sure if HS or college):
60-65% screw
20-25% curve
5-10% Change-up

Junior Year:
40% Drop
30% screw
20% curve
10% change-up
I would think it depend on what you can throw.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Jul 22, 2015
429
63
I was curious if any former or current pitchers (or coaches) know what is their average pitch breakdown in games was/is, especially college level or high-end travel (HS age).

I asked Amanda Scarsborough and she said freshman year (not sure if HS or college):
60-65% screw
20-25% curve
5-10% Change-up

Junior Year:
40% Drop
30% screw
20% curve
10% change-up
I understand what you're looking for, but I wonder much you can really learn from the numbers without actually knowing the pitcher well. For example, there are 2 of my travel pitchers who throw 25-33% change ups, but another who throws less than 10% most games. However, if you looked at riseball percentages the numbers would be almost exactly opposite. One of them throws about 40% drop, and another throws none. None of my business, but I'm curious if you're looking for help with pitch calling, general trends, or something else?
 
Nov 22, 2019
155
28
I understand what you're looking for, but I wonder much you can really learn from the numbers without actually knowing the pitcher well. For example, there are 2 of my travel pitchers who throw 25-33% change ups, but another who throws less than 10% most games. However, if you looked at riseball percentages the numbers would be almost exactly opposite. One of them throws about 40% drop, and another throws none. None of my business, but I'm curious if you're looking for help with pitch calling, general trends, or something else?
I’m trying to get a sense of a few things.
1) What tends to be high-level pitchers go-to pitches.
2) How many types of pitches do high-level pitchers commonly throw in games.
3) Does anyone throw a fastball?
4) Can you throw too many change-ups that batters just start to wait on them?
5) Are high—level pitchers throwing more up-down pitches (rise-drop) or side pitches (curve-screw). Do you need at least one up or down pitch and at least one side to side pitch?

I know there will be a lot of differences among pitchers. But I was trying to see if there any commonalities, and also how many different avenues there are to success.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,435
113
Dallas, Texas
I’m trying to get a sense of a few things.
1) What tends to be high-level pitchers go-to pitches.
2) How many types of pitches do high-level pitchers commonly throw in games.
3) Does anyone throw a fastball?
4) Can you throw too many change-ups that batters just start to wait on them?
5) Are high—level pitchers throwing more up-down pitches (rise-drop) or side pitches (curve-screw). Do you need at least one up or down pitch and at least one side to side pitch?

I know there will be a lot of differences among pitchers. But I was trying to see if there any commonalities, and also how many different avenues there are to success.
The #1, #3, and #4 batters on a D1 team are *PAID* to hit riseballs, drops, changeups and curves. A pitcher with mediocre movement pitches will be eaten alive by the #1, #3 and #4 hitters on college teams. And, if a pitcher can't consistenly get #1, #3 and #4 out, she won't make it in college.

Some Daddies want to make their kid the second coming of Cat Osterman and have her learn several different pitches. The kid never masters any pitch, and so never makes it in college ball.

My DD pitched at a D1 mid-major in college. To answer your questions:

1) My DD's go to pitch was a drop ball. As I've written many times, she had an amazing command of the pitch. She could throw it for a strike...she could throw high drops and low drops, inside, outside, wherever she wanted it. She would change speeds with the drop.
2) It depends upon how you define "different pitches". To my DD (and these are her words) "a drop curve, "straight" drop, and off speed drop are all the same pitch, just thrown slightly differently." She did not throw a curve, screw, rise or changeup.
3) Yes, she threw fastballs. Her words; "In a perfect world, I would throw breaking pitches all the time. But, it is not a perfect world. Sometimes I could not get the ball to break. Sometimes I got behind in the count. Sometimes I wanted to waste a pitch. Sometimes the umpire's strike zone was too small. Sometimes the umpire's strike zone was too big."
4) Pitchers have to be very careful with changeups. D1 softball hitters are much, much better than 18U hitters. With modern bats and strength training, good hitters can get fooled and still muscle the ball out of the park.
5) Vertical movement pitches (rise and drop) force the batter to use different swing planes. Horizontal pitches don't. All college pitchers mess around with curves, but rarely do you see someone who can actually throw it. Screwballs are a non-existent pitch thrown with fairy dust.

What does a pitcher really need in college: Superb control, one vertical movement pitch and one off-speed pitch. (My DD didn't walk anyone "accidentally" in college.) Watch Rachel Garcia during the 2019 CWS and see how many different pitches she throws...SPOILER ALERT: Fastball, riseball, and a couple of changeups.

What is superb control? Again, I'll tell the @riseball story: His DD pitched for Alabama. He watched her practice. There was a rope hanging from a ceiling with a knot in it. She was hitting the knot pitch after pitch after pitch. He walked up and said, "nice job! You're looking good." She says, "Not really. I'm trying to make the rope kick left."
 
Last edited:
Feb 3, 2010
5,497
83
Pac NW
What is superb control? Again, I'll tell the @riseball story: His DD pitched for Alabama. He watched her practice. There was a rope hanging from a ceiling with a knot in it. She was hitting the knot pitch after pitch after pitch. He walked up and said, "nice job! You're looking good." She says, "Not really. I'm trying to make the rope kick left."
South Carolina?
 
Last edited:
Mar 10, 2020
322
43
The #1, #3, and #4 batters on a D1 team are *PAID* to hit riseballs, drops, changeups and curves. A pitcher with mediocre movement pitches will be eaten alive by the #1, #3 and #4 hitters on college teams. And, if a pitcher can't consistenly get #1, #3 and #4 out, she won't make it in college.

Some Daddies want to make their kid the second coming of Cat Osterman and have her learn several different pitches. The kid never masters any pitch, and so never makes it in college ball.

My DD pitched at a D1 mid-major in college. To answer your questions:

1) My DD's go to pitch was a drop ball. As I've written many times, she had an amazing command of the pitch. She could throw it for a strike...she could throw high drops and low drops, inside, outside, wherever she wanted it. She would change speeds with the drop.
2) It depends upon how you define "different pitches". To my DD (and these are her words) "a drop curve, "straight" drop, and off speed drop are all the same pitch, just thrown slightly differently." She did not throw a curve, screw, rise or changeup.
3) Yes, she threw fastballs. Her words; "In a perfect world, I would throw breaking pitches all the time. But, it is not a perfect world. Sometimes I could not get the ball to break. Sometimes I got behind in the count. Sometimes I wanted to waste a pitch. Sometimes the umpire's strike zone was too small. Sometimes the umpire's strike zone was too big."
4) Pitchers have to be very careful with changeups. D1 softball hitters are much, much better than 18U hitters. With modern bats and strength training, good hitters can get fooled and still muscle the ball out of the park.
5) Vertical movement pitches (rise and drop) force the batter to use different swing planes. Horizontal pitches don't. All college pitchers mess around with curves, but rarely do you see someone who can actually throw it. Screwballs are a non-existent pitch thrown with fairy dust.

What does a pitcher really need in college: Superb control, one vertical movement pitch and one off-speed pitch. (My DD didn't walk anyone "accidentally" in college.) Watch Rachel Garcia during the 2019 CWS and see how many different pitches she throws...SPOILER ALERT: Fastball, riseball, and a couple of changeups.

What is superb control? Again, I'll tell the @riseball story: His DD pitched for Alabama. He watched her practice. There was a rope hanging from a ceiling with a knot in it. She was hitting the knot pitch after pitch after pitch. He walked up and said, "nice job! You're looking good." She says, "Not really. I'm trying to make the rope kick left."
This is subjective to what pitchers can throw and control.
Daughter has completely opposite mentality with pitch selection.
Throwing rise, curve, drops, 2 usable change up. Never wants a pitch to stay level or straight.
@sluggers your continued harping about Rachel Garcia performance is obviously a thorn in your side.
Not to throw salt on your wound but i completely disagree with you!
 
Jul 22, 2015
429
63
I’m trying to get a sense of a few things.
1) What tends to be high-level pitchers go-to pitches.
2) How many types of pitches do high-level pitchers commonly throw in games.
3) Does anyone throw a fastball?
4) Can you throw too many change-ups that batters just start to wait on them?
5) Are high—level pitchers throwing more up-down pitches (rise-drop) or side pitches (curve-screw). Do you need at least one up or down pitch and at least one side to side pitch?

I know there will be a lot of differences among pitchers. But I was trying to see if there any commonalities, and also how many different avenues there are to success.
From watching and talking to coaches here's what I've seen and/or heard:
1)The go to will be a vertical movement pitch for most, curve for some, change up for a few
2)Most pitchers seem to use 3 pitches for the vast majority of their volume, mixing in a fourth. But,
some of how you chart pitches relates to the next point and what you "name" each pitch.
As Sluggers said, some girls can make their drop move in or out and change speeds on it.
How many pitches is that?
3)Yes, most do at least a little. But, some throw 2 or 3 versions of a "fastball" so are they all one
pitch? Is it still even a "fastball" if you're looking to get it to move in or out? When I pitched in
baseball I used variations on each pitch and didn't need to name each but I think some
pitching coaches want to be able to tell a parent their kid throws 7 pitches.
4)If it's a bad change up then yes. If it's a good one and they start to sit on it then you really
have them set up to throw it out of the zone or use hard stuff up or in.
5)There are certainly both types, but to get really good hitters out consistently most pitchers need
a good vertical movement pitch, and ideally you'd be able to threaten hitters at the top and
bottom of the zone. Almost everyone "has" a curve but if you can make a fastball or drop
move away from a batter you can certainly get by without it more easily than without a
vertical movement pitch from what I've seen.

BTW- riseball's dd was at South Carolina and was a pleasure to watch. He's mentioned how he loved to watch announcers talk about her curveball because she couldn't throw one. Used seems and finger pressure to make her fastball move.
 

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