The answer is quite simple and one never needs to overthink this question. The best pitch is and always will remain is a well located fastball. It is the first pitch you ever learned. The first time you picked up a ball and threw it – it was a fastball. We have been practicing the fastball since we were two and if we are lucky, we get to practice this same pitch our entire career.
The more you throw your fastball with a proper mechanic, the more effective your fastball becomes. The more you throw your fastball with a proper mechanic, the more trust you develop in that pitch.
Young players become fascinated with off-speed pitches at an early age. They are new, foreign and mysterious. There is a certain aura to the off-speed pitch that illuminates and colors the game.
“Did you see his curveball? It drops off the table?”
“Did you pick up the dot on his slider? It slid right out of the strike zone.”
“His splitfinger looks like a fastball and then dives into the dirt.”
Young people and adults alike forget about Old Charlie – the traditional four-seamer. The fastball.
If you can locate a fastball, it is the most effective pitch in the game and it isn’t even close.
- A fastball low in the zone
- A fastball on the outside corner.
- A fastball in
These three fastball locations set up other pitches while still recording out after out.
Although the aura and mystery of the off-speed pitch might be alluring, never forget the importance of the fastball.
It was the first pitch you learned and it should be your favorite. It is the root of all good pitchers. The roots give the tree strength to withstand the storms and winds. Off-speed pitchers are the leaves, flowers and branches of the tree. They are important but not essential. The fastball is the root of any pitcher. So stick to your roots.