Ways to Pick up a Curveball:
- Digging: Does the pitcher “dig” for the grip when he is coming set?
- Wrist in Glove: Does the pitcher’s wrist look different on curveballs when he is set in the glove?
- Arm Slot: Does the pitcher release his curveball at a higher or lower arm slot than his fastball?
- Arm Speed: Does the pitcher slow his arm down on curveballs?
- Wrist at Release: Can you see a noticeable difference in wrist angle when he releases the ball?
Recognizing the Flight:
- Pitching Window: Locking the eyes in at the spot where the pitcher releases the ball will give you a split second longer to react and pick up what pitch you are getting.
- Ball Flight: Some pitchers have a curveball that will appear to “jump” out of the hand. Jumping refers to the ball moving up over the release point shortly after the pitch is thrown, instead of flat or down, like a fastball would.
- Release Height: If you are able to recognize a curveball, understand that where the pitch starts tells you a ton about where it will end up. A curveball that starts above your eye line will end up in the middle of the strike zone, a curveball at the middle of the zone will end up low, and a curveball at the bottom part of the zone will end up in the dirt.