“Kids who threw the slider were at three times the risk of getting injured,” Register-Mihalik says. They reported more pain more often than other pitchers. One reason could be the mechanics necessary to throw a good slider. It requires a more violent arm motion; it’s like a combination of a curve and a fastball.
A slider that doesn’t break as much as a pitcher hopes is referred to as a “hanging slider” or a “hanger” and is much easier for the batter to hit because of its straight trajectory and sub-fastball velocity.
between 14 and 15
The right age to start throwing a slider or curveball is between 14 and 15, which gives a player enough time to develop the pitch (takes 1-3 years) so that it’s good by the time the college recruiting process heats up.
This movement is created because the ball will rotate with a combination of side spin and gyro (or bullet) spin. Sliders are also usually thrown faster than a curveball and are roughly 6 to 10 mph off the fastball.
Every subject threw fastballs and a breaking ball of their choice, and some subjects threw additional changeups. Sliders had the highest arm stress (54.6 ± 12.9 N·m) while curveballs had the lowest (46.8 ± 16.3 N·m).
A curveball is a breaking pitch that has more movement than just about any other pitch. It is thrown slower and with more overall break than a slider, and it is used to keep hitters off-balance. When executed correctly by a pitcher, a batter expecting a fastball will swing too early and over the top of the curveball.
12-year-olds should stick to throwing fastballs and change-ups. Throwing other pitches, like curveballs or sliders, can place unnecessary pressure on a young pitcher’s shoulder. This pressure on the shoulder has the potential to cause shoulder issues in the future.
James Andrews (renowned orthopaedic surgeon and medical director for the Andrews Institute) recommends that youth pitchers refrain from throwing curveballs until they have mastered the fastball and change-up and are at least 14 years old4.
11 and 12 Year Olds
The average fastball is between 50-60 mph. However, at this age the players may start to hit puberty, therefore it is not uncommon to see a pitcher throwing near 70 mph. The changeup velocity at this age is typically between 40-50 mph.
Definition. A pitcher throws a splitter by gripping the ball with his two fingers “split” on opposite sides of the ball. When thrown with the effort of a fastball, the splitter will drop sharply as it nears home plate. … Splitters are a relatively uncommon offspeed pitch, but they are still used with some prevalence.
Definition. A knuckleball is a very rare pitch, and the pitchers who throw it during games tend to use it almost exclusively. The goal of a knuckleball is to eliminate almost all of the spin on the baseball, causing it to flutter unpredictably on its way to the plate.
Pitchers who are 13-16 should throw a maximum of 95 pitches; 13- and 14-year-olds need four days rest when they reach 66 pitches, and 15- and 16-year-olds need four days rest when they reach 76.
|Age||Average Velocity¹||Your Goal²|
|11||52 MPH||55 MPH|
|12||55 MPH||60 MPH|
|13||62 MPH||65 MPH|
|14||68 MPH||70 MPH|
|Age||Daily Max (Pitches in Game)||2 Days Rest|
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