How to Throw a Splitter

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The splitter, or split-finger fastball, resembles a fastball in both velocity and direction as it heads toward the plate. When thrown well, though, it loses speed and drops to the dirt just before it reaches the hitter.

Things You'll Need

  • Baseball Fielding Gloves
  • Baseballs
  • Baseball Scoresheets
  • Baseball Cleats
  • Baseball Caps/hats
  • Grip the ball as you would a two-seam fastball, holding it with your middle and index fingers at the point where the seams are closest to each other.

  • Spread your middle and index fingers outward and along the seams, extending them to the point where the seams are farthest from each other.

  • Support the ball with your thumb and small fingers. Your thumb should lie along the seam stitched on the underside of the ball, while the ball should rest in a "V" formation.

  • Go into your windup. Remember to pivot and shift your body weight from your back foot forward toward home plate.

  • Keep your wrist loose as you release, and try not to throw the ball with more than an adequate amount of force.

  • Throw the pitch using the same motion as a fastball, flicking your wrist downward as you release.

  • Follow through. Your feet should parallel each other at the end of the pitch, and your throwing arm should come across the front of your body.

Tips & Warnings

  • Exerting differing pressures with your fingertips will control the splitter's downward movement. Experiment with making the ball drop at different speeds as it approaches home plate.
  • A similar, though more challenging, pitch grip is the forkball. Grip a forkball by splitting your middle and index fingers as wide as possible, creating a "V" formation outside the seams. Your thumb should provide the main support, lying on the underside of the ball between the middle and index fingers. When thrown properly, the ball should show more movement than a change-up.
  • This is an advanced pitch for more mature arms only. Consult a baseball coach or manager for more information on throwing the splitter.

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