Are you tipping off your pitches?
I saw the following photo on ESPN.com the other day and thought I would use it as a reminder of something I have talked about in the past. Here is the photo.
Ask experienced hitters at the major league level and I guarantee that they will say that every pitcher tips off their pitches in some way. The difficulty for hitters is that most of the time the pitchers tip it off too late for the batter to see it or do anything about it. When I played, one of the things I would look at as a batter was how the pitcher’s wrist appeared when he lifted his leg and came to the balanced position like the picture above. I found that this is usually a good place to look to predict what was coming.
In the photo above, the pitcher has a distinct bend in his throwing wrist. In my experience as a hitter and a pitcher, this usually means a fastball or something else that tends to be fast like a slider or cutter. When a wrist is more flat it tends to be a change-up or a curve ball. Of course, every pitcher is different so tendencies cannot be written in stone.
If you are a pitcher, be careful not to do things that might tip off your pitches. If you are a hitter, look for these tip offs!
For other ways pitchers tip off pitches, check out this video I made a while ago.