4 Seam Vs 2 Seam Fastball

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Pitching in baseball is one of the skills that make the game interesting. The success of a team depends on how well they can apply the different pitching skills during the game. Pitching is defined by Wikipedia as the act of throwing the baseball toward the home plate to start a play. There are forms of pitches commonly used in baseball: the fastball, changeups, and breaking balls. Each of the skills has sub techniques in them. This article will focus on two in the fastball. The fastball has five skills: the forkball, two seams, cutter, four-seam, and splitter. If you are new to baseball, this term may be strange to you from the regular fans as they are among the most used terms during the game. We will focus on the two skills in fastball, four-seam and two-seam fastballs. Let us know about ‘4 Seam Vs 2 Seam Fastball’.

4 Seam Vs 2 Seam Fastball

4 Seam Vs 2 Seam Fastball

Don’t be confused about the 4 Seam Vs 2 Seam Fastball. They are distinct from each other. Both aim toward getting a count in the base plate by the pitcher. The four-seam and two-seam fastballs vary based on ball movement, grip, and speed. The two seams are not applied by a pitcher simultaneously. The needs in the pitch determine the type of seam a pitcher will use. Four seams works when a pitcher is short of counts, while two-seam puts a batter off balance close to the strike zone.

Difference Between Four Seam Fastball And Two Seam Fastball?

The four-seam fastball is different from a two-seam fastball based on how the ball  clasped by the pitcher (grip), ball movement, and speed. The four-seam fastball has most speed than the two-seam fastball because the ball is targeted directly toward the plate. The grip of a four-seam is not held firmly as in the two-seam.

The four-seam fastball is applicable when a pitcher is short of count, and his opponent is already ahead. Two-seam fastball can not be applicable here especially if the pitcher is farther from the plate because the shots do not follow a straight path but sway in the direction of the hand it is shot from. If a two-seam is applied, the ball with not get to the target.

While Four Seam Fastball is more direct and fast through a direct path, the four-seam aims at throwing the catcher off balance. If it’s through with the right hand, the ball will move toward the left. If thrown with the left hand it moves toward the right.

In terms of grip, the four-seam fastball doesn’t require pressure from the index finger. It is handled in a delicate pattern that allows for space between the index finger, middle finger, and thumb. The two-seam fastball requires pressure from the index finger, making it a difficult shot in strike zones because the ball goes deeper than a fastball.

When holding a four-seam fastball your hand while having the curve as in the letter C while that of the two-seam has a U shape.

When To Use A Two Seam Fastball And A Four Seam Fastball?

As mentioned earlier, every pitcher must know when to use each pitch as they all have their distinctive strength and limitations. A two-seam fastball is best used to aim for the count when in proximity to the home plate. If far away, it can be used to distract a catch because of its direction of movement which is not straight. The Four Seam Fastball can be applied from any distance to get a count especially when you are short of counts. The ball moves in a straight path to the plate in the strike zone.

How To Position The Two-Seam Fastball For A Throw?

The two-seam fastball is held with the use of the index and middle finger. The thumb is placed on the seam close to the under of the ball, with pressure being applied to it. The ball must go deep in the hand to ensure a firm grasp of the ball before it is thrown. Throwing a two-seam fastball requires a twist in the arm before it is released. The hand where the ball is used must form a U-shaped cure.

How To Position The Four-Seam Fastball For A Throw?

To have the best when applying the four-seam fastball on the pitch, positioning the hand is very important. The pitcher must ensure that his angle is lowered as the ball movement depends on this. The ball has to be held without pressure with the middle and index finger on the seam of the ball. The thumb is placed at the center under the ball. There should be a space between the ball and the palms to have a fast move.


An understanding of how to utilize a ball makes a difference for pitchers. The four-seam fastball is the most used pitch by pitchers because it is easy to throw and understood. The two-seam fastball requires a baseball player to be more versatile with the use of a four-seam before moving to it. Extra care needs to be applied when using the two-seam fastball else an outer count will be recorded against the pitcher. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Between four-seam fastballs and two-seam fastballs, which is the best seam?

None of the seams is the best. Each works differently and applies on a specific occasion. A pitcher must be versatile in the use of both.

  • Which of the seam is faster?

In terms of speed, the two-seam fastball is not as fast as the four-seam fastball.

  • Which of the fastball should be learned first?

If you are new to baseball, it is advised that you learn how to throw the four-seam fastball before the two-seam fastball. It is easier to navigate with the four-seam than with the two-seam fastball.

  • Why is there a large space between the fingers and the palms when gripping the four-seam fastball?

The extra space created between the fingers and palm is to ensure the free movement of the ball as it reduces friction on the ball. When holding a two-seam fastball the ball must go deeper into the palms.





4 Seam Vs 2 Seam Fastball
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