Reading spin & movement for better pitch recognition starts with understanding EXACTLY what each pitch typically type does after the pitcher releases the ball.
Once a hitter understands the spin, shade and overall movement of each pitch type, then it's about having the instincts to showcase elite level pitch recognition.
The Four Seam Fastball
A solid reddish/brownish shade. Tighter spin. Typically is the pitch with the least amount of movement. Occasionally a pitcher with a three-quarters release or a left-handed pitch will have some natural movement on their four-seam fastball.
Two Seam Fastball
Slight horizontal, looser spin with a lighter shade. The Pitch cuts towards the pitcher's throwing side.
The movement is similar to a left-handed four-seam or a three-quarters release.
A Light shade. The Pitch pops out of pitcher's hands at the release point. Occasionally breaks 12 to 6 o'clock. Occasionally, you can also pick up the curveball from the angle of the wrist.
The wrist will seem wider as the pitcher's fingers are placed on the side of the ball.
A beginner's curveball will occasionally have the index finger up and off the ball.
A darker shade than a breaking ball. Resembles the fastball
The slider breaks toward the pitcher's glove side. There's also a "red dot" at two o'clock.
The lightest shade of all the pitches. An off-white tint. The spin direction is the opposite of the breaking ball. When thrown right, the pitch seems to "drop off the table."
There you have it. Reading spin & movement for better pitch Recognition on these five pitches is one of the quickest ways to sharpen the tools in your toolbox to develop elite-level pitch recognition and baseball vision.
If you want to learn more about approaches you can use to make sure you're taking controlled, aggressive & consistent swings on these pitch types by using your pitch recognition skills, you can check out some mental hitting tips on seeing the ball better or better yet, join us in the Applied Vision Baseball Pitch Recognition Training App.