Chelsea Wilkinson

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Jan 25, 2022
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I've looked at a lot of images of Wilkenson and Waldrop and don't find many, if any photos of them with their thumb opposite their middle finger (I guess think traditional fastball or dropball grip).

waldrop_zpsf5baa8c6.jpg

This is the grip my daughter was taught to use for a change-up. Hand pulls over the back creating a slow speed with backspin. She had trouble throwing it because she didn't understand it. When it worked, it was beautiful.
 
Nov 9, 2021
176
43
This is the grip my daughter was taught to use for a change-up. Hand pulls over the back creating a slow speed with backspin. She had trouble throwing it because she didn't understand it. When it worked, it was beautiful.

That is what my DD uses as a change up as well. She kind of stumbled across it messing with something else but can repeat the action. It is probably her best pitch. We used to describe it as a slow rise. But that just confused people. It does have true backspin but we just call it a change up now. Still get asked what she is throwing regularly because it does look different.


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Jan 25, 2022
844
93
That is what my DD uses as a change up as well. She kind of stumbled across it messing with something else but can repeat the action. It is probably her best pitch. We used to describe it as a slow rise. But that just confused people. It does have true backspin but we just call it a change up now. Still get asked what she is throwing regularly because it does look different.


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My daughter's first instructor was self-taught (as I recall) and played on the men's national team for a few years. He did some things differently than most. My daughter is fooling with a knuckle changeup now. She's picked it up faster than the others she's tried, and I'm told it's the easiest to learn.
 
Jan 25, 2022
844
93
It's also the easiest to pick. At the lower levels it doesn't matter but as you move up coaches then hitters will see that bent finger.

This is high school level. She pitches out of the glove, though. I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's hard to spot by the time it's on the move upward. I feel pretty confident that in our area, hardly anyone we play would be able to spot it (or spot and relay as a coach) at that point. Regardless, it's her best bet to get something semi-reliable before the season starts. We spent the whole offseason working on other things, unfortunately. We'll just have to see how she goes. : )
 
Jul 2, 2013
379
43
This is high school level. She pitches out of the glove, though. I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's hard to spot by the time it's on the move upward. I feel pretty confident that in our area, hardly anyone we play would be able to spot it (or spot and relay as a coach) at that point. Regardless, it's her best bet to get something semi-reliable before the season starts. We spent the whole offseason working on other things, unfortunately. We'll just have to see how she goes. : )

DD has thrown just about every version of the CU but settled on the knuckle. She actually learned it from a woman who played international softball after college (this woman actually threw both a two and three knuckle change). And she had an instructor who was a D1 pitcher that used it as her primary change.

DD always had a backswing growing up. It was just something she preferred. There was one team in high school that picked her change on the backswing. Or, more specifically one coach who did, and had a code word she would call out to the batter when she saw it coming. We worked on changing her to pitching out of the glove between her sr year of HS and her freshman year of college because I knew batters would pick it on the backswing at that level.

I'll also add that every college coach she pitched for commented on her CU. One of them basically told her they offered her because of it. It's amazing how few pitchers throw that pitch well.
 
Aug 21, 2008
2,331
113
It's also the easiest to pick. At the lower levels it doesn't matter but as you move up coaches then hitters will see that bent finger.
I sorta agree but for a different reason. I wouldn't say the bent finger would necessarily get someone picked. Most male pitchers cock their index finger on the rise, and a good number of my own students use that grip too. So, if you had said "hitters will see that bent fingerS" with an S, so it's plural, I'd say you're onto something. But, I'd take it one step further. Most girls don't have hand size to hold onto the ball for a knuckleball. Even though this version of the knuckleball is being used as a change up, as opposed to a Phil Niekro who through his knuckleball 95% of his pitches.

With handsize being an issue for most girls, it's going to be very hard so them to conceal the ball at all. So even if the grip itself (seeing the knuckle as Armwhip said) is being somewhat concealed, it's very likely that there is something else that will make the pitch quite noticeable for either or both coaches and hitters. Examples could be:

1. more hand than usual is buried in the glove further as she tries to conceal both her ball and hand in the glove.

2. if the glove is usually wrapped tight around the wrist for the other pitches, again going back to hand size, it becomes very hard for them to close the glove around the wrist

The CU is more subjective than other pitches and the ONLY hard fast rule is not to slow down at the release which telegraphs it. Riseball, Dropball, and even Curveballs have correct spin. Regardless how someone else grips their riseball, the grip is unimportant. How I grip mine might be different than how another pitcher or pitching coach holds theirs, and there's no right and wrong (while some grips have more advantages than others, that doesn't make my grip "right" and someone else's to be "wrong".) But the change can come in a variety of different ways and as long as the pitcher doesn't slow themselves down before release, then it's got a good chance of being a good CU. But, with sooooo many options of having a good change up, it makes more sense to start working on that NOW. Play the long game here. Yes, you could have a knuckleball change up now but as stated earlier, it's not going to be good in the long run. So, down the road you she'll most likely have to change the way she throws this pitch. There's literally dozens of better change ups out there which will benefit her now AND later. Be willing to struggle during the process of learning one. It's worth going through the growing pains when she's young vs. later in her career when things get more serious.
 
May 18, 2019
269
43
I sorta agree but for a different reason. I wouldn't say the bent finger would necessarily get someone picked. Most male pitchers cock their index finger on the rise, and a good number of my own students use that grip too. So, if you had said "hitters will see that bent fingerS" with an S, so it's plural, I'd say you're onto something. But, I'd take it one step further. Most girls don't have hand size to hold onto the ball for a knuckleball. Even though this version of the knuckleball is being used as a change up, as opposed to a Phil Niekro who through his knuckleball 95% of his pitches.

With handsize being an issue for most girls, it's going to be very hard so them to conceal the ball at all. So even if the grip itself (seeing the knuckle as Armwhip said) is being somewhat concealed, it's very likely that there is something else that will make the pitch quite noticeable for either or both coaches and hitters. Examples could be:

1. more hand than usual is buried in the glove further as she tries to conceal both her ball and hand in the glove.

2. if the glove is usually wrapped tight around the wrist for the other pitches, again going back to hand size, it becomes very hard for them to close the glove around the wrist

The CU is more subjective than other pitches and the ONLY hard fast rule is not to slow down at the release which telegraphs it. Riseball, Dropball, and even Curveballs have correct spin. Regardless how someone else grips their riseball, the grip is unimportant. How I grip mine might be different than how another pitcher or pitching coach holds theirs, and there's no right and wrong (while some grips have more advantages than others, that doesn't make my grip "right" and someone else's to be "wrong".) But the change can come in a variety of different ways and as long as the pitcher doesn't slow themselves down before release, then it's got a good chance of being a good CU. But, with sooooo many options of having a good change up, it makes more sense to start working on that NOW. Play the long game here. Yes, you could have a knuckleball change up now but as stated earlier, it's not going to be good in the long run. So, down the road you she'll most likely have to change the way she throws this pitch. There's literally dozens of better change ups out there which will benefit her now AND later. Be willing to struggle during the process of learning one. It's worth going through the growing pains when she's young vs. later in her career when things get more serious.
My DD throws a knuckle change. It has been picked so we've been experimenting with getting the grip mid arm circle which surprisingly is going pretty well though she doesn't have huge hands.
 
Jun 20, 2015
829
93
one thing to explore is pitcher starts with change up grip every pitch and changes slightly during motion. Or throw that CU grip full velo with no attempt to remove speed.

Anything you can do as a pitcher to make batter guess at pitch and it's actually different pitch... the better. Like the 4 seam fastball that looks exactly like a drop. same rotation, same motion, one breaks a little, one breaks a bunch.
 

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