Gelfand’s method to throwing heat


Junior pitcher Clayton Gelfand displays his four-seam fastball grip on the baseball. Photo credit: Danielle Pubill

Pitching is a rare art form and is difficult at almost any level. With 81 innings pitched overall, junior right-handed pitcher Clayton Gelfand has given up only 62 hits and 25 runs. He has also struck out 73 batters this season.

According to Gelfand, he has been pitching since he can remember. His career didn’t take off until high school. After much help from his coaches to develop his speed and strength, he found he discovered he had a talent.

Currently clocking around 89-92 mph, Gelfand has three different pitches: his change up, curveball and his favorite pitch, the four-seam fastball.

Gelfand’s first pitch is his curveball. It is held with three fingers to the right of the second seam and a thumb on the bottom of the ball.

Junior pitcher Clayton Gelfand shows off his curveball grip on the baseball. Photo credit: Danielle Pubill

The next pitch Gelfand uses is his circle change up. Two of his fingers sit on the seams: his index finger as support on the side and his thumb on the bottom creating a circle. He uses this to throw off batters with the slower speed of the ball.

Junior pitcher Clayton Gelfand explains his circle change up grip on the baseball. Photo credit: Danielle Pubill

“I like to get ahead batters, so I like to get ahead with a fastball. Zero, one, zero, two, and then come back with some off the plater, off-speed pitch,” Gelfand said. He uses his breaking pitches to achieve this.

Gelfand explained his strategy to throwing strikes.”I like to sit on the outside corners because that is hard to hit even when hitters are ready,” he explained.

He said it makes it more difficult for hitters to get a hard hit if you keep the ball toward the outside corners.

With a great coaching staff and team behind him, Gelfand has achieved nine wins and only four losses. Gelfand has led the Wildcats to many victories and looks to continue to do so in the future.

Danielle Pubill can be reached at [email protected] or @DaniellePubil1 on Twitter.