Designing a Splitter
A splitter is one of the hardest pitches to throw consistently. It requires a player to spread his pointer and middle finger around the center of the ball in varying spots. The goal, like the changeups above, is to decrease the spin and velocity while making it look similar to a fastball.
On the chart, the splitter has the least amount of positive Testarm side movement and nearly 0 inches of vertical movement. Don't forget, a ball with 0 inches of vertical movement still has a natural drop when gravity acts on it. The more time the ball has between hand and glove, the more drop you can gain. The desired effect is a ball that spins with the same axis as your fastball. but drops more at the last second due to the lack of spin.
Spin Axis Goals:
This pitch can be most effect at an axis in the range of 1:30-4:00. It should be similar to whatever axis your fastball sits. This is so the pitch will show similar initial horizontal movement before falling below their bat.
Spin Efficiency Goals:
A splitter should have minimal spin, but that spin must be backspin. Some describe this pitch as a wobbly 2-seam; which means you will not be getting 100% spin efficiency. you should aim to have a spin efficiency around 75%.
Two prolific splitter throwers, Kirby Yates and Jeurys Familia, can be seem below. Yates and Familia utilize their splitter at high velocities in the upper 80s and low 90s.
A splitter has similar action to some of the sinkers we looked at earlier, with significantly more vertical movement. Even though it is one of the hardest pitches to control consistently, it has the potential to be one of the hardest pitches in your repertoire for a hitter to handle.
Here are a collection of different ways players have thrown a splitter; this pitch will take a lot of tinkering to find what works best for you.
Stay tuned for my next project where we will be dissecting the best pitchers in the game!