Scouting a changeup can be similar to scouting a fastball in terms a velocity, but arm speed and delivery take an even more considerable attention. A well used changeup can actually increase a fastball’s velocity by 2 or 3 mph in the way of an illusion of course.
A changeup that is being thrown at 76 to 78 that counteracts a 88 to 91 mph fastball, will make a batter think the fastball is more around 92 to 93 mph.
When scouting the changeup some things I look for in a pitcher are timing and delivery. How does a pitcher use his changeup? A successful changeup can be a pitcher’s greatest weapon or best homerun pitch.
A pitcher’s ability of knowing when to throw the changeup becomes extremely important and a trait that is not easily taught. Instincts take over at some points as to what points are good to use it.
Throwing a changeup requires arm speed and body speed to be the exact same as the fastball. If a pitcher slows down his arm speed or rotation he tips his pitch. This is where playing at the high school level stats can be ballooned, for a bad changeup can still get young hitters bats to swing and miss.
Projections become even more important now in this scouting grade as to determine whether or not this changeup can be a pitch that is used on a high level. A changeup often can be graded upon how opposing hitters swing at this pitch.
Out in front, flying open on this pitch can be two pieces of grading material a scout can use to decide the depth and greatness of the changeup being thrown.
The changeup can often be the make or break pitch for a kid to become a prospect. A 2 pitch pitcher is good, but a 3 pitch pitcher becomes nasty and unhittable at times. This pitch is often times a pitch that will take a young pitcher to a projectable 4th or 5th starter to a front of the line guy.