View Poll Results: Nastiest change-up in MLB?

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  • Pedro Martinez

    40 47.62%
  • Eric Gagne

    11 13.10%
  • Jason Schmidt

    2 2.38%
  • Johan Santana

    27 32.14%
  • Other

    4 4.76%
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  1. #1

    Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    In an art where the whole point is to disrupt, throw off and in some cases - destroy - a hitter's timing, the changeup remains the most 'powerful' type of pitch one can have in his repertoire. Not only is there no other combination in baseball more effective at messing up a hitter's timing, it also puts significantly less stress on the arm than a curveball, slider or splitter. And although it has more to do with arm motion than anything else, it can also feature equally as nasty of movement as the other mentioned pitches.

    From 1997 to around 2001, I don't think there was really any doubt as to who this title belonged to. The man's changeup was so incredible he could punch you out on three straight without even showing you the 97 MPH heater. However, over the last few years new strikeout pitchers have emerged, using and mastering the changeup as their bread and butter for domination. Unlike Greg Maddux, who probably had the best of the early 90s, the best change-ups of today feature incredible movement and cause hitters to swing and miss... frequently.

    You've got Jason Schmidt and Eric Gagne, who will regularly throw 96-98 MPH before going down a notch and delivering changeups with splitter-like motion in the 84-88 MPH range. You've got the master of the circle change, Johan Santana, who throws in the low 90s before droping one 14-18 MPH slower, with "parachute" movement. And of course, El Rey, who still throws in the 90s with his change featuring very rare screwball-action movement.

    Honestly, I don't have any idea which is the nastiest. I would love to just sit down and watch strikeout clips of each of them throwing their best changeups one after the other. Perhaps there are others who already have their mind made up on this debate...

  2. #2
    My photograph. Soriambi's Avatar
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Foulke has a pretty good one as well. I've seen all of them pitch, Pedro more than the others, since the Yankees have played him more, but I haven't seen them pitch on a regular enough basis where I feel that I could vote and actually feel that I made a knowledgable choice, but good question.
    -Kevin

    "My point is you can't compare things with statistics." Joe Morgan


    RIP, Pete.

  3. #3

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Clemens comes to mind. Mr. Splitty is still pretty good.
    ~John

  4. #4

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Clemens throws a split-fingered fastball so he doesn't really qualify as having the best change-up, since I assume they're talking about a pitch that's called a change-up, otherwise Zito's curves and such would count as well.

    Pedro Martinez' changeup is pretty ridiculous.

  5. #5

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I actually don't know if it is really fair to compare Pedro, Santana and Schmidt with Gagne because they are have to hold their stuff for 6, 7, 8, even 9 innings and 100+ pitches where as Gagne can go all out, and failed miserably as a starter. That's why I don't buy the notion that any closer's pitch is better than a top tier starter other than Mariano Rivera's cutter.

    Some of the best were on display today:

    P. Martinez: 9 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
    J. Santana: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
    J. Schmidt: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

    It's just such a subjective issue because the movement and speed on all of them are very different. I think Pedro's change-up is simply the greatest single pitch in the history of the game, but thats circa 1997-2001 before his shoulder injury. Santana's parachute circle change may be a little bit better than Pedro's screwball-action in 2005. That pitch is so damn good I put it as my user name. But not better than Pedro's best.

  6. #6
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I'll take Pedro's change up.
    [i]The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime."[/i] [b]-Babe Ruth[/b]

  7. #7

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoxFanXL
    I'll take Pedro's change up.
    Too bad the Red Sox wouldn't.

  8. #8

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemingway
    Clemens throws a split-fingered fastball so he doesn't really qualify as having the best change-up, since I assume they're talking about a pitch that's called a change-up, otherwise Zito's curves and such would count as well.
    This is what I get for trying to multi-task.
    ~John

  9. #9

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by ring403
    This is what I get for trying to multi-task.
    Well, Clemen's splitter actually works as a change-up because it comes in 7 or 8 mph slower looking like a fastball before dropping out of the zone although its not quite the same as a Pedro or Santana pitch in the sense of a REAL changeup.

  10. #10
    Punk bnorris85's Avatar
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    holy god pedro was tiny


  11. #11

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by Circle Change
    Too bad the Red Sox wouldn't.
    I agree, though I do think that the Sox will get judged unfairly this season when it comes to not re-signing him. He will perform much better in the NL than he would have with the Sox.

    BTW, I voted Perdo.

  12. #12

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyc39
    I agree, though I do think that the Sox will get judged unfairly this season when it comes to not re-signing him. He will perform much better in the NL than he would have with the Sox
    What I've seen so far doesn't have to do so much with a league switch as it does with Pedro just having excellent, superior stuff. I don't care people say about teams not being familiar, Pedro's change against Cincinnati had movement on it that I haven't seen in years, quite frankly. He was throwing 95 mph in the first inning of that game, and did so again today against the Atlanta Braves.

  13. #13
    Pump your brakes, kid. IntangiblesRule's Avatar
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Nobody has a better change than the right hand of God.

    Pedro in a runaway.
    sXe!

    Autobots ROLL!!!

  14. #14
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Hey, what about Chris Hammond?

    Kidding, but not entirely ... he did post a sub 1.00 ERA with it in 2002 (75 IP).

  15. #15

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Pedro. It's still an out and K pitch even when he struggles to hit 90 on the gun.

  16. #16

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I picked Santana. Close with Pedro though, ESPECIALLY when Pedro cranks it up to 95, and then throws the change.

  17. #17
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    When Pedro is on. None better.
    [IMG]http://johnedwards.com/assets/downloads/email-signature.jpg[/IMG]

  18. #18

    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by -tz
    Hey, what about Chris Hammond?

    Kidding, but not entirely ... he did post a sub 1.00 ERA with it in 2002 (75 IP).
    The change is certainly effective for Hammond, but because he's not a power pitcher who K's guys with it, he probably doesn't fall in the "nasty" category.
    Another guy who you have to mention when talking about the changeup is Jamie Moyer, who has built a long major league career out of throwing the change, almost exclusively. He basically has an 85 MPH fastball, and a dozen different speeds on the changeup.
    ~John

  19. #19
    NYYF Cy Young


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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I'd go with Pedro Martinez right now... Santana is closing the gap though

    -Triple G

  20. #20
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Quote Originally Posted by Circle Change
    Too bad the Red Sox wouldn't.


    I'm glad they didn't... not for that many years and not at that price.
    [i]The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime."[/i] [b]-Babe Ruth[/b]

  21. #21
    Your 2014 NY Yankees JDPNYY's Avatar
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Hoping for Mariano Rivera.
    Pardon, for us.

  22. #22
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I'm shocked that no one has mentioned a guy who might have had the best one in the league for many recent years:

    Trevor Hoffman.
    Mo' Nut: One Smoove Brotha.

    Jaret Wright's 2005 Cy Young Season: 20-3, 3.04 ERA

  23. #23
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I picked Pedro, edging out Santana by a hair

  24. #24
    NYYF MVP


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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    I pick El Duque for the best speed mixing around.

  25. #25
    Let's go Rangers! RhodyYanksFan's Avatar
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    Re: Nastiest change-up in baseball?

    Pedro in 2000, I would say either Santana or Schmidt now.

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