Cole Hamels is featured in the July/August issue of Men’s Health.
The magazine had Hamels show the grips for his three pitches: fastball, changeup and curveball. Alan Nathan, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois, explained how they work.
The Four-Seam Fastball
“If your fingers are symmetrical and perpendicular to the top seam, you’ll release the ball with maximum backspin,” Nathan says. The resulting upward force opposes the downward pull of gravity.
The Circle Changeup
Grip the top with the lengths, not the tips, of your last three fingers. “The ball will rest farther back in your palm, which will slow the pitch,” Nathan says. Slower pitches magnify the effects of spin, caused here by the slight tilt of the thumb-and- forefinger circle.
The Curve Ball
To prime your pitch for this classic trick, squeeze the length of the top seam with your middle finger and place your index finger slightly behind it. “Your fingers will release the ball with top spin, causing it to drop as it approaches the strike zone,” Nathan says.
Right-hander Kyle Drabek and left-hander Yohan Flande will represent the Phillies next month in the Futures All-Star Game in St. Louis.