In baseball, one way to set yourself apart from others as a pitcher is to have a unique pitching style. Whether it’s overhand, three-quarters, sidearm, submarine, or something else entirely, every pitcher has a style distinct to their baseball identity. In MLB The Show 22, you can choose from one of over 700 pitching styles for your player from Current, Former, and Generic Players
Below, you will find Outsider Gaming’s ranking of best and unique pitching styles. This list will focus on Current Player styles, though many of the more exaggerated pitching motions are in the Former and Generic Player menus.
It should be noted that the pictured created player is a two-way righty with all styles shown from that side. Every player listed will also have their handedness listed (R or L). The list will be in alphabetical order.
1. Walker Buehler (R)
The young ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers – and if he isn’t, he will be the ace of the future – Walker Buehler has an easy, smooth pitching form which is a bit different from the others listed. Mainly, he’s listed here because the smooth motion leads into a nearly overhand delivery that works great for any pitcher using pitches with downward movement. If you pitcher has big breaking pitches like the 12-6 curve, knuckle curve, or slurve, Buehler’s motion is great.
2. Adam Cimber (R)
Similar to another righty on this list, Adam Cimber has a bit of a submarine style, though probably not as much as Tyler Rogers. The ball is released close to the ground, giving it a lot of rising movement for pitches up in the zone. Cimber is quick to the plate with virtually no leg kick into his stride. He has a more exaggerated follow through with his rear leg, swinging it forward and around. Pitches with horizontal movement like the slider, sweeping curve, and cutter will look even more deadly out of the hands of this motion.
3. Luis Garcia (R)
The Houston pitcher has a unique motion because of the preamble. Luis Garcia puts the ball into his glove and rocks it up (pictured) into a standing position. From there, he goes into a pretty standard three-quarters release motion. There are a lot of moving parts, but once you get the timing down for whichever pitching mode you choose – just watch your speed with Pinpoint Pitching – Garcia’s motion will give you a fluid choice. His release makes for great pitches with horizontal movement, including arm side, such as the sinker, slider, two seam, and circle change.
4. MacKenzie Gore (L)
The highly touted prospect who recently made his Major League debut in a successful outing, lefty MacKenzie Gore includes an aspect to his motion that isn’t seen as often as in the past: a high leg kick. While he doesn’t get as high as “The D-Train” Dontrelle Willis – who is available in the Former Players menu – he still raises it much higher than nearly every other pitcher in the game while turning his back slightly. He has a true three-quarters release. Particularly if you’re a lefty, sliders and slurves will seem to have even more break to them from this pitching motion.
5. Clayton Kershaw (L)
The future Hall of Famer who may be in his final season, Clayton Kershaw makes this list not only because his pitching motion is different, but he probably has the most unique setup when pitching from the stretch. With the regular pitching motion, Kershaw uses a standard leg kick, but keeps the glove and ball hand higher than usual. He then releases in an arm motion that leans closer to three-quarters. From the stretch, Kershaw’s signature is to raise both arms high above his head with the ball in the glove and bring them down slowly. From there, he has one of the quicker moves to the plate without a slide step that doesn’t really use a leg kick. Just make sure you have balks off if you want to pitch quicker instead of waiting for his setup when runners are on base.
6. Tyler Rogers (R)
One of the Rogers siblings in the Major Leagues, Tyler Rogers is the righty submariner with low velocity compared to his twin brother Taylor, who is a hard-throwing lefty with a three-quarters release. Rogers also gets lower on his submarining release than Cimber, though he’s also slightly slower to the plate with a little more pre-pitch movement whereas Cimber’s movement mostly comes after release. Rogers’ follow through ends up on his arm side rather than across his body like Cimber. Even though Rogers’ fastball is only in the 80s, because of how low he releases the ball, high fastballs look like they’re even faster, which could benefit your player if they’re a Velocity archetype. Balls with sharp downward movement are ideal with this release as well, such as changeups and splitters.
7. Chris Sale (L)
A lot less herky-jerky than it used to be in The Show, Chris Sale’s form can make it difficult for batters of the same hand to pick up on the ball after release. Sale begins on one edge of the rubber, but basically ends up at the other end by the time he finishes his follow through. He’ll end up on the third base side (righty) or first base side (lefty) after his follow through even though he started on the opposite end. His arm motion is almost a pure sidearm, but it’s just a tick above completely parallel to the ground. With this arm motion and nearly sidearm release, fastballs look faster and sliders have even more break.
8. Brent Suter (L)
The lefty Brent Suter is here because of his rarity in being a three-quarters thrower who gets as low as submariners in his pitching motion. As Suter begins, he bends nearly into a 90 degree angle as if he’s about to release from low. However, he then raises himself and engages in a three-quarters release with a follow through that slightly places him toward the glove hand side, opening up the opposite side for bunts and weak grounders. Sweeping curves, slurves, and similar pitches do well with this release.
9. Trent Thornton (R)
The righty Trent Thornton has a few aspects to his motion that few also possess, let alone in one package. He begins his motion and drops his glove and ball hand to his legs. As he winds up, he raises his leg high with more angle to it than Gore. He also tucks the glove and ball hand behind his head before a three-quarters release. He whips his rear leg forward in the follow through, ending up more on the first base side than Suter (if a righty) or third base side (if a lefty).
10. Alex Wood (L)
Like Sale, Alex Wood’s motion is a bit funky. Wood keeps his head tucked as he begins his motion with a pretty standard leg kick. From there. he lowers his body a bit (pictured) and rather than going with a more traditional motion as his start would seem to indicate, Wood flares out both arms and tosses essentially across his body in a near sidearm motion. The follow through keeps him on the arm side rather than toward the glove side.
Many pitching styles look similar, but there are others that stand out in a good way. Which of these will you choose, or will you choose something different? Remember that some of the more memorable ones from history can be found in the Former and Generic Players menus.