What is a palm ball in baseball?

A palm ball is a type of pitch in baseball that is thrown by gripping the ball with the palm of the hand, rather than the fingertips. The pitcher places the ball in the palm of their hand and then grips it with their fingers and thumb, creating backspin and a slight reduction in velocity.

The palm ball is a slower pitch that can be used to deceive batters and induce weak contact or swings and misses. Because the ball is not thrown with a traditional grip, it can be difficult for batters to read and time the pitch, making it an effective weapon for pitchers who can master it.

The palm ball is sometimes compared to a changeup or a split-finger fastball, as it relies on a similar principle of creating deception through grip and spin. However, the palm ball is typically thrown with even less velocity and more of a straight downward movement.

Not all pitchers use the palm ball, and it is generally considered to be a less common and less well-known pitch compared to others like the fastball, curveball, and slider. However, for pitchers who can master it, the palm ball can be an effective tool for keeping batters off balance and inducing weak contact.