2022 Baseball America Prospect Pad: Hunter Brown Breaks Down His Pitch Grips
The Astros' Hunter Brown impressed in his major league debut on Sept. 5, going six scoreless innings against the Rangers in front of a home crowd. Brown sat 95-97 mph on his fastball, touching 98 mph, while mixing in his trademark hard curveball with depth, newly reworked slider/cutter hybrid and split-changeup. Geoff Pontes had an opportunity to sit down with Brown, who broke down his pitch grips and arsenal during the 2022 Louisville Slugger and Baseball America Prospect Pad this past July.
The Astros No. 1 prospect walked us through his cues, grips and areas of focus when executing each of his four pitches.
"Standard four-seam, I like to keep my fingers together, a half tuck with my thumb. I don't like to be under this seam too much because I feel like I can control it. I just mostly try to roll it off of one point and keep it as straight as I can. I've noticed that when you elevate that very straight four-seam at the top of the zone you get a lot more whiffs, and at the bottom zone you get ground balls, which is good.”
“I kind of switched my slider this offseason, I'm more like a power cutter. Last year I came out in spring training and threw an average sweeper. It was too different, I felt, from the four-seam and curveball. So then this year, I just kind of focused on throwing a hard one.”
“Yeah, I'm a spike curveball guy and I just kind of put a lot of pressure in the front and just let it rip through like basically a fastball that’s turned. So it's not not snapping the wrist over or anything like that. Just a lot of finger pressure.”
“I have a funky changeup. It's more like a split-change. So I kind of have that space right there, and I don't know, I've been trying to learn more about seam-shifted wake. So a lot of guys throw these one-seamers, and I struggled taking velocity off of my changeup. So I just wanted more run, and I felt like I was gonna get that if I threw it off this middle finger. So it's just kind of a split-split grip, let it roll. Let it play down.”
You can view the conversation in full below.