June 23, 2021

Justin Dunn, Justin Grimm, and Tyler Mahle on the Cultivation of Their Curveballs (FanGraphs)


Pitchers learn and develop different pitches, and they do so at varying stages of their lives. It might be a curveball in high school, a cutter in college, or a changeup in A-ball. Sometimes the addition or refinement is a natural progression — graduating from Pitching 101 to advanced course work — and often it’s a matter of necessity. In order to get hitters out as the quality of competition improves, a pitcher needs to optimize his repertoire.

In this installment of the series, we’ll hear from three pitchers — Justin Dunn, Justin Grimm, and Tyler Mahle — on how they learned and developed their curveballs.

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Justin Dunn, Seattle Mariners

“I had a curveball before I had my slider. I learned it from my dad at 12 years old. He used to play in men’s leagues, and while he never played at a real high level, he loves the game. He’s a student of the game.

“Essentially, I take a two-seam grip and put my thumb underneath, finger through the lace, pressure to the ball.When I was younger, he would tell me to just throw it like a football, to never turn my wrist down. It would be big, loopy, and slow. As I got older, I started to throw harder and understand…

Read “Justin Dunn, Justin Grimm, and Tyler Mahle on the Cultivation of Their Curveballs” at FanGraphs