How Aggressive Should a Hitter Be?
A lot of parents and players ask this question, and it’s a very good one. Often, young hitters either swing at everything, or are too patient to the point where they are taking too many very hittable pitches. Let’s dig into this a little bit deeper.
Before going up to the plate think about the situation in the game:
- How many outs are there? Who is on base? – If you are the first batter of the inning, your main job is to get on base, so it may make sense to be more patient at the plate. If there are two outs with runners on 2nd and 3rd, you may only get one good pitch to hit and shouldn’t let it go by.
- What inning is it? – If it’s early in the game, you may want to go deeper into a count so you can see all of the pitcher’s pitches (fastball, curve, change, etc.) and get the pitch count up. If it is later in the game this may not be as important because you have seen all of their pitches.
- What is the score? Does your team need baserunners? – You may not want to swing at the first pitch of the inning if you are down five runs and trying to put a rally together. See if you can get the pitcher uncomfortable and spark run scoring.
- Is the pitcher throwing strikes? – If a pitcher is struggling to throw strikes then you want to make sure you get a good pitch to hit. Don’t chase a borderline strike and help him out. Take a walk if he gives it to you.
After you have an idea of the situation, go up to the plate with a plan and focus on executing it. If you are in a situation to be more aggressive, look for your favorite pitch (which is different for every player) and try to hit it hard somewhere. If you need to be more patient, track the ball all the way into the catcher’s glove and practice your timing. Every pitch is important, even if you are taking it, there is always an opportunity to learn and prepare yourself to succeed.
If you are interested in working on your hitting fundamentals with a former Major Leaguer, please contact us and ask about a free consultation.