As an old baseball buddy of mine says, “hitting begins when you walk off the bus!”
More exactly, if you find yourself in the batter’s box with a headful of thinking, you’re already in trouble!
Remember, All Pitchers Set Patterns
Well before you step into the batter’s box, the guy on the hill is giving you free intel that you simply must train yourself to look for.
Here Are Some Handy Tips I Was Taught Years Ago:
- Bullpen observation
- Warm-up observation
- Observing the first hitters’ reactions
- Take the 1st pitch of the game (first at-bat only)
- Look for the same pitch on 2nd delivery (first at-bat only)
- Fastball counts: 3-0, 3-1, 2-0, 2-1, 1-0
- Neutral counts: 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, 3-2 with a man in scoring position
- Breaking ball counts: 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2 with a runner in scoring position and first base open
- What is the pitcher’s strength?
- What does the pitcher’s fastball do?
- What does the pitcher’s breaking ball do?
- Know the fastball counts
- Know the “neutral” counts
- Know the breaking ball counts
And Finally… Are all these important?
More advanced info is more baseball smarts. You just need to decide how successful you would like to be.