One of the keys to hitting is to have a plan for your at bat BEFORE you step into the batter’s box. Below is a list of questions to think about before your at bat and will help you formulate your approach and plan for your at bat.
Should I Swing at the First Pitch?
What did the last batter do? Is the pitcher throwing strikes? Is he consistently in the part of the strike zone that I like? Is he giving batters a good pitch to hit early in the count or do I need to lay off pitchers pitches before he’ll challenge me in the zone?
Is the Pitcher Throwing Strikes?
If a pitcher is throwing a lot of strikes, you may want to get in the box and be thinking about swinging right away. If he’s having a hard time throwing a strike, you may want to see more pictures. You may be able to work a walk or give me make mistake up in the strike zone that you can drive.
Should I be looking to Pull the Ball or Go the Opposite Way?
Where is the pitcher in the strike zone? Some pitchers work away every pitch, especially at the youth level. Your approach for a pitcher like that could be to take it where it’s pitched and go the opposite way or you can move closer to home plate and wait for him to get too much of the outer half of the plate and drive it. If the pitcher is throwing a lot of offspeed pitches you may also want to consider taking him the opposite way.
Do I Know the Pitcher’s Out Pitch?
It’s always good to know if the pitcher has our particularly nasty out pitch. This may make you more aggressive earlier in the count if you get a fastball.
What’s my approach with two strikes?
With two strikes, you may need to adjust your approach. A common adjustment is choking up and going with more of a contact swing. If the pitcher is ahead, you may want to move closer to home plate for easier coverage of the outer half of the plate and breaking balls the break away from you.
Things You Can Control in an At Bat:
- How deep you stand in the batters box.
- How close you stand to home plate
- How aggressive your approach is
- Where you are looking for a pitch
- What type of pitch you are looking for
- What your approach is with two strikes