There are many ways to achieve a quality at bat and most of them don’t end with you getting a hit. So what is a quality at bat? One thing for sure is that striking out is not on the list. Either is swinging at the first pitch and making an easy out that doesn’t advance any runners that are on base.
But there are at least 10 different ways to achieve a quality at bat when you step up to the plate. Coaches should take the time to make sure their players understand what it takes to achieve a quality at bat and set some team goals for how many they expect to get from their team in each game.
Here is a list of the 10 different ways a batter can achieve a quality at bat and how it can help your team.
Getting a Hit
It’s obvious that the goal of every batter is to get a hit when they step into the batter’s box. Whether it’s a single, double, triple or home run, a hit guarantees you’ll reach base and have a chance to score a run for your team. And if runners are already on base you’ll have a chance to drive in a run or two.
Hit By Pitch
Getting hit by a pitch is not something most players like. There is always a chance for an injury depending on where you get hit, and it’s probably going to hurt. But a hit-by-pitch puts you on base and gives your team a chance to knock you in.
A sacrifice fly is considered a quality at bat because it moves one of your team’s runners up a base or possibly allows them to score. Even though you are out, you’ve helped your team by making contact with the ball and hitting it far enough that allowed the baserunner to advance.
Another way to help your team with a quality at bat is to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Players are sometimes asked to bunt in order to move another player into scoring position. This is not always easy to do but doing so helps give your team a chance to score a run.
Reach Base on Error
Some may not think this is a quality at bat but it is. The reason is that, number one, you were able to get your bat on the ball, and number two, you ran it out and were able to beat any possible throw that may have got you out.
Advance Runner to Third. Less than Two Outs.
Baseball teams have a good chance to score if they get get a base runner to third base with less than two outs. Depending on the game situation, you may be asked to try and move the runner by grounding to the right side of the infield. If you accomplish this, you have achieved a quality at bat.
Score a Runner From Third
Getting that runner at third home is important and helps the team by adding a run. Whether you give yourself up with a ground out or fly ball, or if you get a hit to get them in, the bottom line is that you were able to get the job done.
Suicide Squeeze Bunt
This play is one of the most exciting in baseball. And it’s not easy to accomplish. But if you get the sign and can drop down the bunt to get your team the run, that is a quality time at bat.
It takes a good eye as well as patience to draw a walk. Players need to be disciplined at the plate and try to only swing at good pitches. Getting a walk gets you to first base and keeps the inning going.
See at Least 8 Pitches in an At-Bat
It’s unusual to see a batter at the plate for this many pitches. It usually means you have worked the count full or fouled off some pitches. Either way, you’ve given yourself a good chance to get on base or at the very least made the opposing pitcher work extra hard and driven his pitch count up.