12 Checklists on Baseball Player Development
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The best batting tips often come from watching how the top baseball hitters go about their business of hitting. Now, we certainly are not major league hitters—or even minor league professional hitters for that matter.
But we can certainly learn how to become a baseball player by watching what kind of swing a professional hitter takes when the count favors the hitter. Even professional pitchers give up many more hits when the count favors the hitter.
Professional hitters are going to get a really good swing, likely hit the ball really hard and probably inflict some damage when the ball-strike count favors the batter.
Hitters have to do their damage when ahead on the count because professional pitchers with all their skill, control, command and mastery of different baseball pitches will be extremely difficult to hit against when they hold the count in the pitcher’s favor.
Many statistical studies have been done to show how the batting averages and slugging percentages are significantly higher when the ball strike pitch count is in the favor of the hitter.
In this baseball article from the Baseball Research Journal by Bickel & Stotz, they report that, “All pitchers without exception, hold hitters to a lower batting average when the ball-strike count favors the pitcher.
Batting averages tend to be about 140 points lower when the ball is put in play on a pitcher’s count, as compared to a hitter’s count."
There has been numerous baseball statistics studies into batting averages as to which ball-strike count we are breaking down. Some have argued the statistics are swayed with two strikes since that is the only count you can actually strike out.
If a batter were to swing and miss with less than two strikes they would still be at-bat.
What we do know is this. What ever level of youth baseball we are currently in the statistics will be similar across the board.
The batting tips we want to show is a good hitter must ‘harvest their hay when it is ready to be cut.’ In baseball terms, you better get your hits when the ball-strike count is in your favor.
When a batter gets to a count in their favor they had better put their best swing technique on the pitch. If a hitter is late and misses, takes a good pitch, or fouls the pitch off then they likely just missed their best opportunity for a well hit baseball.
Now the pitcher may go to even or ahead of the count and the whole at bat changes to advantage pitcher.
The top pro hitters know ‘When to cut the Hay.’ They know exactly what kind of swing they need to put on different pitches when they have the count in their favor.
When top hitters get a 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1 count they know they will get the bat out in front. To be ‘late’ on a fastball when the batter has the count in their favor is a mental error.
Repeat---Mental error to be late on the pitchers fastball grip pitch when the count is in the hitter’s favor.
The youth baseball coach almost never realizes how harmful and damaging their coaching tips do to young baseball players. Rarely or more often never will you hear youth baseball coaches give hitting tips to encourage hitters to take advantage of the ball-strike counts when they favor the hitter.
These are the counts when hitters should really pound the ball…or at least get take the best swing they have that day.
Amateur baseball coaches and baseball parents will verbalize harmful doubt filled batting tips like:
This is all amateur baseball code-word batting tips for causing doubt in the hitters mind. Coaches are now putting their own batters on a defensive thinking mindset.
The youth baseball coach is now doing a tremendous damage to their batter’s ability to take full advantage of the count in the batters favor by giving all these negative coaching cues.
Now the batter is so worried about making a mistake that they now will likely hesitate just long enough to be late on the fastball pitch….Result: Mental Batting Error.
All caused by poor coaching tips.
Pro baseball instructors and coaches will rarely say anything to a batter during their at-bat except for encouragement anyway.
Over-coaching during ball games is not what pros do. They would think to themselves or maybe say batting tips like;
“Let it Fly”•
Don’t be late.•
Be on time.•
Show me your best swing.•
‘Unbutton your shirt on this one’•
‘Give it a ride’•
‘Come-on now…get it ready’•
‘Be ready’ or listo to the Latin baseball players.
See, there are no batting tips here that impede a hitter’s thinking except to look to swing the bat.
Top Hitters know when to ‘Cut the Hay.’ And so do the top coaches!
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|Skip- Came across your books & videos 2 years ago at the
end of the season.
I implemented your techniques the next season and can't thank you enough. The kids love practice, we accomplish a lot, and most importantly they all develop throughout the season. I don't worry much if we win or lose just as long as we try and they get better.
My pitchers only throw fastballs and a change up and we do just fine. If the other team hits the ball, great it gives the defense an opportunity to make a play.
I never coach from the box, I just encourage them to hit. And they all know the have the green light on 3-0. The best thing I can do for them is make them better hitters and the only way is to hit! By the way my kids are Junior Little league ages 13-14. Zach, Stockton, CA...
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