Dennis Tiefenthaler, Co-Founder, Seam Readers
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Seam Reader’s third blog of all time. Hopefully, we have been making sense these last couple of weeks, but if we have not, let us recap. First, you learned that each pitch thrown has a signature look, and we have named that Seam Reading. That’s the ability to know what the pitch is based on the way it looks. Next, you learned the definition of pitch and zone recognition, and that they are totally separate from one another, even though you need to know them simultaneously. In other words, a great hitter needs to know the rotation of the pitch thrown, before knowing the location of the pitch thrown. “Rotation Before Location”
In this writing, we are going to put all of this together and introduce you to the only hitting philosophies that we believe exist. Everyone who steps in the batter’s box fits into these two categories: those who read what is coming next, Seam Readers, and those who are guessing what is coming next, Guess Hitters. Some could argue that zone-recognition is a third category, but that hitter is reading location before rotation, so we will include them as a part of the Seam Reader family.
Since you should have a pretty good idea of what a Seam Reader is, let us define a Guess Hitter. Guess Hitters could actually be called educated guess hitters, here is how. In every college and professional game, each pitch thrown is charted by the next day’s starting pitchers. What gets developed after years of this calculation, is a “tendency of that pitcher in any pitch count or situation, is what pitch he or she is going to throw next.” For example, you are facing Jenny Finch right now, and you find yourself in a one-ball and two-strike count. “Educated guess hitter’s have studied the analytics and know that she throws a rise-ball approximately 87% of the time in this pitch count.” Now, you are ready and looking for that rise-ball because the odds are in your favor. What happens is she throws you a 55 mile per hour change-up right down the middle, and you can’t even move. In contrast, if you are Seam Reading the seams in the same scenario, you won’t be getting fooled by that change-up because you will read, recognize, and react to the seam rotation and know what the pitch is, and then swing, or not swing, accordingly… in theory.
In conclusion, if we were making a recommendation in comparing seam readers to guess hitters, we are going to say exactly what World Series Manager Joe Maddon would say, “You are a better hitter reading seams than you are guessing what pitch is coming next. Remember, Seam Readers READ, RECOGNIZE, and REACT. Have a great week.
At home drill: This week’s drill is to raise knowledge of the “Two Types of Hitters” and survey people around you to find out what type they are. So call, text or even ask in person all the baseball and softball people in your life, what type of hitter are they. Are they Guess Hitters or Seam Readers? Tally them up and send us the results. Thank you.