“Always Look Fastball, Adjust to Everything Else
”Dennis Tiefenthaler, Founder, Seam Readers
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Seam Reader’s fourth blog of all time. Because of previous content, you now know as a hitter that you have a better chance at success reading what pitch is being thrown to you next. Why? SEAMS NEVER LIE, You also know that you need to read rotation before location, meaning true pitch recognition in this philosophy is more important than zone recognition, even though you need to know them both almost simultaneously. You also now know that every player that steps into the batter’s box, fits into two categories: those that read pitches, and those that guess pitches. We named them Seam Readers and Guess Hitters. We also agreed with Joe Maddon, Two-Time World Series Champion and current Los Angeles Angels manager, “You are a better hitter reading seam rotation than you are guessing what is coming next.” …Seam Readers READ, RECOGNIZE, and REACT.
Based on these as our guiding principles, Seam Readers has a process that needs to be followed, so you can become the best hitter that you can be. This week’s writing is going to introduce you to the first step of the process. Since it is almost universally accepted that when you step into the box, you want your mind clear. The only thing a Seam Reader should be mentally focused on is “Always look fast-ball, and adjust to everything else.” Why? The fast-ball takes the least amount of time to get to home plate. A ninety-mile an hour fast-ball crosses the plate in approximately .4 of a second, giving the hitter very little time to read it, recognize it, and react to it. The fast-ball is the only pitch that can be thrown right past the batter because of its speed. Due to these two factors, consider this example, you know from facing Jenny Finch last week that if you are guessing her change-up and you get her fast-ball, there is no way that you will be able to move or react to the pitch. You should have a pretty clear vision of that example. Does that make sense?
How do we adjust to everything else? It is simple, but oh so not easy to do for some. If the weight in our stance is 70% on the back leg, and 30% on the front leg, after we step, it should still be 70% back leg and 30% front leg. Why? Because we are not stepping to swing, we are stepping to “Read the Pitch” or loading to read the pitch, to see if it is something we want to swing at. Example, we are now batting against Jenny Finch, and we are “always looking for fast-ball, and adjusting to everything else.” At her release, we take a step/load to read fast-ball, and instead she throws us her change-up. Initially, we did not commit to swing at her release, and had our weight back when we recognized it was a change up, and so we did not get fooled by that pitch and since we are 70/30, we haven’t transferred our weight and are in a perfect position to hit her change-up, if it is out over-the-plate.
In conclusion, please remember that we are “always looking for a fast-ball, and adjusting to everything else.” Please take some time to reread this last section, so that you can be clear. This is the first step in the Seam Reader’s process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Seam Readers. Have a great week!
At Home Drill: This week’s drill is all about soft toss. To practice the first step of the Seam Readers Process the coach or “soft tosser” will initiate the drill. Starting off just like normal soft toss the coach will get into a rhythm of flipping the balls to the hitter. Instead of continuing that pace for the remainder of the drill the coach will mix in some “changeups” or off speed pitches to disrupt the hitters timing. The goal of the hitter should be to recognize the off speed pitch and keep their weight back to drive the ball.