The last man to hit over .400 for a season was Ted Williams. He says to be a great hitter, “You need to find a good pitch to hit.” Easier said than done…. Seam Readers ask how will you know it’s a good pitch to hit unless you are Seam Reading what’s coming…
Dennis Tiefenthaler, Co-Founder, Seam Readers
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Seam Reader’s ninth blog of all time. We want to congratulate all of you that are viewing us again this week. Why? It is because you are now mentally prepared to step into the batter’s box. You know the Seam Reader’s Mental Process that we believe gives you the best chance for success and consistency at the plate. The fun has just begun!
Before we go any further, we believe that you need a quick refresher course on what each ball is going to look like coming at you. The four-seam fast-ball is going to be the straightest and hardest pitch that you are going to see. The two-seamer is also thrown hard with left or right movement in either direction depending on the pitcher being right or left handed. Obviously curve-balls, sliders, and split-fingers will all be thrown slower and move a little differently from pitcher to pitcher. Okay, once you are clear on this, we are ready to move on.
Seam Readers believe before you pick your zone and pitch at the plate you need to know yourself as a hitter. What are your strengths and weaknesses? We say whatever pitch you hit most consistently should be a part of the decision making when deciding on your zone and pitch selection. Think about it, if you hit a middle in to over the middle fastball better than any other pitch, then you should “in theory” never swing at any other pitch unless you have to..let me go a little further. Baseball and softball is all about playing the percentages right? Do you realize there are 12 different pitch counts that a hitter can be in and 8 of them are in our favor. It is when the percentages are in our favor is when we need to become very picky at the plate. Being disciplined enough to know YOUR strike zone. Never deviating from your pitch selection plan until you have two strikes on you or unless you are given the hit and run sign or if you are asked to move the runner from second to third.
In conclusion, finding a good pitch to hit like Ted Williams said comes down to being committed to your pitch and zone. Being a Seam Reader allows you the ability to achieve the proper pitch selection necessary to succeed in that plate discipline. Have a great week.
At home drill: For this week’s drill it will be all about the tee. The tee is going to be used to hit the ball to all fields. To start the hitter can either start with inside or outside pitches. To practice outside pitches the tee will need to be between the hitters legs and on the outside part of the strike zone. For inside pitches the tee will need to be in front of the hitters front leg on the inside part of the strike zone. Then for the pitch right down the middle you want to have the tee right at the front foot and in the middle part of the strike zone. The hitters job is to now hit those pitches to the proper side of the field. Inside pitches to left field if they are righty, right field if they are lefty. Middle pitches right back up the middle and outside pitches for a righty to right field, and for a lefty to left field. Use this drill to figure out your players best pitches.