Mental Approach

Before one understands what pitches look like it is best to understand the Seam Readers Process. This is the correct approach to be a Seam Reader and never be fooled at the plate again.

1. Think Fastball, React to everything else

This is the first step in the Seam Readers Process and should be the first thought in a batter’s mind when they approach the plate. The reason we want to Think Fastball and React to everything else is because the fastball is the most common pitch and the only one that can blow right by a hitter. If one is thinking curveball or any other off-speed pitch for the matter they would not be able to react to the fastball.

PRO TIP- “Fastball first”

2. Hard Focus on Release Point

Hard Focus on Release Point is the second step in the Seam Readers Process, this is the first physical step the hitter will do. We say there two types of focus, first is Soft Focus. This is the state of focus the batter will naturally be in at the plate. Hard Focus is for a short amount of time and comes right as the pitcher begins their wind up or a little after and remains until the ball is hit or crosses the plate. Hard Focusing on release helps one pick up the ball and in turn the seams, as soon as possible.

PRO TIP- A good way to get a head start on this process is in the on deck circle. As we all know, it is a work station.

3. Load to Read

Almost simultaneously as finding the release point comes the third step in the Seam Readers Process. Load to Read is what will trigger the brain to start Seam Reading and will generate timing while in Hard Focus. The Load is done right at release or right before or after depending on the hitter. One should already have a general idea of where the release is, in the Load step.

PRO TIP- Just like the tip above, a good way to practice the load and Seam Reading is in the on deck circle. A lot of practice is needed to develop the trigger from Load to Read, but it is done daily.

4. Rotation before Location

This is the final step in the Seam Readers Process. This step is crucial in deciding whether to swing or not. Rotation comes before location because one must know what the pitch is before they can know if it is a ball or a strike. An example would be a curveball, if one can Seam Read a curve ball that breaks from a ball to a strike or vice versa, then they will know to swing or not. In other terms, they will know the Location.

PRO TIP-Knowing what the seams look like on each pitch will help you know how the ball will break or not break and in turn decide if you need to swing or not to swing.

Read, Recognize, React

This saying can be used to summarize what Seam Readers do. They Read the Seams of the ball (identify the pitch), Recognize the location (ball or strike) and React to the pitch (swing or not to swing).

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