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Re: Re: First Pitch

Posted by: Rich () on Mon Nov 24 21:28:13 2003

Hi Lorenzo
> You are correct about getting your timing while in the batters box and if the pitch is there hit it however there are a couple things to remember.
> 1. Seeing the release point from the batters box is different then seeing it from the on deck circle.
> 2. If you swing at the first pitch and go out the next time you come up you have only seen one type of pitch from the pitcher and have not seen the movement of her other pitches.
> 3. Early in the game getting a pitcher to throw more pitches allows others on the bench and in the on deck circle an idea of what is going to be thrown on different counts and the movement of the pitches.
> 4. If the pitch is in the batters ideal hitting zone where your chances of getting a hit are the greatest then taking a swing makes sense.
> In my opinion there is no straight answer. As an athlete who played at the National Team level and as a lead off hitter I used to take the first pitch of the game 90% of the time. However the 10% that I swung were usually successful because:
> 1. When facing the same pitcher in games later in the season when they mean more (playoffs etc) after they watched you go through a whole season of watching the first pitch they would get lazy and thinking that I would not swing and they would groove a pitch.
> 2. What is the worst thing that happens if you watch the first pitch. You have a pitch that you could hit and you are now behind 0-1. You still have 2 strikes to work with. A better pitch could be coming
> 3. The pitcher throws a ball and you are ahead 1-0.
> 4. You can use the first ptich to set up the defence. You square to bunt even though you have no intention of bunting. The first and third basemen come in 1 step and now a hit there way gets of them quicker. You have put a thought in their mind that they have to be on their toes because you could bunt at some point in the game.
> The true answer to the first pitch question is use what is successful for you as a hitter which is influenced by where you are in the batting order, how much the game means, how many times you have faced the pitcher and what their tendency is and of course what do you want to accomplish out of the at bat.
> Dave
> Hey Dave,
Excellent, well thought out answer. here's some interesting information i ran into last summer
1) when ahead in the count swing only at pitches in your power zone
(ahead= 0-0,1-0,2-0,3-0,3-1)
2) when even in the count(0-1,1-1,2-1)always swing at the next strike
3) when behind in the count(0-2,1-2,2-2,3-2)always swing at the
next strike. if you do this without fail you will increase your
batting avg. by almost 2X

A coach did a 20 year study on his HS baseball team and his team avg went this way:
swing at the next strike when ahead- .389
swing at the next strike when even- .379
swing at the next strike when behind-.203

How about the Major Leagues? look at this:
This is just playing the percentages... so i had my daughter apply this stradegy in the middle of her freshman year last fall.
the results: first half avg- .335... second half avg.- .555

So here is your mantra: DO NOT TAKE STRIKE TWO!!!!!!!(unless 3-1 only)

This should REALLY help. best of luck, Rich


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