December 04, 18 | admin

How to Advance to the Pro Level - Advice for Baseball Hitters

Question: My name is Gary, I have one more year before I graduate college and I am on the baseball team. I don’t know how to advance to the pro level but I know I need to hit better. I seem to get fooled a lot when hitting. Is there some sort of plan I should be thinking about when I go to hit?

Answer from coach Bill Springman:

Dear Gary,

Every hitter must have a plan before every at bat. Sticking with your plan is the critical part. It has always been said by the best hitters in the game today that you must always work off the fastball (fb). The chances are very slim for anyone to advance leagues or levels if you have trouble competing with the “heater.” Most hitting coaches spend the vast majority of time teaching hitter’s ways to shorten up and simplify the mechanics to be more competitive with the fb. Once a hitter becomes able to attack the fb with a certain level of consistency, then and only then does he have the opportunity to work on swinging at “bad” breaking balls or “hangers”… nobody hits the good off-speed stuff.

Whether you are facing a pitcher you know or haven’t seen before, your plan must remain simple. You need to study the opposing pitcher while they are warming up in the bullpen and again when they’re on the game mound. Set your timing (When to start your stride) while in the “on deck” circle to the speed of the fb. Notice when your stride is completed and where the ball is in flight. If your stride is completed by the time the ball is less than a third of the way out of the pitchers hand, then you are “on time” and ready for the pitch. The closer the ball is to your hitting zone when your stride is completed the more inconsistent you will be. You must give yourself a “window” of opportunity to see the ball travel as early as you can and help recognize what pitch it is and the location (Ball or Strike).

The K.I.S.S. Method (On Hitting): Keep It Simple Smart!

Be “on time.”
“Recognize the Pitch.”
Then just “React!”
The old saying holds true, “How do you hit the CB”? You DON’T miss the Fastball!

Bill Springman

Minnesota Twins