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Right Handed Batter Always Hitting Down the First Base Line

Some right handed batters have difficulty pulling the ball to left field and end up hitting the ball to the first base line. This is problematic because it makes for an easier out as these hits are closer to first base resulting in easier plays for the defense.


This issue occurs because of two things:

1. Vision problem: for a right handed batter it can sometimes be hard to see the ballfrom right handed pitcher because it appears to be coming at home from behind his head or

2. Weak arm strength and/or bat speed: he may be able to see the ball, but is slow in reacting to it resulting in it going towards the first base line.

Depending of which issue it is, there are different ways to correct the situation. If it is a vision problem, try these:

1.  Have him use a more open stance where his lead foot is pointed more towards third base and as the pitch comes he can move it more towards the pitcher.  A number of major league hitters use this approach.

2.  Have him crowd the plate and ask him to hit the ball out in front of the plate.  It may be that his sees pitches to the outside part of the plate better.  By having him crowd the plate he is more likely to be able to pull these pitches.

3.  Practice hitting of a practice tee where he uses his stride to pull the ball.  Get him in the habit of pulling the ball when he hits off the tee.  Study his hitting here and it may also show what he is doing wrong as well.

If it is bat strength and bat speed problem, try these:
1.  Have him swing his bat 100 times a day.  He can break this up into four intervals throughout the day if he wants, but this will develop muscle memory in his swing.  It will also develop arm strength and some improved bat speed.  Great players like Mickey Mantle and Barry Bonds are said to have swung their bat up to 500 times a day.

2.  Consider having him use a wooden bat in batting practice.  A wooden bat tends to be slightly heavier than aluminum and using one will do two things: (1) help him develop more arm strength by swinging the heavier bat in practice and (2) a wooden bat teaches you to hit the ball with the right part of the bat.  If you don't it won't go anywhere or you will sting your hands.  Using a wooden bat in practice and then moving to an aluminum bat should result in him having a faster bat and more confidence.

These tips should help him improve his swing and see more of hits go to center and left field. The result will be more base hits and a higher batting average. In addition, you should see an increased confidence in this person’s game as they see that they are contributing to your team’s success.


*If you are looking for some outfielder fielding tips, check out Baseball Fielding Tips.

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