Increase Your Batting Average

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A Baseball Strategy Which Boosts Your Team’s Overall Batting Average


Every good high school coach is trying to find ways to get his team to hit better.  One such way is to have your entire team take the first pitch.  By always taking the first pitch from a pitcher, you can increase the overall batting average of your team.  This strategy is especially effective in high school and, we have put together list of the reasons why:


1. Batters learn discipline at the plate.  By taking the first pitch, you prevent your team from making in easy outs early in the pitch count.   


2. Batters see the pitcher and his stuff.  By viewing the first pitch, the batter gets to see the pitcher’s windup and delivery, his pitch speed, and even his movement.  In addition, since most high school pitchers start counts with fastballs, the batter is likely to see the pitchers best fastball right away. This viewing helps the batter know where he will need to adjust his swing.   


3. Force the pitcher to be on top of their game.  By taking the first pitch, the batters are forcing the pitcher to throw strikes on the first pitch.  If the pitcher is wild, he will already be giving the batter an advantage by either eventually walking the batter or at least, giving the batter a pitch count that favors the batter.   


4. Pitcher must throw more pitches.  By causing the pitcher to throw more pitches, you are increasing the chance the opposing pitcher will need to be taken out of the game early or that he will be very fatigued towards the end. This fatigue can lead to additional walks late in the game or the pitcher serving up some fat pitchers for the hitters to swing at because of a lack of control.   


5. Create Favorable Hitter Pitch Counts.  If the pitcher gets wild, he will start to have pitch counts of 3-1 or 2-0 or even 3-0.  These pitch counts favor high school batters because a high school pitcher is far more likely to throw a fastball in these situations because of not wanting to walk the batter.  Over time, this means the batters will be getting good balls to hit which will lead to a rise in their batting averages.   


This technique is especially suited to high school baseball playoffs.  Since high school baseball teams usually play three game series and only have 1 or 2 ace pitchers on the opposing team, using this strategy in the playoffs could lead to your team 

o     Forcing one of their ace pitchers out of the game early because of wildness   

o     Causing the pitch count of their ace pitchers to rise so much that they will be unable to come back and pitch in the third game, or   

o     Have a severely fatigued opposing pitcher late in the game.    


One caveat in implementing this strategy with high school baseball players is that you will have to manage their egos about their hitting.  They may be initially resistant to this idea because some will feel either disadvantaged of possible giving one strike to the opposing pitcher from the start or rather swing at bad pitches than take a walk.  These type of complaints should be disregarded and allow for this Baseball Strategy to be applied in a number of games.  Over time, the results should speak for themselves with higher batting averages.  However, one thing you can do to encourage this strategy is to put more emphasis and praise for those who are getting a lot of walks or have a high batting average.    This type of praise will encourage the other players to fall into step. 


A second caveat is to ensure your hitters are actually sizing up the pitcher with that first pitch.  The best way to do this is to ask your hitters questions about what they say and to encourage them to share this information with the other players on the team.  Get the idea into their head that they are giving valuable information to the other players on your team.  This type of questioning will keep their attention on the pitcher and will lead to them having better concentration at the plate. 


By applying this baseball strategy and taking into account the caveats, you should be well on your way to increasing your team’s batting average.  This step may be the one that pushes your team far into the playoffs. 


Another tip you should consider is using wooden bats to improve your batting.  You can see that article at baseball hitting with wooden bats. Also, check out baseball strategy: winning without great hitting to discover another way on how to be successful at baseball. 


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