Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things to Know About Baseball Count

Working the count gives batters the edge against pitchers, creating a better chance to see the pitch they want to hit, a bad pitch that they can hit or a string of bad pitches that results in a walk. Being able to work the count in your favor is a skill that's acquired with lots of practice. Working to a favorable count takes a good eye and lots of patience, as well as increased control of your swing.
Step 1
Don't swing at the first pitch, regardless of its location, and re-enter the at-bat with the mindset to see a strike before swinging. According to the Baseball Analysts, the odds of putting the ball in play increase dramatically the deeper you work into the count.
Step 2
Select your first pitch to swing at with extreme caution. If a pitcher is wild, this will work to your advantage. A walk is as good as a hit, and if a pitcher throws four straight balls, head to first base with your head held high.
Step 3
Foul off any pitches that are close to strikes. This is easier said than done, but as the count approaches two strikes, you do not want to strike out.
Step 4
Stare the pitcher down and crowd the plate to force the pitcher to throw inside, or eliminate that half of the plate if the pitcher has fear.
Step 5
Take any pitch that is for obviously out of the strike zone. Your goal is to work the count and see the pitch that you want to hit.
Step 6
Watch the spin on the baseball from the second it leaves the pitcher's hand. Over time, you will be able to identify the spin on a breaking ball as it moves out of the strike zone. Leave these tricky pitches alone.
Step 7
Drill the pitcher's first mistake pitch -- a fastball over the heart of the plate or a hanging breaking ball -- as hard as you can.

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