You look at the scouting report and the pitcher you’re facing has a dominant fastball.
You don’t panic because you’re a good fastball hitter. You eat 90+mph for lunch, every day.
Then underneath that, it says…..with good movement. Uh oh.
Anyone can hit a flat fastball, but the two-seam/cutter…different story.
If you get jammed on the cutter or two-seam, the reason is that the pitcher is doing a better job of locating his pitch than you are at fighting to get to the inner-half of the ball.
Stand In On A Bullpen
Sometimes we struggle to face a pitcher with good movement because we don’t see it enough. Being able to dominate the plate with decent velocity & movement is rare which is why it’s held at a premium.
If you have a teammate who pitches with some movement, ask to stand in on his next pull pen.
Track the ball. Repetitions at game speed if how you practice this.
Another way to stand in on a pitcher with some movement is to face the pitchers inside the gS app.
Tee Work & Fighting The Pitch
There’s nothing worse than getting jammed, having the ball roll to the pitcher and then you having to pick up your thumbs on the ground.
If you got jammed, two things happened. Either you were late on the pitch, or you didn't fight to get to the inner half on the ball well enough.
How do you train to nip both these in the bud? Simple. With Tee work.
Focus on getting your front foot down early while placing the Tee on the inner half of the plate, and practice driving the ball back up the middle.
Lastly, if you’re struggling to make consistent solid contact with the two-seam or cutter, choke up.
I get it. Every one of you hitters with an ounce of ego wants to be able to control the bat without having to choke-up, but let me just shut down that thinking with two simple sentences…
Barry Bonds choked up.
Tony Gywnn swung a 32.
Pitch Recognition Recap
Pitchers that can sling it with movement are held at a premium.
Hitters who can hit pitchers with movement are too.
That’s the sign of an elite hitter. An athlete who can make adjustments from at-bat to at-bat and from pitch to pitch.
P.S. Get 40% off with an annual membership inside the gameSense pitch recognition & baseball vision training platform. Over 40% off with you start an annual membership!