Pitchers might love striking batters out, but batters should always be trying to avoid a strikeout. Sure, the occasional punchout isn’t too demoralizing for most baseball players. That isn’t the case for batters that regularly strike out though because it can have some bad effects on that player’s abilities. Stringing together a handful of games with multiple strikeouts can lead to a degradation in a batter’s mindset and skills. Fortunately, a player can always do some work to decrease their likelihood of getting three strikes in an at-bat.
Work on identifying pitches before they are thrown.
Paying attention to the pitcher’s hands when he or she releases the ball can help batters out greatly. At that point, a batter might be able to see the pitcher’s grip on the baseball, which would give away the pitch being thrown in some cases. Many pitchers attempt to hide their grip, but some do not. Batters with quick enough eyes and minds can identify the pitch. In reality, identifying a fastball can help a batter choose to knock the ball or seeing a breaking ball like a curveball might make a batter lay off the pitch for a ball.
Practice being more patient at the plate.
Without a doubt, being patient at the plate is a valuable skill that can help any batter improve their game. A batter must lay off on balls that are outside of the box. Also, a player must learn to swing at pitches coming in the strike zone because it’s better to swing and miss a strike than it is to just watch it sail by. Patience involves working the pitch count and frustrating pitchers in any way possible. In the end, a batter should be able to go through a 4 to 10 pitch at-bat without too many problems.
Avoid trying to be a power hitter with every swing.
Some baseball players are power hitters, but others simply attempt to be a power hitter. Unfortunately, attempting to be that type of player can lead to plenty of strikeouts and very few hits. It takes a very skilled batter to successfully hit for power while simultaneously keeping a high average and on-base percentage. Therefore, batters shouldn’t try to smack a home run or a triple every time they come up to hit. Hitting for average and getting on base is almost always better than striking out while trying to smack a home run.
Learn how to be a defensive hitter.
In baseball, a defensive batter is one that knows how to stay at the plate without striking out or getting out in some other way. Batters that go on the defensive will foul off pitches in or out of the strike zone, draw as many balls as possible, and find a way to eventually smack the baseball for a hit or get called for a walk. Of course, defensive hitting allows batters to wear out the pitcher and find a way onto base.
Work on improving your vision in different ways.
Not all baseball players have great vision. Unfortunately, poor vision can really affect a batter’s ability to hit and get on base without striking out too many times. There are certain vision drills that a player can try out to improve their vision or ability to locate the ball after it is thrown. Such drills won’t work for everyone, but they can improve a batter’s abilities enough to make a big difference at the plate. So then, it’s worth a shot for any batter that strikes out frequently.
Avoid striking out!
Striking out isn’t the end of the world, but it can be a pretty big downer for players that are expecting to get hits and get on base frequently. Obviously, it isn’t always possible to avoid a strikeout when a skilled pitcher is on the mound. Still, there are a few things that batters can do to decrease their chances of walking out of the box without a hit or walk. Getting a hit is always the desired outcome, but walking or getting hit by a pitch is better than striking out.
For more information, visit Baseball Hitting Tips and Drills.