Baseball Magazine

Looking Away with Two Strikes

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

One of the most valuable things my father taught me as a young player was how to hit with two strikes.  This

Make the right adjustments and this will rarely happen.

Make the right adjustments and this will rarely happen.

post HERE and this post HERE get into a number of the adjustments he pounded into me.  This post will deal with a common mental adjustment.

“Looking away” with two strikes is a common procedure that many have heard before.  For those who haven’t, looking away means preparing your mind and body to hit an outside pitch.  The reasons why this has been recommended probably since baseball began are as follows:

  • If you look for a pitch on the outer half of the plate and get an inside fastball, you still have a chance to make contact – hopefully foul it off – even if you get jammed.  If you look for a pitch on the inner half and get an outside pitch, you’re toast.  It just doesn’t work.
  • When you hit an outside pitch correctly, you wait a little longer for the ball to travel to the catcher.  Doing so allows you to see the pitch a little bit longer which can help with recognizing ball v strike, fastball v breaking pitch, etc.
  • Young pitchers are generally not comfortable or good at throwing pitches to the inside corner.  Most will try to get batters out by throwing away.  A young batter who looks away is playing with better odds.

With the enormous (and disgraceful) amount of strikeouts you see at the major league level, it is clear that most MLB hitters don’t make many adjustments with two strikes.  This is one of those things you DON’T want your young players to copy.

Protect the plate, look away, make the physical adjustments, put the ball in play, and remember … IF IT’S CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE CALLED A STRIKE, IT’S CLOSE ENOUGH TO SWING!!

Tomorrow’s post:  Contact points for hitters

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