Baseball Magazine

No Foul Balls in BP

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

One common goal for most coaches is to convince their hitters to use more of the center of the field when they hit.  I tried to promote a left center to right center approach with my hitters.  Using the center of the field as a goal gives a

No reason for foul balls during BP

No reason for foul balls during BP

hitter more room for error.  If they are a little ahead or behind on the pitch, they still have the left/right center to the foul lines area where the ball can drop into.  A pull hitter who is even just a little ahead of a pitch is going to pull it into foul territory.  Using the center of the field also helps the batter wait a little more on the pitch which can improve pitch selection.

One easy method a coach can use during practice to get players to improve with this is to create a penalty.  The penalty would apply to any batter who hits a foul ball during batting practice.  This does two things.  It forces the batter to adjust his swing so that he uses more of the middle of the field (ususally a more hands-inside-the-ball swing) and it also makes the batter more selective in the BP pitches at which he swings.  Some hitters get used to swinging at everything in BP.  Because of this, pitches thrown inside are often pulled foul.  The penalty can cause the hitter to be more selective in the BP pitches they swing at which will help them in their pitch selection at game time.

The penalty used can be the choice of each individual coach. 

If the words and explanations don’t seem to be changing hitters’ approach during BP then maybe it’s time to introduce a penalty. 

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