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Outside Pitch Contact Point: 4 Coaches' Opinions

Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
hi:

1) a guest hitting coach i saw this weekend wants me to make contact for the outside pitch at the FRONT far corner of the plate. she says i am making contact too late when i do so at the back outer "corner" of the plate (when i say "back outer 'corner'" i mean the "corner" of the plate where the plate angles away from the base/foul line, and NOT the back point of the plate where you measure distance to the pitcher's plate from. i put "corner" in quotes since it is really not a 90 degree angle corner).

now her rationale for this is she wants me to hit the outside pitch at the front corner of the plate so that i can drive the ball to center field. she told me if i can't reach it, get closer to the plate and also step in the direction of the plate, after my normal step, to get closer.

2) my regular hitting coach (an old baseball guy and former minor league player) wants me to go with the outside pitch and drive that to right/center field. so he wants me hitting it later, at the back outer "corner" of the plate. he says i am big and strong enough, and have enough of a reach where i can and should be getting it to right-center and maybe even almost center.

3) another coach i saw a few weeks ago wants me to take that pitch to true right field.

4) and another Div. 1 baseball college coach told me i need to wait like my regular coach says (No. 2 above) and make contact at the back "corner" of the plate. he says his baseball guys always try to do what Coach No. 1 above told me to do (hit the outside pitch out in front) and it drives him crazy.

so what should i do?
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
2. Fire #1. But you can still hit the pitch up the middle no matter outside or inside. Do this drill. It is called a 2 T drill. Set up a home plate. Put on T in front of home plate 5 " and 3 " inside, and as low as you can set the T. Take another T set it as high as you can and 3 " outside middle of home plate. Now as you hitter loads call which T they must hit and practice driving the ball up the middle no matter where the pitch is located. This will teach your hitter to adjust inside and out and high and low.
 

BLB

May 19, 2008
160
16
Canada
How can we help you with this using the plate as a reference? Where is your front foot landing in relation to the suggested contact points with regards to catcher-pitcher line of direction?
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
2. Fire #1. But you can still hit the pitch up the middle no matter outside or inside. Do this drill. It is called a 2 T drill. Set up a home plate. Put on T in front of home plate 5 " and 3 " inside, and as low as you can set the T. Take another T set it as high as you can and 3 " outside middle of home plate. Now as you hitter loads call which T they must hit and practice driving the ball up the middle no matter where the pitch is located. This will teach your hitter to adjust inside and out and high and low.
I agree with this post entirely except to add-as long as the hitter doesn't disconnect and push to get the hands inside the inside pitch to hit it up the middle.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
How can we help you with this using the plate as a reference? Where is your front foot landing in relation to the suggested contact points with regards to catcher-pitcher line of direction?
I agree. The references to the plate depend on where you stand in the box. Contact should be made between the feet. That works since we always stand in the same place relative to our feet. ;)
 
Dec 28, 2008
390
0
1. I agree with BLB and Mark H. that everything is relative to where you are in the box.

2. I know that in my instruction I have all girls start each session at the exact same spot with their back foot so that they can develop muscle memory regarding how far out in front, they should make contact, where the ball should go etc. That isn't because I want all girls to stand in the exact same spot (far from it as I'll elaborate below) it is simply because ... don't laugh ... I'm lazy. I can sit in my same spot and I know then know exactly where I need to move the T for inside high, inside low, middle in, outside low etc. It is important for girls to memorize their distances from those types of pitches, but it really has nothing to do with where I setup the T. Not knowing who your "guest instructor" was I have no way of knowing if she made an all out 100% of time revelation to you, or if she might have been saying "just while we are practicing this so that you get a feel for how far away the ball would be ... stand closer to the plate so that you get the feel of the distance from you so that I can leave the T here because 9 more girls are going to hit the same pitch so I don't have to move the T."

3. I fully believe (sure someone will tell me I'm wrong) that girls have a natural instinct to pound certain pitches more than other pitches. They naturally want to attack inside pitches, or middle pitches or outside pitches. That despite my best efforts and their practice their brainwaves will go "ding-ding-ding" when they get those particular pitches. So in terms of proximity to the plate itself (not front or back of box) I encourage girls to stand closer to or further from the plate based on their natural "sweet spot" to "encourage" the pitches that they want to see. If a girl's toes are just about on the line, they will likely drive that pitch you described about where you described it off their front pocket and drive it to the pitcher (obviously their position in the box towards catcher/pitcher determines whether it will even reach the plate itself or not I'm just referring to the distance from their toes.) If that girl intentionally stands off the plate however, then although the pitch is a "strike" on the outside corner for her the proximity is more like a "ball" outside the plate due to where she is standing and she may have to attack that pitch at her belly button or even her back pocket.
 
Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
i am sorry for replying so late. i've just been immenseley busy with school and softball.

yes i forgot to mention where i stand. my front foot is even with the front of the plate and my back foot is about 1.5 shoulder width's back or maybe more. i have a very wide stance, almost as wide as Albert Pujols.

i think i've basically settled on letting the ball travel deep for outside pitches, right to the back corner of the plate, where that corner meets the imaginary foul line (it is not drawn out there since that is in the opposite batter's box), and driving the ball to right-center, and maybe even dead center sometimes.

that hitting coach no. 1 above worked only with me during her lunchbreak at the weekend camp, so she was not rushed and there were no other hitters involved. i just think she liked the idea of hitting the outside pitch out in front and driving it to center for some reason. the only problem with that is you lose power that way.

oh i forgot to mention at one time i had a coach who wanted me to hit the inside pitch at the front inside corner of the plate, and the middle of the plate pitch right in the middle of the plate (like where the tee is on those black Franklin home plate tees...ugh), and the outside pitch about a foot behind the plate in foul territory. now i disagreed strongly with that. my current hitting coach always says you do not want to hit (make contact with) the outside pitch in foul territory, as that only increases your chances of hitting the ball foul.
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
Hey - if you can hit the outside pitch solidly and fair (middle to left) you're fine!!!! Don't sweat where it actually goes (whether your line shot goes to right center vs right field). Yes, you "should" hit it at a certain point and in a certain direction (I like Mark H's way of referencing where using your own feet vs using the plate) for a "text book" hit, but being able to hit it to various places is also great (otherwise teams just set up where they KNOW you're going to hit the outside pitch to and camp out).

The right center gap is great because there's usually not a defender there. Of course if you can hit it far enough to hit it over the right fielder's head, then hitting it more to true right field is excellent because that makes it a farther throw to 2b or 3b than right center would be.

Seeing players trying to hit the outside pitch too far out in front also drives me nuts - especially because player trying to do this usually don't hit the outside pitch well.

If you're driving the outside pitch, you're doing great - don't overthink it too much.
 

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