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When to slap

Jan 13, 2009
I see plenty of material on how to slap, but none on when to slap. What advice exists for knowing the game situation, then reading the defense and determining the best left handed batter approach.

Example, runner on first and second, one out, I do not want to power slap because of the potential force at third. Runner on first, one out, I want to power slap to keep the shortstop from covering second base.

What is the best way to teach game situations for left handed batters to know when to power slap, soft slap or hit away.
Aug 4, 2008
You are right , you take what the defense gives you and it depends on how good of a slapper you have at bat. Keep in mind you can still slap to second base, or duck hit-power slap over second base. My dd has bunt-slap-power slap, or hit for power as a lefty. We have done many walk thru's so she understands what she should do. Runners on first and second. Depending on where the defensive players are, we tend to power slap over second base. Runner on first. Slap into the hole between third and short. Some Defenses have second cheating to first. That leaves a gap for the power slap to the right side. If they are playing slap defense, lay down the bunt. Very effective if the runner is fast. We lay it down the first base line and rarely get out. We tend to find most girls playing first base are not very good covering the bunt, due to lack of speed. It takes time walking thru the different defenses and base runners and out situations. It all depends on the ability of your slapper. My dd has been lucky at 14 to get to work with two Olympic hitting coaches that have taught her the slap and how to use it..
Dec 28, 2008
My philosophy is pretty simple ... make the defense earn each progressive step

1. Easiest thing to do is a very simple "drag bunt" either to 3b, p or 1b depending on who you think you can take advantage of. Once all 3 prove you can't take advantage of them .... then you move to the next harder step

2. Slap hard into the ground into the hole towards SS or 2B until they prove they will stay at home to field their position and not just assume you are drag bunting, and that they are close enough and fast enougn to react and get you out .. then you move to the next harder step

3. Slap hard right up the third baseline or up the middle into the ground until 3b or P proves they can react fast enough now that they are very close to you ... then you move to the next harder step

4. Slap hard for a line drive to try and drive it just over someones head on the infield whoever is playing closest and you have the right pitch (inside go over 2nd base) (outside go over third base) etc.

Once you can slap for a line drive there is now a TON of pressure on the defense. If they bring their outfielders up to protect against flairs, and ONLY IF they bring their outfield in then you start trying to POWER SLAP over their heads. If the infielders backup to protect against them then you go back to step #1 and just drag bunt.

The whole idea of left handed slapping is as SBFAMILY says "take advantage of what the defense gives you." In batting practice I always make slappers practice all types, and then do situations ... I say "1 out, no strikes, no balls, runners on first and second, 3b is playing back to protect against steal, 1b is playing up close" then I toss the ball inside and see what she does. If she has the ability to keep hands inside for a tight pitch and puts it up 3b line, perfect. If she goes ahead and takes the pitch, or purposely tries a power slap swing but misses intentionally because she knows it's going to be a strike anyway ... that's cool too. Now she's encouraged 3B to continue playing, back then I toss the next pitch low and outside and hopefully she drags up 3B line. Etc. Point of going through an example is just to point out that you can practice the situations just like you practice situational hitting so they've actually thought through and reacted to situations they'll face in the game.

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