Batter's Weakness

ChopTalk made and interesting observation recently with respect to “Lining Your Knuckles” – within the Hitting section of this web site.
His question and observation had to do with the way coaches demonstrate holding the bat with your knuckles in line. From a pitcher’s standpoint, we can take this observation one step further. I know #33 Jason Varitekand his teammates on the Boston Red Sox pitching staff do. In fact, the next time your watching Varitek, notice his eyes focusing on the batter, just before – and during, the batter’s turn in the box. First Varitek looks at the hand’s posture gripping the bat, then Varitek will look down at where the feet are placed, then he takes a …full view of the overall body posture at bat.
You too can learn from this by checking yourself. First grip the bat with your regular grip and slowly swing the bat off your shoulders. (It helps if you’re in front of a mirror.) Now look at the angle that your arms and hands produce from the heel of the bat out to the trademark. Do you see an angle ( space) of say … five(5) to …oh twenty(20) degrees? Now align the flats of your knuckles, so the palms are directly under each other, and slowly swing again. Notice how your top hand turns over slightly – and there’s no hole…or angle(space) from the heel of the bat to the trademark!
If you practice with enough grips and notice the weakness of each,(holes in the swipe path) you can take advantage of these weaknesses.
Common pitches are inside (jamming) just under the hands and sinkers that take advantage of the pulling up action caused by hand grips that cut short the full swing.

However, I should note that you must have a catcher LOOK for these weaknesses. It’s very, very difficult for you – from sixty feet away, to pick these grips up.

Coach B.

So in short

Knuckles not lined up == hole up/in a bit

standing forward in the box == doesn’t like offspeed
back == doesn’t like speed

out == doesn’t like in
in == doesn’t like out

squatting == doesn’t like em low
standing tall == doesn’t like em high

open == pull (throw way outside)
closed == not pull (throw way inside)

Im not entirely sure about the open/closed ones

BINGO!

If I’m not being too personal - where did you hear that? There’s a lot of simple wisdom in those lines - a lot. In fact, I remember hearing something like that a long time a go - a very long time ago.

Coach B.

It’s just kind of common sense. I’ve learned different parts of it from different coaches over the years.

Spencer,

Actually, the in/out as you’ve defined it is not common sense as most people will say that if the pitcher is:

standing out, can’t reach out so pitch out
standing in, can’t reach in so pitch in

So you’ve got to kind of figure out which it is for each batter. But Tom House and the NPA teach what you posted.

[quote=“Roger”]Spencer,

Actually, the in/out as you’ve defined it is not common sense as most people will say that if the pitcher is:

standing out, can’t reach out so pitch out
standing in, can’t reach in so pitch in

So you’ve got to kind of figure out which it is for each batter. But Tom House and the NPA teach what you posted.[/quote]

They only mentioned standing in/out and standing low/tall IIRC.

I believe Tek looks to see if the batter is “peeking” for signs and position.
Is it not possible for a batter to stand with one grip and change it as the hand/bat go back?

The question I have for you coach is if the batter is standing in/out, should you pitch in or out?

You could argue both ways. If they’re far from the plate, maybe they don’t like inside, so pitch inside. Or, pitch outside since they aren’t prepared for the outside pitch.

If they’re close to the plate, maybe they don’t like away, so pitch away. Or, pitch in since they aren’t prepared for the inside pitch.

I’m confused on what you should do.

Actually, I think the best way to approach a hitter is to change speeds/eye levels. You start making the hitter think too much. What’s he gonna throw next? Where? Should I move in or back or up?

I found a really good article in a magazine that explains what pitch sequence and location Mike Mussina uses against different types of hitters (E.g. power hitter, base stealer, tough out, etc.).

IMO a good pitch sequence would be:

Low curve, ball.
Low curve, strike (at the knees).
Fastball, strike (inside).
Then, depending on which side they bat on, you could do:

LHP vs. LHB= slider, out of the zone (away).
LHP vs RHB= fastball, out of the zone (high).
RHP vs. RHB= slider, out of the zone (away).
RHP vs. LHB= fastball, out of the zone (high).

I spontaniously fabricated this out of my imagination so correct me if this doesn’t make sense.

[quote=“Bakersdozen”]The question I have for you coach is if the batter is standing in/out, should you pitch in or out?

You could argue both ways. If they’re far from the plate, maybe they don’t like inside, so pitch inside. Or, pitch outside since they aren’t prepared for the outside pitch.

If they’re close to the plate, maybe they don’t like away, so pitch away. Or, pitch in since they aren’t prepared for the inside pitch.

I’m confused on what you should do.[/quote]

If a batter is standing off the plate, every pitch will seem ‘away’ so you either pitch really away or really inside and if you play the batter correctly, he should swing or it might even be called a strike.

Vice versa for standing on the plate… You move em off with some good 'ol chin music

Ive noticed that a high and inside fastball thrown very hard for that age group and experience level is a wicked strikeout pitch. Alot of kids wildly swing with almost no chance of contact.

i find intimidation is the best way. I will throw 65 mph way inside and a 62 mile 2 seamer on the fists. THen, they don’t crowd the plate, and i throw a slurve down and away.

What does chin music sound like?

[quote=“Bakersdozen”]The question I have for you coach is if the batter is standing in/out, should you pitch in or out?

You could argue both ways. If they’re far from the plate, maybe they don’t like inside, so pitch inside. Or, pitch outside since they aren’t prepared for the outside pitch.

If they’re close to the plate, maybe they don’t like away, so pitch away. Or, pitch in since they aren’t prepared for the inside pitch.

I’m confused on what you should do.[/quote]

This is why I said above you have to figure out which is the case for each batter that stands out or in.