Does pitcher need to hit ball well?

Hi,
This is my first time here. Please forgive me if I ask a stupid question.
My son is 10U select team start pitcher. Pittching seems pretty natureal to him. He can throw fast ball around 60m with very good location control. His change up is 8-10m slow.
But he has a lot troubles in batting such as slow bat speed, not hitting ball hard, and easily getting strike out. As a pitcher, He spent much more time on batting practise than pitching. It did not change the result. He is still the last batting order in his team. Now he is a liittle tired of baseball because batting.

My question is that does pitcher need to hit ball well or doesn’t matter?

Thanks for any response.

I remember way back when—many moons ago, the American League was loaded with good hitting pitchers! It started with Red Ruffing, and it went on to the likes of Joe Page, Allie Reynolds, Tommy Byrne, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Hal Newhouser, blah blah blah. Now, since the advent of the designated hitter (boooo!), the pitchers in said league have seemingly forgotten how to hit and are at a disadvantage in interleague play, whereas the National League pitchers tend to be good hitters.
In the case of your kid, who seems to be getting disillusioned with the game because he can’t hit, I’m wondering whether his coach subscribes to the AL or the NL position regarding hitting pitchers. I for one would say that it doesn’t matter; the kid is pitching very well and getting the batters out. But if he really wants to hit a little—at least lay down a good sacrifice bunt—he should get with a hitting coach, preferably one with high-level professional experience, who can teach him some of the fundamentals of batting. Think about it. 8)

[quote=“Franklin”]Hi,
This is my first time here. Please forgive me if I ask a stupid question.
My son is 10U select team start pitcher. Pittching seems pretty natureal to him. He can throw fast ball around 60m with very good location control. His change up is 8-10m slow.
But he has a lot troubles in batting such as slow bat speed, not hitting ball hard, and easily getting strike out. As a pitcher, He spent much more time on batting practise than pitching. It did not change the result. He is still the last batting order in his team. Now he is a liittle tired of baseball because batting.

My question is that does pitcher need to hit ball well or doesn’t matter?

Thanks for any response.[/quote]

IMHO, no baseball player should be a pitcher-only at 10 years young. Lots of baseball in his future. Having said that, I have a confession to make. My son was a lot like your son.

He could throw the seams off of his fastball, and made teams based on his ability to throw the rock. But I insisted that if he was going to play, he had to be a position player as well as a pitcher.

He played for two years like that, struggling to hit or catch a fly ball. Last year as a 14 yo he had some success, and I thought he was “over the hump”. He was MVP of his state tournament team and hit three triples in three games to go along with a 5 inning no-hitter. Woohoo! Dad was on top of the world. I thought he finally had gotten it.

Over the winter workouts, he was the best hitter on the team. Smashing the ball. Confident. “He’s my 3 or 4 hitter, I can’t decide,” oozed his coach.

Then came the summer season. Strike outs, ground outs, and more strike outs. His normally high confidence on the mound when pitching began to deteriorate as his batting average plummeted. With two weeks left in his season, he is complaining of elbow pain, no doubt from all the pitches he has thrown (to his credit and in his defense, he is the team ace and always pitches against the best teams, including every championship game of every tournament until the last one because of his elbow pain).

Bottom line for me is that I wish I had gotten him together with a quality hitting coach from the start, and kept him focused on hitting.

The question is, do you want him to pitch only? To pitch only every third or fourth game, and then if he struggles maybe only playing an inning or two a week? Or do you want him to be a complete player, one that can take up a position on his pitching off-days and continue to have success?

The bad news is that position players at the higher levels have to hit, or they don’t play. The good news is your son has plenty of time to work on that part of his game to where it is as much a part of his success as his strong right arm.

Good luck and have fun.

Hose

Look at the ex pitcher Rick Ankeil from the Cardinals. He was a big leaguer that could have gone either way. He has a gun thats for sure and I’m sure he had a lot of emphesis on pitching but obviously he learned to hit quite well also. And it sure payed off didn’t it?

You don’t really have pitchers who don’t bat until the college level. So, your son has got a lot of years of baseball between now and then during which he’ll need to bat.

Furthermore, you can’t predict what position a 10yo kid will play down the road. He may end up not cutting it as a pitcher but might find he is a great catcher or other position player in which case, even at the higher levels, he’ll need to swing a bat.

My suggestion would be to find a good hitting instructor and get your son some lessons.

At my high school most pitchers don’t play a position or bat. This was also the way it was in Middle School. They just pitch. Of course this is a pretty big high school so there isn’t a problem with having other guys that can hit play the field. In summer ball we (I pitch) were allowed to play a position & hit.

I like hitting but have focused on becoming a better pitcher at the expense of taking batting lessons and BP - (read my log) - this has taken a bunch of time - but has paid off. I have gotten a whole lot better. I believe at 10 your son could also become much better - it is too early to give up on the bat.

If your son wants to hit and he isn’t a good hitter I would just get out in the yard with him and throw him bp with wiffle balls - I wouldn’t convert him to a just a pitcher. I would try to make him a better hitter so he has more skills that would help him make the high school team.

Appreciated all input. Hose, thanks a lot to share your son’s experience