What should throw to a typical batter as the first pitch?
In my experience, there is no such thing as a “typical batter”. That particular species comes in different sizes, shapes and proclivities, and you need to know their strengths and their weaknesses—whether a guy will take a pitch or go after the first one no matter where it is. You need to know the situation—what inning, runner(s) on base, number of outs, the score—and above all, follow this cardinal rule: "Figure out what the batter is looking for, and don’t give it to him."
I don’t know what the situation is in the lower echelons of the game, such as Little League—my particular area of expertise is major league—but I can and will say that the whole point is to get ahead of the hitter and stay ahead, whatever pitch you decide to throw to him. Whitey Ford once observed that every play in baseball begins with the ball being put in play, and the person who puts the ball in play is the pitcher—so you have to decide whether to make the batter put the ball in play, preferably right at an infielder, or go for the strikeout. It’s up to you and your catcher. 8) :baseballpitcher:
just worry about getting ahead. the hitter however decides what pitch to throw. throw a strike so you can set him up later in the count…a first pitch strike is the most important pitch. period.
Generally fastballs, especially the first time through a lineup. I’ve found, however, that most pitchers overthink the first pitch, try to get “creative” and end up falling behind 1-0, which is not efficient or effective. Just throw a strike. Pound the strike zone!
Some may laugh at your answer, but not me because no one I know of says different, no matter how much expertise they have, and no metric I know of says any different either.
But the trick isn’t to just throw a pitch that will show up on some stat sheet as a strike, but rather to get that strike yet not hurt the team too badly.
I couldn’t agree more with the other comments, strike one is critical for future pitches and counts. Playing in South Dakota, our pitchers are somewhat spoiled because we have played the same players for years and we know each hitter’s tendencies and flaws. If you’re in a position not as ideal, and hitters are unfamiliar, focus on mostly fastballs the first time around, ESPECIALLY to the bottom of the order. Then, next time around, depending on how your off speed is that day, work in other pitches with caution. And hey, watch your opponents play whenever possible! It is a great way to give yourself a little scouting report.