Hitting the corners


#1

Good question. I read once that the difference in release point between both sides of the plate is so small that it’s something that must be felt vs something that can be taught. It is, however, definitely something that can be practiced and refined through focused bullpens. I try to get a pitcher to aim every pitch for the exact same location and to remember how the delivery felt and what was the target they chose in order to hit it then try to repeat it or to make an adjustment and continue. Hitting spots is difficult and hard work. I try to make it fun.

With kids, I get a batting tee, a bucket of balls and a soda can. Place the tee at the height and position you want to develop, place the empty can atop the tee. Have the kid knock it down. They are all smiles when they hit the can. They knock it down and you keep setting it up in the same spot for the entire pen.


#2

Good tip Coach Paul.
It is very true, if you are thinking about hitting that corner with runners on in a tight game you will almost never be able to do it. It becomes the old famous aiming the ball. Repetition is the key.
Watching my sons high school team I was amazed how many pitchers would go down to warm up and had no focus or intention when warming up. They were either talking about girls, where to eat after the game ect. while warming up or were messing around with knuckleballs and pitches they dont throw. Drove me insane. When the coach wasnt looking I told a couple of them they should be warming up with a purpose. Inside corner, outside corner, high, low…working on hitting spots while warming up. Not only does it wake up that muscle memory (if they have actually developed it) but gets the mind focused. There is no reason a guy should warm up in the pen, come in and walk 3 guys.
My son is now working on cutting his FB. That is another can of worms. Starting in the middle of the plate or on the first base side of the plate to hit the corner on the third base side.


#3

When Ed Lopat was talking to me about strategic pitching, he said the following: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, work the corners, CHANGE SPEEDS, and stay away from the middle of the plate.” He would at times grab a catcher’s mitt, get behind the plate, and position his mitt in various spots (and he wasn’t half bad as a catcher); he would take me through a workout I had always done as a little snip, but this time with a specific purpose: to hit the corners. Being an honest-to-gosh sidearmer, I had no problem, especially when I would use the crossfire. And being an out-and-out finesse pitcher with not much on speed, I had a great time working with all my pitches! :baseballpitcher: