Pitch Location and Strikes

How important is it to pitch the ball down in the strike zone? I am coaching a 12U team that has 4 pitchers on it that do not throw very hard. My understanding is that if you pitch the ball down and it is hit you have a better chance of making a play on the ball in the infield? Is this true and are there any statistic numbers that support this?

Since my pitchers are not going to blow the ball past the good hitting teams, I would much rather them miss close to the strike zone (preferably down) than pitching the ball right down the middle. Is this the right approach?
I also think working the count ( 2-2, 3-2, 2-1 ) is much better than giving up a hit when the pitch count on the batter is low.

Does anyone know of any baseball statistic or books that support this approach to pitching?

Well… I pitch down is the strike zone when i have 2 strikes and 0 to 2 balls on a guy… try to make him golf and swing… I perferably like to pitch in on batters… left and right handers… then throw a c-change down and away to see if they chase it and if they dont throw a heater up and they usually try to swing at it.

the best pitchers in baseball regardless of velocity are the ones who can throw strikes at the knees. first of all it doesnt look like a strike to the batter, and if you can paint corners that makes it even more deceptive. second, all batters(well mostly all) homeruns and doubles come from pitches left above the waist in the zone. its alot easier to his a ball at your belt than to hit a ball at your knees. with a lil movement that knee high fastball becauses a groundball out. trouble is the theory is sound but doing it is another story. also workin pitchers to 2-1 3-1 3-2 counts isnt good. teach your pitchers to throw first pitch strikes. even if it ends up a meatball the hitter probly wont swing and if he does he doesnt have the pitcher timed well enough on the first pitch to really crush the ball. the difference between a 1-0 and a 0-1 count is one of the most unbelievable things in baseball. it can change the whole senerio or whats going to happen in the at bat

If your kids can’t throw heat, stay away from pitches above the belt. If a kid can throw the mustard, a high heater will sometimes get an easy popup or K. But a slower pitcher throwing high is setting the batter up to jack it a long way…if he’s any kind of hitter. At 12, a ball at the knees is a tough ball to hit. Also, if the kids can change speeds, great. If not, i.e., if the only pitch they throw is a mediocre fastball, stay away from the inside of the plate. You either need gas or a good change of pace pitch to work the inside effectively. A lot of younger kids can turn on the slow low inside pitch.

It seems like I write this a lot, but pitch to contact low in the zone and teach the boys a good change up, preferably with movement.

Hose

i always try to pitch down in the zone because its more of a chance of the hitter hitting a ground ball. But if the kids dont thrown hard the ball might drop so if they throw it over the plate the ball could drop low in the zone as some kind of change up

If your pitcher has really good accuracy, try pitching down and away. Some batters may try to pull the ball instead of hitting it the other way. If they try and pull it, they would most likely hit a ground ball.

Perry Husband has done a lot of research on pitching velocity and location.

http://www.effectivevelocity.com/page.php?page=index&