Good question!! I think it is meaningless how hard you throw to set guys up. The most important variable in selecting pitches is the make-up of the hitter. Many times it is hard to read the hitter because from the dugout a pitching coach is looking at the hitter’s back. That is why having a good catcher is so important. Also, for the coach, practice swings in the on-deck circle are a great way to monitor opposing hitters before they come to the plate. You can tell a lot about a hitter after the first pitch. The first pitch of any sequence should be the “low and away” strike. From that pitch, these two questions should be answered before the next selection:
1. Does the hitter get lead arm extension?
2. Does the hitter transfer his weight forward?
After answering these questions you can incorporate the proper sequence.
The sequence to get hitters out that cannot get lead arm extension would be:
Fastballs low and away
Breaking balls low and away
The hitters that do not get lead arm extension are more apt at hitting the inside pitch. Hitters that do not achieve lead arm extension must hit the ball way out front to make solid contact and hit a line drive. This type of hitter cannot cover the plate because the extension that occurs happens way out front. These hitters look to drop the bat barrel on inside pitches that are slight up. Think about it. These pitches are the closest ones to their bat barrel. Next time, watch the hitter’s lead arm after the first pitch and use it as a guide to getting them out.
The sequence for players who transfer their weight to the front side would be:
Fastballs in and up
Breaking balls in
If the hitter transfers weight to their front side during the pitch, then they are more challenging to get out. Pitchers must force the ball in because front side hitters often drift out over the plate. Also with two strikes, it has been my experience that front foot hitters are vulnerable to fastballs up and in. Breaking balls in can also be effective with front foot hitters.
[b]Current Pitch =Opposite speed + Opposite location of previous pitch
Leo Mazzone says,” The low and away strike is the best pitch in baseball!” [/b]