There are some key mental and physical adjustments you can make to increase your odds of winning your battle with the pitcher when you have 2 strikes against you. Here are some tips for successful 2 strike hitting.
Hitting with two strikes is a very important part of baseball. The emphasis of having a proper 2 strike hitting approach is declining. It seems many hitters accept the strikeout as a part of the game instead of taking it personally as losing the battle you have with the pitcher.
Strikeouts are an unproductive out. You don’t put any pressure on the defense to make a play. You don’t allow for an opportunity for an error to be made or for a runner to move up or score with a productive out (sacrifice fly, ground ball to the right side of the infield to move up a runner from 2nd to 3rd base).
When hitting with 2 strikes, you can make (1) one or more mental adjustments, (2) one or more physical adjustments, or (3) a combination.
Possible Mental Adjustments include:
- See the ball well.
- Let the baseball get deep in the hitting zone.
- Look for the ball over the outside half of the plate.
- Look to hit the ball the other way.
- Protect the plate and swing at borderline pitches.
- Don’t try to do too much.
- Play pepper (put the baseball in play).
- Don’t panic.
Possible Physical Adjustments include:
- Choke up on the baseball bat.
- Spread your feet a little wider than normal.
- Get closer to the plate.
- Cut down on a leg kick.
- Get your front foot down a little earlier than normal.
These are typical two strike adjustments. Of course you are not going to think about all of these but one or two of these is essential. Some of your better hitters with two strikes will use one adjustment from each category.
You should be comfortable with your 2 strike approach. Don’t make any physical changes if you never work on them in the cage or batting practice. The last thing you want to do with two strikes is to feel like you have two different swings. You want to be relaxed and comfortable with two strikes.
Some hitters who have successfully made a physical adjustment when hitting with two strikes have enjoyed the success so much that they use their two strike physical adjustment in every count.
Some coaches like to see a physical adjustment made with 2 strikes because it cuts down on your swing and it lets them know you are being an unselfish player. It is important that if you are only changing your mentality with 2 strikes that you can see positive results in your contact and at least giving yourself a chance for a productive at bat. You need to be able to prove to yourself and teammates that you can compete with 2 strikes.
Two strike hitting is important to adding points to your batting average as well as being a team player. Most players in major league baseball will make at least a mental adjustment when hitting with 2 strikes. People have been talking about 2 strike hitting for many years because it works. Don’t be so selfish that you disregard it.
If you want to read more about developing a quality 2 strike hitting approach, check out this article on hitting with two strikes. If you have any questions or feedback, I invite you to comment below. – Doug
Featured image is by Frank Lauri.
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