What Makes a Good Hitter by Derrick May
I was asked what makes a good hitter. I know, I know great hand eye coordination or great athletic ability. However there are a few more things that go along with them. I had to think and draw from all of the players I’ve seen, all of the coaches that I talked to, listened to and learned from. So, I came up with a list:
1) Has confidence- a good hitter knows he can hit. He will believe it every time he goes to the plate- Dwight Smith, Jerome Walton and Mark Grace were some teammates that I loved listening to go back and forth. Juice (Jerome Walton) would say “Smitty! Can you hit!!!” and Dwight would reply…”Belieeeeeeeve It!!!!” Dwight would say “Gracey!!!” “can you hit??!!” Mark would say…”What a question!!” this was said all the time even in Peoria, IL in 1987 by Parnell Perry. “Suuuuurrrre!” was one of his sayings.
2) Understands his swing and himself- This is not just an inward understanding this is physically understanding what he is doing with his swing, how it works at the plate and can make the necessary adjustments quickly from pitch to pitch.
3) He has a consistent repeatable swing- that he can execute and produce hard consistent contact. Using the whole field and staying on the baseball. Good head discipline.
4) Understands the strike zone- Has good knowledge of his strengths and weaknesses within the strike zone and is disciplined and ready to attack strikes in his strength early in the count.
5) Has a 2K approach- Understands the importance of having a 2K approach and how having one can extend pitch counts and increase the chances of getting on base, not decreasing them. Knows the pitchers out pitch.
6) Is mentally prepared- Understands that having a good routine or plan for improvement will keep mental focus and preparedness. Having a solid game plan going into the game based on watching video, knowledge of previous at bats and communicating with the hitting coach and teammates.
7) Challenges himself- in practice and in games expects to execute in any situation
8) Has good situational awareness- knows what inning, outs, score etc
9) Pays attention- Watches the game for changes in pitching patterns or fielding positions
10) Self Motivated- solid work ethic regardless of circumstances-
11) Communicates- Communicates with coaches and teammates-talks about the game and pitchers. talks to other hitters and pitchers.
Well that’s my list. I’m sure you can think of a few more.
Posted in: baseball