Can pitch recognition be learned or improved?
I come from the school of yes! 100% With a solid approach and eye training.
There are many things that go into pitch recognition such as time spent, timing, seeing actual pitches by tracking sides (a pitcher bullpen)and game experience.
Most hitters pitch recognition will be compromised usually because of bad timing. Timing is crucial to seeing the ball. But experience is the other culprit.
Young players who enter the higher levels often learn by experience. Good and bad. You usually see these players with a poor approach chase pitches out of the strike zone often seeing better sharper off speed and harder pitches consistently.
It is very hard to improve pitch recognition during the season, so the bulk of it has to be done in the off season and become part of a hitters everyday routine.
For a player to try and improve pitch recognition during the season is a uphill (more like a mountain) battle. So the process should begin way before the season starts.
Usually an MLB player will be 3 different players. 1) When he signs 2) When he is a minor leaguer 3) When he is a Major Leaguer. This process involves pitch recognition, approach and his mental and physical abilities.
Improving pitch recognition can not be solved by telling a player to “don’t swing at it.” It takes time and hard work by the player and his coach.
The eyes train the mind over time. The more pitches stored, seen or tracked creates a better map to the pitch.
“Thinking: When the brain does engage in analysis with the information about the ball’s path to the plate, does it then calculate the ball’s trajectory? Well, in the way your PC, properly programmed, would do the calculation;a the brain is much too slow and the information—especially that concerning the timing—is not good enough. But it does compare the pattern of information it has received on the position and motion of the ball with patterns it has stored from the ballplayer’s long experience. The patterns “on top” of the stack of patterns stored in the brain have been preselected to some extent by the batter’s thoughts before the pitch was thrown.”
The Physics of Baseball
Robert K. Adair
Posted in: baseball