I was a lead-off hitter for most of my career and i never bought into the idea that the lead-off hitter should take pitches so that his teammates can "see what the pitcher's" got.
I don't need a crystal ball to know that he at least has a fastball that he's gonna try to throw for a strike.
There’s an art to hitting leadoff that I feel doesn’t get talked a lot about.
I don’t think a high walk percentage is what makes a good lead-off hitter.
I do think it’s a low chase rate and a high hard contact percentage.
as a lead-off hitter, your job is to:
- put pressure on the defense
- make the pitcher work
- get on base
- get in scoring position
It doesn’t mean you have to:
- take until you get a strike
- run the count full
- see 8 pitches
- hit with two strikes or behind in the count
- sacrifice your at-bat so your teammates can see what he has
If you’re swinging at a strike, you made the pitcher work for it.
You’re taking quality swings on quality pitches.
If you swing, it needs to be a strike, and then you’re tough with two.
Takes a day to buy in, but a lifetime to master.
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