So you want to learn how to be the greatest hitter on your team.
First, you need to understand something.
You might be good, but you’re not that good, and here’s why.
If I can go to Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, or the Dominican Republic, walk over to a tree, and shake it, 10 players with your abilities or better will come falling out. Why?
Because talent comes a dime a dozen my friend.
If you want to be the best, what Trent Mongero calls the Elite-of-the-elite, you will have to learn how to become a serious, serious, competitor in the batter's box...
Here are the exact steps.
Reverse Your Definition of Baseball Success
Change what you think success is from stats to winning the at-bat
Your goal is to achieve high confidence and compete level:
To do this you have to change what you think success is from getting hits to winning the at-bat.
- Taking quality swings by driving the ball up the middle and gap to gap.
- Swinging with intent to do damage
- Being tough with two strikes
- Competing your tail off.
Doing these things well requires zero talent or going in 4-4.
It’s an approach that exists independent of outcome.
It’s a choice.
Go Into "I don’t give a crap" Mode.
0-12 and can’t buy a hit? Good.
Hitting the ball hard but right at someone? Good.
Struck out with the bases loaded? Good.
If you want to plate with 100% freedom stop obsessing over your stats, Go into "I don’t give a crap" mode.
Have An Approach That Matches Your Skillset.
For the past 100 years, there have been 15 DHs getting paid the big buck every year.
Now there are 30, And chances are you’re not gonna be one of them.
You need to learn how to be a great hitter before the power comes.
It starts by understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and role in the lineup.
If you’re a 5’8 middle infielder and you’re shining out of your shoes with two strikes, you need to adjust.
If you’re 6’3 215 built like a brick house and you’re swinging just to make contact with count-leverage, you need to adjust.
Each player has their strengths and weakness.
There’s freedom in knowing what your constraints are.
Turn your strength into weapons, and sharpen your weaknesses so they don’t become a liability.
Understand The Psychology of Hitter Counts
Here are the most important ones.
- 0-0 - the pitcher wants to get ahead. The first pitch will probably be the one he has the most feel for.
- 0-2 - know their out-pitch. Are they going to get you to chase, fly out, ground out or are they a power pitcher? They might waste a pitch here so sometimes it’s better to actually shrink the zone with two strikes to avoid chasing something out of the zone.
- 2-2 - pitch to contact - The 2-2 pitch to contact with a breaking ball down in the zone is many pitcher’s best friend
- 0-1 double up - history doesn’t always repeat itself but it’ll rhyme. A fb on the black or curveball down for a called strike will usually be repeated.
- 1-0 - you have count leverage. Get a good pitch to hit and don’t get cheated by the FB.
- 2-0 - you have count leverage. Get a good pitch to hit and don’t get cheated by the FB.
- 3-1 - Say it with me - “you have count leverage. Get a good pitch to hit and don’t get cheated by the FB.”
Swing With Intent
You have to trust your hands to allow what you worked on in practice to translate to the game.
Stop swining just to make contact.
Swing to hurt the pitcher's feelings.
Hit a line drive off the pitcher’s neck.
Swing to do serious damage.
Take a friggin hell-hack!
Don’t just be a bulldog. Be a bulldog with a bone.
Post Up To Increase Hard Contact
Some of the furthest balls you’ll ever hit are the chest-high fastball and handing breaking ball.
You can look up and adjust down the same way you look away and adjust in.
A breaking ball that starts up in the zone will be in your wheelhouse at point of contact.
A breaking ball that starts down in the zone will be in the dirt at point of contact.
This is the mark of real plate discipline and hitter’s I.Q.
Use The Whole Field
Good hitters use the whole field. Nuff said.
Keep Your Finger On The Swing Trigger.
"Yes, yes no on a ball". "Yes, yes Go!" on a strike.
When you assume the next pitch is going to be a strike, you’ll never get cheated but the fastball.
Draw Inspiration From Adversity
Ichiro Suzuki’s scouting report labeled him as a "poor man's Rickey Henderson".
Boy did he prove them wrong?
You too will be slept on by someone.
Good. Use it. Draw inspiration from it.
Simulate and Rehearse Success
If you want to improve your pitch recognition skills, simulative live at-bats.
And now you can do it on any device for $1.
Be Tough With Two Strikes
Pitchers are adjusting. You need to adjust back. Make the pitcher work. Put pressure on the opposing defense. Refuse to throw away at-bats.
Refuse to be a dressed-up out.
Be Aggressive Early In The Count.
Stats don’t lie. The earlier in the count, you take a quality swing on a quality pitch, the better your overall performance will be.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn't be selective or should avoid hitting with two strikes, it just means you need to be selectively aggressive.
When you get the pitch you want, capitalize.
Handle Slumps With Reframes.
Baseball is a game of failure.
It’s also a game of opportunity.
When failure becomes a feedback mechanism, you become an unstoppable force.
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.
Slumps are a part of the game.
How you deal with them is what really matters.
Are you going to internalize failure or are you going to decide to figure it out, adjust and evolve?
What did I miss?
Which one was your favorite?
Reach out and let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
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