Baseball scenarios can change pitch by pitch. That’s why your hitting approach and mindset need to be in sync every time you step into the batter’s box. All-star outfielder Bryce Harper says having confidence and understanding your role can help you determine how to drive the ball. Take note of his philosophy at the plate with these batting Pro Tips.
One of the main factors that can determine your strategy is the count. Whether you’re starting fresh 0-0 or battling 1-2, the count can influence your bat swing. For example, while some players, particularly when facing two strikes, choke up on their bat, Harper doesn’t prefer this method.
“I kind of just try to do damage on each pitch I can get,” he says. “Of course, when a hard lefty comes in or something like that, I’ll try to be better and just put the bat on the ball, things like that. But I feel like I can do damage in any count that I’m in.”
Being confident and understanding each scenario can help you clear your head of any worries that might take away from your focus. A level-headed approach at the plate can allow you to put your best swing on the ball, regardless of the count.
GETTING THE JOB DONE
Besides being confident in your bat swing, you also need to know what your job is as a team player. “If I do have a runner on third and I have to get the job done, then I need to get that job done no matter what,” Harper cites as an example.
It’s also important to remember that your job in the batter’s box doesn’t always have to result in a run scored. “If there’s a guy on second base, you’re late in the game, no outs and I can hit a ground ball to the right side and get that guy to third base for the guy behind me and we can win a ballgame, then I need to get that done,” Harper says.
This example can teach that moving runners up a base – even with productive outs – can be as important as driving in runs. You can also tailor your at-bat to deliver the desired results.
“Picking your spots depending on where the game is at, I think that is a huge advantage for any team to have any guy on your team be able to do anything in any given spot,” Harper says. “So, I’m just trying to be my best at any of those situations.”
Driving the ball in the right direction requires confidence and understanding of the situation at hand. Take a page from Bryce Harper’s playbook and use these Pro Tips to boost your bat this season.
In order to drive the ball, you need to be able to find the right pitch to hit. Use these Pro Tips on plate discipline to help you keep an eye out for that perfect strike.