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Hitters Mindset: Tracking the Baseball from the Pitcher

As a hitter, one of the most important skills you can develop is the ability to track the baseball from the pitcher's hand all the way to the plate. This skill allows you to better judge the pitch's speed, location, and movement, giving you a better chance to make contact and get a hit. In this blog, we'll explore why tracking the baseball is so important and offer some tips and statistics to help you improve this skill.

Why is tracking the baseball so important?

  1. Better pitch recognition: By tracking the baseball early out of the pitcher's hand, you can better recognize the pitch type, location, and spin. This can help you determine whether to swing or let the pitch go by.

  2. Improved timing: By tracking the baseball all the way to the plate, you can better time your swing and make contact with the ball more consistently.

  3. Increased confidence: When you're able to track the baseball well, you'll feel more confident at the plate and be less likely to chase pitches out of the strike zone.

Tracking the baseball Tips:

  1. Don't focus on the release point: Staring at one spot for too long can lead to eye blurriness, so it's important to keep your eyes on level with the pitcher's release point but not focusing on the actual release point.

  2. Focus on the pitcher's logo on their hat: This can help you keep your eyes level and avoid getting distracted by other movements.

  3. Switch eyes to release point as the pitcher starts their motion: This can help you pick up the ball more quickly and react faster.

  4. Watch the pitcher's hand: As the pitcher delivers the ball, focus on their hand and try to pick up the ball as early as possible.

  5. Keep your head still: Once you've picked up the ball, keep your head still and follow the ball all the way to the plate. This will help you make more accurate contact with the ball.

  6. Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice tracking the baseball, the better you'll get. Use drills like batting practice and soft toss to work on your skills.

Statistics on tracking the baseball:

  1. Studies have shown that successful major league hitters can track a 95 mph fastball for about 30 feet, while average hitters can only track it for about 20 feet.

  2. The average time it takes for a 95 mph fastball to reach home plate is just over 400 milliseconds, making it one of the quickest movements in all of sports.

  3. Players with better eye tracking ability have been shown to have a higher batting average and on-base percentage than those with poorer eye tracking ability.

Tracking the baseball from the pitcher's hand to the plate is a key skill for hitters to develop. By improving your ability to track the ball, you can improve your pitch recognition, timing, and confidence at the plate. Use the tips and statistics outlined above to help you become a better hitter.


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