Bat Control Hitters
Scratch Hit, Drag Bunt, Slap Hit, Banjo Hit, Punch Hit...
"Hit Em Where They Ain't"
Game is won by scoring runs and runs are scored by having base runners this basic principle of getting runners on base is a function of placing the bat on the ball i:e using bat control as it is supposed to be done. "My Dear Watson it is elementary."
For something like 130 plus years and tens of thousands of game I would venture to guess no more than a couple of dozen games have ever been won without a base runner.
You forgot a game could be won with a solo home run and therefore no base runner was on base except to touch them all.
Baseball coaching and instructions on how to improve that batting average being a better hitter must include the hitting-tips of bat control.
Since the very beginning of baseball the argument still persists on what style or technique is the real answer to becoming a great baseball hitting legend or hero.
Discontinue the argument, or keep it boiling, the bottom line is this axiom" A hitters ability to master bat control is an essential element for baseball hitting.
Back to my premise. We need bat control hitters and base runners on those sacks to win games.
The basic theory and rationale for Hitting Bat Control should be a integral part of Beginner Baseball training as well as including all of the other four essential elements of hitting.
The theory for bat control hitters is the absolute need to have runners on the bases to score runs. Without base runners on those base paths then all else is futile for winning the game.
Beginner baseball players retain and absorb so musch so quickly it is of extreme and utmost importance to ingrain the true essential elements for becoming a hitter early in their playing.
It is indeed a rare sight to see a baseball hitter stand in the batters box without preening for the camera with his statuesque stance and getting set just right.
Where is that bat control hitter who steps up there with dirt all over his letters and one side of his body covered in red infield dirt?
Ty Cobb would step into the batters box with scuffed up uniform looking like he had been out digging a well all day.
Not only was his look of uniform dress deceiving but his seeming nonchalance stance was as if he was standing there waiting for the street car to come along. This was a deception of the finest kind for Ty Cobb was as ready as a cocked slingshot and he had masterful bat control.
You think I'm exaggerating. Just pay attention and you will have to agree with me. The day of that clawing and scratching to get on base and hard playing ball player is no longer on the diamond.
First and foremost every young player should have reinforced into his noggin that a bat control hitter chokes up on the bat. To gain maximum bat control is not being a sissy.
Prime no.1 object is to put that bat on the ball and knock it clear of a fielder.
When strikes are thrown on the out side of the plate step toward the ball and hit it between the infielders.
A right handed hitter should poke it between the 2nd sacker and the 1st baseman. The left handed hitter should shove it between the 3rd sacker and the shortstop.
Slapping the ball back between the legs of that long legged pitcher is just fine bat control hitting.
You might say that is only so much talk.
Well big boy you show me your batting lineup and all those free swinging pretty boys and tell me they can knock, punch or shove the ball in a well placed spot thru the infield. I know what the announcer says when the blast sails on the ground between the infielders.
To the entire corps of announcers they say, "He went with the pitch and that is real intelligent hitting." Yes, and his swing and contact just happened to connect so he is a real hitter, right?
I will contend he was simply lucky 75% of the time. His intent in coming to the plate was not to stand in there, crowd the plate, choke up and slap that ball thru the hole.
What is a scratch hit? The team is having trouble making contact with the pitcher out there who is consistently throwing smoke and whiffing our team hitters. Change hitting tactics. Send your players to the plate to be bat control hitters.
Go to the plate. Do not dig in. Stand relaxed, Choke up on the bat, Be ready and be quick with that bat. When the strike pitch comes, simply meet the ball and place the hit out of reach of the infielder.
Do not try to rattle the fence. Simply meet the ball with the bat control hitters determination. If you are lucky, it slithers past an infielder on the ground or pops just over an infielders jumping glove.
The ball was not hit with gusto and vim. It was simply hit and it fell just right and we call it a scratch hit.
There are two well known hitters in the baseball hall of fame who are in that august group and they lived or died on the diamond as scratch hitters. Would you believe it?
Ty Cobb and Wee Willie Keeler are two hall of fame players who never played a game in their entire life but by the time the game was over looked liked they had been playing in a pig pen. These two played as if the dirt and dust were their best friend.
The master hitter of all time Tyrus "Ty" Raymond Cobb was the greatest bat control hitting baseball player to ever swing a bat.
When at the plate they did not take a stance. They took a bat to do battle with the pitcher.
Show me any picture of either of these two scrappers and I will point out "Look at that grip, choked up and standing like they are, waiting on the street car to come along." These two were scratch hitters and the best in the land.
Now that we might agree what is referred to as a scratch hit the other terms, i;e drag bunt, slap hit, banjo hitting and the punch hit are nothing more than a form of scratch hit. The scratch hit has to do with how the game is being played out and the change in style to make something happen.
The drag bunt is a specific designed effort styled to catch the defense lax and quickly take advantage of an opportunity.
The slap hitter and the banjo hitter are close cousins to each other. The slap hitter or banjo hitting is a bat control hitters practiced conscious style of hitting. These hitters will never be accused of trying to become a home run hitter. The banjo or slap hitter will pepper that ball all around the diamond and during the course of a game he becomes a real worry wart.
I grew up playing with a slap hitter by the name of Gerald Leslie. Gerald was one of the best from the Roebuck Plaza area along with Mike Bryan. Mike was a cracker jack pitcher while Gerald was a slap hitting outfielder. Gerald would slap the ball foul down the first base line causing the 1st baseman to move closer to the first base line. Then he would slap a pitch foul down the 3rd base line.
Now with the first baseman near first base there is a wider gap between the first baseman and the second baseman. The third baseman is closer to third base and there is a wider gap between third baseman and the shortstop.
With wider gaps on either side of the infield, Gerald had the odds in his favor for slapping the ball thru either gap.
The slap hitting, banjo hitters, are the wind up springs, Bat control hitters make the Japanese baseball teams tick. Prove me wrong if you might.
A punch hit is a combination somewhere between a bunt and a swinging hit. Square around like you are going to bunt with a runner on base. The first baseman charges toward the plate. So does the third baseman. Oops! He whacked that ball.
Depending on where the pitch is, the hitter simply taps the ball gently over the third baseman or the first baseman for a nice little punch or bloop hit. Remember our purpose as bat control hitters is to get on base and be a base runner and to score and to win.
There is no newspaper in the country which writes, "Johnny Banjo punches a hit looping over the third baseman for the win." What do they say? They say nothing. You will simply see the box-score for that particular game.
To take a hit/pitch to the body is only for the stout-hearted and tough as nails player. When a pitcher lets the pitch slip slightly out of control, a real team player will allow the little baseball to pepper his hide. Coaches may mention for you to take a pitch to your body but he will never harp and scream when you bail out to keep from getting a new crease in your uniform by a rocket shot fire-baller.
These two masterful baseball hitting artist with the uncanny capability of getting on base because of their superb hitting bat control were Ty Cobb and Wee Willie Keeler.
Every one of our baseball players and game fans has been exposed to the tough as leather playing tactics of the great Ty Cobb "The Georgia Peach." One thing you might not associate with him is his batting style of, being a "choked up spread of hands on the bat" hitter. Most knew it but it didn't really register. Right?
Wee Willie Keeler was cut from a different bolt of cloth. Wee Willie stood all of 5'4" and played baseball bat control hitting like a sweet lullaby. His sole ambition, it seemed, was to bedevil the pitcher and the opposing infielders. He would do anything necessary to get on base.
Wee Willie Keeler was known by his comment, "Hit'em where they ain't." He was known as one of baseball's greatest "scientific" hitters, using his smarts for wringing every hit he could out of the dead ball.
The "Baltimore Chop" was a Wee Willie trademark hit. He would swat the ball into the hard Baltimore infield causing it to bounce high so he could beat it out for a hit.
Keeler is listed as one of baseball's best bunters.
Baseball bat control hitter Keeler's ability allowed him to hold the major league consecutive game hitting streak for more than 30 years before Joltin' Joe DiMaggio bested his record of 44 games by hitting in 56 consecutive games.
I cannot let it pass without telling you one of the best bat control hitters, in my opinion, of the modern era players was Peter Lawrence "Yogi" Berra.
Yogi had a philosophy on hitting which might befuddle most. His thought it seems is that it was the pitchers fault if he threw the ball and it was Yogi's fault if he didn't hit it.
The pitcher could throw the pitch where he wished. If Yogi decided to hit it,hit it he would. Yogi was no finesse hitter but he was a bat control hitter and his ability is legendary with a style only to be described as Yogi.
For more good training and hitting and how you to can become good, better or even a great baseball hitter check out all your baseball hitting pages learn the five essential elements of Baseball Hitting.
Coaches if you will teach your young charges to be bat control hitters then you will be coaching winners.
Crucial and timely hits during ball games which pit two very good teams in a game or a series of games will find the winner being bat control hitters with those timely bat control hits.
The long ball or home run is the thriller and the exciting crowd pleaser but that steady handed bat control hitter providing clutch hits is the real team winner. That consistent pecking away timely hitting baseball player is what makes championship teams get those trophies at seasons end.
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Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....