Right Handed Batter Always Hitting Down the First Base Line
Some right handed batters
have difficulty pulling the ball to left field and end up hitting the ball to the first base
line. This is problematic because it makes for an easier out as these
hits are closer to first base resulting in easier plays for the defense.
This issue occurs because of two things:
1. Vision problem: for a right handed batter it can
sometimes be hard to see the ballfrom right handed
pitcher because it appears to be coming at home from behind his head or
2. Weak arm strength
and/or bat speed: he may be able to see the ball, but is slow in reacting
to it resulting in it going towards the first base line.
Depending of which issue it
is, there are different ways to correct the situation. If it is a
vision problem, try these:
Have him use a more open stance where his lead foot is pointed
more towards third base and as the pitch comes he can move it more towards the pitcher. A number of major league hitters use this approach.
2. Have him crowd the plate and ask him
to hit the ball out in front of the plate. It may be that his sees
pitches to the outside part of the plate better. By having him crowd the plate he is more likely to be able
to pull these pitches.
3. Practice hitting of a practice tee
where he uses his stride to pull the ball. Get him in the habit of
pulling the ball when he hits off the tee. Study his hitting here and it may also show what he is doing wrong
If it is bat strength and bat speed problem, try these:
1. Have him swing his bat 100 times a
day. He can break this up into four intervals throughout the day if
he wants, but this will develop muscle memory in his swing. It will also develop arm strength and some
improved bat speed. Great players like Mickey Mantle and Barry Bonds are said to have swung their bat up to
500 times a day.
2. Consider having him use a wooden bat
in batting practice. A wooden bat tends to be slightly heavier than
aluminum and using one will do two things: (1) help him develop more arm strength by swinging the heavier bat in
practice and (2) a wooden bat teaches you to hit the ball with the right part of the bat. If you don't it
won't go anywhere or you will sting your hands. Using a wooden bat in practice and then moving to an aluminum
bat should result in him having a faster bat and more confidence.
These tips should help him improve his swing and see more of hits go to center and
left field. The result will be more base hits and a higher batting
average. In addition, you should see an increased confidence in this
person’s game as they see that they are contributing to your team’s success.
*If you are looking for some
outfielder fielding tips, check out Baseball Fielding Tips.