Baseball Pitching Tips: How You Will Benefit By Being Unpredictable!
- Updated: June 6, 2012
Let’s switch sports to football, but just for a second. I thoroughly enjoy it when a quarterback throws a “bomb” for a touchdown on first down. The reason for the successful “bomb” is usually that it was unpredictable and most likely the defense was looking for a running play. I think you know where we’re going with this.
As a baseball pitcher, you too better be unpredictable, especially when facing the better hitters! Try not to get into patterns where baseball hitters know what pitch you are going to throw next. Quite often the pitcher against hitter showdown turns into a chess match. As a pitcher, you simply cannot fall into patterns while on the mound. Good hitters are good hitters for many reasons and one of them is that they are constantly looking for patterns and tendencies that pitchers have. Being unpredictable takes that element of their game away from them. Pitching is plenty tough enough without letting the real good hitters have a very good idea as to what pitch you are going to throw next.
A very common problem with many baseball pitchers is that they throw a first pitch fastball to almost all hitters. If a weaker hitter is up, a first pitch fast ball is actually recommended. Just proceed with caution if a good hitter is up at the plate.
Let’s say you are pitching and the first three batters in a game you start off with first pitch fast balls. If you throw a first pitch fastball to their number four hitter, you really have no right to be upset if he hits a bomb off you. No right to be upset whatsoever because you were predictable. One of the more important baseball pitching tips is to attempt to never be predictable. This presents a problem for opposing hitters.
Good baseball hitters look for any patterns that a pitcher may have. They stay awake at night trying to figure out how to beat you. They are constantly looking to gain any advantage over a baseball pitcher and that’s one of the reasons they are good hitters. Good hitters talk about opposing pitcher’s tendencies constantly while on the bench. As a pitcher, your goal should be to have them talking about how you will throw any pitch on any count and how unpredictable you are. Pitchers must mix in an occasional breaking ball or off speed pitch on their first pitch to a batter to keep hitters honest.
Being unpredictable is not just limited to throwing a breaking ball or a changeup on the first pitch to a hitter. You should also be unpredictable when the count is 2-0 or 3-1 to a real good hitter. Good baseball pitching tips sometimes have nothing to do with actual pitching mechanics and often involve out thinking the hitter. With the count in the hitter’s favor at 2-0 or 3-1, you can practically see the smoke coming out of the good hitter’s ears as he’s “digging in” for your fast ball. What a perfect time to go to your changeup or your breaking ball.