I heard a quote the other day, “Hitting is not a reactionary skill, it’s a prediction skill.” I love that! We are always predicting where and when the ball is going to arrive in our zone.
One big aspect of that is our vision. If we do not have good vision and cannot see the ball very well out of the pitcher’s hand, we will be making many poor predictions of what is a strike and what isn’t. One of the most over-looked things on all ball players is how they do on a vision test.
The average eye sight of a Major League Baseball player is 20/15 and many are at 20/12. Those are very good numbers, but most people will have numbers closer to 20/20 or worse. We need to get a baseline of how well each player sees so that we can better help equip them for what they need to do to have success.
Our eyes are also telling our body to be in a good position to allow our bat to arrive at the same time as the ball, with a high degree of accuracy. This speaks to the physical side of our swing and how consistently we can be in a strong position to bring the barrel to the ball.
The Strike Zone
The strike zone is fairly large, going from the mid-point of the body to just beneath the knee caps. The plate width is 17 inches, plus a couple inches on each side where the ball could barely be over it. That would put the coverage area around 21 inches.
This is showing us we need to be practicing more than one spot off the tee with our warm ups, and more that one part of the plate with front toss. Even with our progression to facing a live arm, we need to have some ability to cover the full strike zone. Below you will see a video where Billy Horton shows you the “9 zones in hitting”. This is a great drill that applies to what we are talking about today.
With all the information we just talked about, the best hitters know how to consistently square up the ball that is over the middle of the plate. Pitchers will make mistakes, and when they do, we cannot miss them.