Of all the old hitting suggestions I hear at the ballpark, the above phrase, may be the most common and commonly accepted of them all.
Get ready, because you’re about to drop your donut in your coffee. We’re about to disprove it!
If you ever took a physics class, you understand distance and time. Why we have allowed this old standard to fly in the face of physics for so long is a mystery to me. And I hear it when I watch Major League Baseball games of ESPN, so I know is really dug in.
I promise, it doesn’t stand up to logic!
When the ball leaves the pitchers hand, it travels a certain distance. It is universally agreed upon that you hit an inside pitch further out in front of you than you hit an outside pitch. Assuming both pitches are thrown at the same speed logic tells us that the inside pitch gets to its contact point faster than the the outside pitch. Inside pitch equals less time!
With me so far?
So, if we can agree that we have to hit the inside pitch sooner (less time), how can we tell a hitter to look for a pitch that takes longer to get there and then, expect them to hit a pitch that has already passed its desired contact point?
Simple answer. YOU CAN”T!
What we should really be telling our hitters is to prepare to hit the inside pitch, then wait for the outside pitch to reach its contact point. Again, physics tells us, once the ball has passed its contact point there is no way to get that lost time back. You can react in all you want but the ball is already passed you by!
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