One of my jobs as a college pitching coach was to quickly breakdown the other team's pitcher and pass the information along to our batters. This was key to our post season success and two regional championships. Here are a few tips for non-pitchers to identify different types of pitchers and how to prepare for your at bat.
You can set your approach by identifying the type of pitcher you will be facing. You want to be able to answer the following questions with in the first 5 batters she faces.
Type of pitcher
How to identify; watch the catcher! If her glove moves almost every pitch, the pitcher is not in command of her pitches. If the glove barely moves, the pitcher is locating her pitches.
Adjusting To Speed
This is realitive to what your are accustomed to facing.
Adjusting to pitch speed is as simple as adjusting your stance.
Slow pitchers - narrow your stance. Stride to your normal distance. This will delay your swing without slowing your hands down.
Fast pitchers - start at your normal stride distance eliminating your need to stride. Focus more on throwing your hands at the ball with no stride.
A lot of coaches and catchers will call pitches based on where the batter is positioned in the batters box. This can easily be manipulated to get the pitch you hit the best.
Inside pitches - Crowd the plate.
Outside pitches - Try an open stance off the plate, then step towards the outside pitch.
It’s best to start games in a neutral stance to learn the most about the pitcher and how the coach/catcher call pitches. The goal is always to get on base, but for the at bats you don’t happen to get on base, you should always go back to the dugout with the following answers.
Identify the "Get Ahead Pitch"
Identify the “Out Pitch”
Left handed batters and batters with speed can use the following strategies to get on base against elite pitchers.
Lefty - Do a fake slap on the first pitch to get the defese to get out of place.
Fast- Lay down a bunt after pulling a foul ball