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In the Corner with Dan Hughes


Oct 22, 2009

It's hard enough to pitch to average batters - how do you pitch to power hitters?

In this show, I discuss different ideas from different pitchers. 

And a power hitter gives us his ideas on how a pitcher might give him problems.

And of course, there is one sure way you can guarantee that the power hitter doesn't hit a homer when you're on the mound.

For more articles for slowpitch softball pitchers (and fielders, and batters, and managers and coaches), see my website:  http://slowpitchbook.com

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Evan
over five years ago

I've had pretty good results throwing pitches that I know the batter will hit foul. You can strike batters out by forcing them into foul balls, so use that to your advantage.

Note: For all instances I am assuming that the pitcher is right handed going against a right handed batter. If that is not the case just adjust the scenarios accordingly.

If the power hitting is crowding the plate, throw an inside pitch, and if you can, have it be a screwball that curves in towards the batter. The pitch should also be a little in front of the batter so that they are almost fully turned when making contact. Chances are they won't be able to resist it, but they also probably won't hit it fair (make sure your left fielder is positioned relatively close to the line). The power hitter will in all likelihood hit it a long way, but foul.

For a batter who stands away from the plate, you want to pitch deep and away, and if possible with spin so that it tails away from them. Again, you should position your outfielders accordingly, in this case your right fielder will play the line.

A lot of times the batter will adjust. If they over adjust, you can simply use the other tactic. If they adjust to the point where they are not favoring one side of the plate, and pitching inside or outside will not make much difference, then you have to pitch short or deep. Remember, most power hitters want to crush the ball. Badly. I find that pitches that are very short are also very effective. The pitch should be of very high arc, but it should drop several feet in front of the batter. If they were to attempt to hit it, they would have to lunge forward, and flail their arms without any real power. They might also just plain miss. I've found that only very disciplined batters will refrain from swinging at this kind of pitch after crushing a ball down the line that went just foul.