Purpose:

Allows hitters to practice hitting with a 2-strike count, while infielders get reps fielding and throwing

Setup:

  • Infielders in regular positions
  • Batting practice hitter at home plate
  • Coach pitching from mound
  • No fungos
  • Baserunners at second and third base

Execution:

  • Coach pitches to BP hitter. Fielders and baserunners play live off the bat.

Batting Practice Hitter – 2-Strike Hitting Round

  1. BP Hitter receives pitches from Coach at the mound. He uses his 2-Strike approach on each pitch
  2. On each hit, infielders play live off the bat
  3. Baserunner at second and third read balls as though there is one out. Advance on a sure base hit, or tag up on a deep fly ball
  4. Return ball to Coach at the mound and reset.

Coaching Tips:

With two strikes, hitters should focus on swinging more conservatively, putting the ball into play and avoiding the strikeout.

There are 3 common adjustments hitters will make to increase their odds:

  1. Choke up on the bat, to increase bat control, and create a shorter, quicker swing
  2. Widen the stance, to decrease the amount of head movement and body movement on the swing, and increase the chances of making contact
  3. Move closer to the plate, to help cover the outside part of the plate.

For Younger Athletes:

  • Teach a simplified two-strike approach, focusing on one or two key adjustments like choking up on the bat or widening their stance.
  • Work on developing patience at the plate. With two strikes, young hitters often feel pressured and may swing at bad pitches, so teaching them to remain calm is key.
  • Stress the importance of a positive mindset and encourage younger players to view two-strike counts as a challenge rather than a disadvantage.

For Older Athletes:

  • Focus on pitch recognition skills for older, more experienced hitters, teaching them to anticipate and identify different pitches to adjust their swing accordingly.
  • Encourage a mindset of being aggressive yet controlled, ready to swing at strikes but careful not to expand the strike zone excessively.
  • Help older hitters develop personalized two-strike approaches, which could include specific stance adjustments or mental strategies unique to their style.