HS coaches: Are you OK with your batters sometimes sitting low/away in an 0-2 or 1-2 count  when it seems, for whatever reason, the pitcher will go low/away.

By sitting, I mean total sell-out.  That is, high probability of a  strikeout if it's a strike anywhere other than the lower 1/3 of the zone.

Edited:   Cabbagedad, thanks for catching my error.  The words in bold are a change/clarification of my original post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original Post

First, I think there needs to be more clarification.  0-2, 1-2 is quite different than 3-2.  You can further drill down by "depends on the hitter" and "depends on the pitcher".  That said, I'll assume you mean behind in the count and "most hitters/pitchers".  

Generally, I'm not OK with a total sell out for any pitch with two strikes.  I belong mostly in the traditional camp that calls for some adjustment with a behind-in-the-count two-strike approach, usually a widening of the zone and more of a get-the-bat-on-the-ball mentality.  I do have some variance, though.  To your point, I recognize that most P's will try to work down and away (and occasionally up) when ahead.  I like a hitter to get closer to the plate and look for that pitch.  This does a couple things... 1. dares the P to come inside, risking hitting the batter. 2. gives the batter confidence that he is definitely able to cover the pitch on the outside black as well as knowing that something that looks outside is definitely outside.  3. somewhat negates the advantage the pitcher has gained.  Yes, this leaves hitter a bit more susceptible to inside pitches but I don't want the total sellout.  Fight that one off or take the HBP.

There are some hitter types that I am OK with not changing their approach when behind in the count.  But this is usually the type that gets on top of the plate and bashes at everything to begin with.  Either that or hitters that have very good zone awareness, read pitches well and have a sense for pitch sequence.

Definitely look for down and away but be able to foul of fastballs on the inner half. Maybe a perfect inside FB on the black can beat you but you need to be able to foul off a fastball that is middle in unless you have a read that the P always goes soft stuff away with 2 strikes.

I also think you should dare the ump to call you out on high fastballs. Of course this doesn't mean taking a waist high fastball but try to shrink the top of the zone an inch or two because many umps don't like to call the high strike (especially at higher levels) and by shrinking the top a little and looking down you also are less likely to swing at the classic 0-2 high chase fastball.

3and2Fastball posted:

The current trend I'm seeing is pitchers throwing high strikes, not low... Especially with 2 strikes

I'm seeing that trend at higher levels but not so much in HS.  It's occasionally high chase but most often down and away.  With my approach, there is no gain or loss with the high chase.  Another thing about the high chase is it is almost certain that is followed by the down and away (except when there is a mismatch with velo).

Dominik85 posted:

I also think you should dare the ump to call you out on high fastballs. Of course this doesn't mean taking a waist high fastball but try to shrink the top of the zone an inch or two 

Good post.  Thanks.

I agree that if you're sitting low, "you should dare the ump to call you out on high fastballs."

However, your next words suggest you don't want your batters to ever sell out low/away in the situation I described.

If I call time to confer with my batter,  and ask him to sit (sell out) low/away, and then he fouls off a pitch two inches below the top of the zone, it tells me he probably didn't sell out low/away.

For me, sell-out means you're toast if you get crossed up.

game7 posted:
...

If I call time to confer with my batter,  and ask him to sit (sell out) low/away, and then he fouls off a pitch two inches below the top of the zone, it tells me he probably didn't sell out low/away.

For me, sell-out means you're toast if you get crossed up.

Not sure why you would want to have a hitter completely sit/sell out on a particular pitch when behind 0--2, 1-2, unless you have a completely one-dimensional hitter.  Too many things can happen by working to put the ball in play in HS vs guessing wrong and heading back to the dugout after handing the defense a free out.

Sitting on a FB in a favorite quadrant in a plus count makes sense.  A proven 3-4 hole FB power hitter sitting on off-speed in certain circumstances makes sense.  Sitting on a particular pitch 0-2, 1-2 does not, IMO.  I'm sure you are getting to your POV eventually here.    

cabbagedad posted:
game7 posted:
...

If I call time to confer with my batter,  and ask him to sit (sell out) low/away, and then he fouls off a pitch two inches below the top of the zone, it tells me he probably didn't sell out low/away.

For me, sell-out means you're toast if you get crossed up.

Not sure why you would want to have a hitter completely sit/sell out on a particular pitch when behind 0--2, 1-2, unless you have a completely one-dimensional hitter.  ...IMO.  I'm sure you are getting to your POV eventually here.    

I didn't post with an intention of advocating a POV.

I was curious if others here ever told a batter to do it.

I have.

 

Why would anyone tell a batter to sell out to any pitch?  You teach them to read the pitcher, spin of the ball, and location.  That is like the dad yelling from the stands watch for the curve ball and the player getting beat on a fastball.  You teach them to hit which is never selling out on any particular pitch.

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