The following provides guidelines for developing a hitting foundation. Game situation may change some of the information, but overall awareness of these concepts will help you hit better.
Zones of Hitting
- Happy Zone. The zone of the pitch you hit best.
- Hitting Zone. The strike zone by the rule book minus 1-2 inches in all directions.
- Strike Zone. The strike zone by the rule book.
- 2 Strike Zone. The strike zone by the rule book plus 1-2 inches in all directions.
- The Umpire Zone. The strike zone determined by the umpire. It varies from umpire to umpire and is important to be aware of as games develop. As hard as it is at times, all hitters must keep in mind a ball is only a ball and a strike is only a strike when the umpire calls it a ball or strike, regardless of what the rule book says.
With an understanding of the zones of hitting, a hitter can now better understand counts while hitting. Below are some concepts to get started with Count Awareness.
- 0-0 Pitcher’s best. Wants to get ahead. Get your pitch. Avoid off-speed pitches and trouble locations.
- 0-1 What happened? Take, swing through, fouled off? Look more hitting zone. 6 x 6.
- 1-0 Ahead. Drive it. 3 x 3 Happy zone. Fastball is likely.
- 1-1 Control. Look for hittable pitch. 6 x 6. Off speed is likely.
- 2-0 Hitter’s count. 3 x 3 Happy zone only.
- 3-0 Don’t swing. Automatic take, unless coach says otherwise.
- 2-1 Two too many. Drive it. 8 x 8 Hitting zone. Off speed possible but unlikely. Wants to avoid 3-1.
- 3-1 Perfect pitch. Hard line drives. 3 x 3 Happy zone only. Wants to avoid BB.
- 3-2 Strike Zone. Walk is acceptable. Know how the game has been called. Ball in Play.
- ?-2 Umpire Zone. Stay alive. Ball in play. Off speed likely. Trouble locations probable.
Keep in mind each hitter must determine their own Happy Zone. It is up to each hitter to also choose to control the zones. More control of the zones and counts allows the hitter to be more effective while hitting.