By Nate Barnett
I might have a slightly different approach for hitting a baseball with two strikes than most coaches, especially at the younger level. The short of it is that I work with hitters in being offensive producers, since that is their job in the first place when they step into the box. Having said this, a hitter obviously gets three chances to produce something valuable for his team each and every at bat.
Because of this offensive thinking, I do not want my athletes shrinking into a defensive position while being on offense and limiting their production potential with two strikes. Just make contact with your baseball swing, or put the ball in play, etc. are all examples of defensive thinking. Few would argue that the just put the ball into play and make contact advice would rarely be given to a hitter outside of the two strike scenario. Because of this, I would much rather take a highly aggressive hitter who swings and misses on his third strike than a hitter who changes his approach into a defensive mindset. That defensive mindset is more damaging in the long run than an aggressive hitter who can be taught to focus that energy more constructively with some sound baseball instruction.
Having said that, there is great value in shifting the focus of what to do with a pitch later in the count. Because of a higher percent chance of an off speed or outside pitch being thrown later in the count, working on taking the ball the other way would be appropriate. Therefore in your baseball drills work on molding aggressive hitters which if they go down, they go down playing the game hard.
Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball designed to improve the mental game of baseball in athletes. Come download a free ebook on dealing with failure in baseball.
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