How To Hit A Slow Pitcher! (MLB Hitter shares his Secrets!)

How To Hit A Slow Pitcher! (MLB Hitter shares his Secrets!)

What’s up guys, Coach Madden,
and I’m here again with Matt Antonelli, Major League Hitter for the Padres Organization. We came up in the Padres Organization together. Also, he has a YouTube Channel, Antonelli
Baseball so be sure to check that out. He’s got a ton of great information over there. But today we’re going to talk about, he’s
going to talk about, how to hit a slower pitcher or a junk ball pitcher because I see a lot
of young players, they actually hit better off of the fast guys sometimes. But when they get that guy that’s throwing
a little bit slower, under hitting speed, you know they say, or throwing that junk,
they just struggle. What are some things a guy can do to have
better success against a slow pitcher or a junk ball pitcher? Sure. So, there’s a couple of ways. I think the first thing starts when you’re
not even in the batter’s box. So it starts from the dugout. Just identifying what does the pitcher throw? Is he somebody that’s going to try to get
you out with a whole lot of off speed or just throws a lot slower than maybe the previous
guy or other guys that you’ve faced. So knowing that, having an understanding before
you even get here. Ok what does this guy throw? What’s my game plan? How am I going to prepare for that? Then when you get to the on deck circle, it’s
really really important to now get in sync with the pitcher. So I’m not going to get in sync with a guy
that throws 92 the same way that I’m going to get in sync with a guy that throws 62. I just can’t do it. So I’m trying to pretty much dance with the
pitcher and I need to understand when am I going to get started, when am I going to get
my foot off the ground? If a guy is not throwing hard, I’m going to
get ready later. If a guy is throwing really really fast, I’ve
got to get ready earlier. So I have to have an idea of when I’m going
to get ready and you don’t do that here, you do that on the on deck circle. So I’m there and I’m just mimicking an at
bat and I’m saying ok I’m watching this pitcher go through his wind up and I’m saying “alright,
when do I have to get my foot up in the air? Let’s get it up now…” and then you look
at it and go “ohhh I was a little bit late there”. I’m trying to get my foot down when that ball
is about half way to the plate. That’s when I’m trying to get ready to launch
my swing. So I do it “ohhh I was late there”, or “oh
man I’m way too early”, I’m just sitting there and the ball is not even close to half way. Ok now I’ve got to try a little bit later. So you’re doing that there so that when you
get in the box, now I’m ready to go. Now I don’t have to take a pitch. Most guys get up here and they go “ok let’s
time the pitcher here and ohhh I’m way too early”, strike one and now you’re already
behind in the count. So I do all that stuff back there. So that’s the first thing. The first adjustment is that I have to get
ready differently against a slow guy than a fast guy. Once I figure that out, the other thing I
think helps is when you get ready to hit and the things that I talk about are getting pulled
back. So as I’m moving forward, I’m pulling back
this way. That keeps me centered and balanced. What you see with most kids when they face
somebody that throws slow, you see this right here. They go and “ohhhh” and they can’t stop themselves,
everything gets forward too much. Because they’re used to just “ok I’m on time
for that hard thrower and I’m never going to be too far forward, I’ll hit it, but if
I do the same thing off a guy who throws slow and nothing keeps me back, well then I can’t
stop myself and I’m just out over my front foot”. You see that in 90% of swings when all of
a sudden they throw in the guy that throws nothing but breaking balls. So what I need to feel is, as I’m getting
ready to hit and as I’m striding, this move right here, this pulling back action keeps
me back. So if I don’t have that, I get forward. My hands comes forward, everything comes forward. I can’t stay on any slow pitching. But if I pull back as I’m moving forward,
so I’m loading my upper body is literally loading as I’m striding forward, well now
if it’s slower, I can stay back here. You’ve heard before “you’ve got to keep your
hands back” right, slow pitchers you’ve got to keep your hands back. Well, it’s not just keep them back. I can’t just push them back here because they’re
still going to want to come forward. I’ve got to pull back. This keeps me back until I want to swing. If I don’t have that, I can do everything
else right, you can throw 100 different things at me and I’m not going to be able to hit
slow pitching. I’ve got to be able to be on time by working
it in the dugout or in the on deck circle, in combination with being pulled back so that
I don’t get over my front foot, I stay balanced and now all of a sudden, I can drive the ball,
and hit the ball much much better off of slow pitching. We call that in pitching the separation. We want good separation in pitching and for
hitting too. So once you get that separation just keeping
it back there so you don’t get out front. That’s a great piece of advice. Now from a pitching perspective, if I see
a guy who I get out in front, maybe I throw a slider and I see him way out in front, guess
what I’m throwing that next pitch? Something lower and slower until he makes
an adjustment. So as a hitter I would say you’ve got to make
those adjustments with the pitcher because he’s kind of going off what he just saw from
you. So it’s almost like a chess game. Absolutely. Playing the chess game and seeing who’s going
to make the adjustment quicker and be able to come out on top. One other question I’ve got for you or maybe
it can be perceived as a tip from those viewing it, in general as a hitter what are you looking
for in a 2-0 count? So this depends a little bit again on the
level that you’re at. So the higher you get, the more information
you get, and once you start getting tons of information, you know we talked about I didn’t
spend a ton of time with the Major Leagues but when you’re in the Major Leagues, you
know, you have a really good idea of everything this guys is going to throw. You get percentages before the game. They say in a 2-0 count the guy throws 94%
two seam fastballs or 52 whatever. That’s kind of how you put your game plan
together. So if you’re at a high level and you have
the information, then use that information. But for most players, they don’t have that
information so what you do, again it goes back to the dugout, when I’m sitting there
I’m watching all the hitters, if I’m a righty, I’m watching all the other righty hitters
on my team. If I’m a small guy, I’m watching all the other
small guys and I’m saying “ok how is this pitcher attacking this guy?”. Because if you’re at a level where there is
not much information, that you don’t have that much information on him, he doesn’t have
a whole lot of information on you, so pitchers will say “ok here’s a big guy, right handed
hitter, big guy, hits in the 4 hole” you’re probably going to pitch him like you would
most big guys that hit in the middle of the line up. So if you pick a guy that’s similar to you,
now all of a sudden you say “ok now let’s see how the pitcher is going to attack this
guy”. Oh and 2-0 this guy always, every time, 2-0,
he throws a breaking ball, breaking ball, breaking ball. Well if I have that information, I have enough
of it, then I could sit breaking ball if I want to. Ok that’s probably getting a little advanced
but if you do enough paying attention. You know a lot of kids just sit in there and
they got their soda drinks and their pop corn and stuff and nobody is watching anything
and then you go to the plate and it’s 2-0 and you’re like “I don’t know, I guess I’ll
just see the ball and hit it, right?” that’s akldjflkajdlks see the ball and hit
it. But if you pay attention, you’re a student
of the game, now you can start to put together a game plan. Now if you don’t have any of that stuff, what
I always kind of revert back to is, I want to try to get on my pitch. So if I have no idea, I’ve never seen this
guy before, no one else on my team is like me, I don’t know what he’s going to throw,
typically we tell guys to get on the fastball because we practice hitting fastballs every
single day. Some teams practice hitting breaking balls
but 95 to 100% of your work is going to be on fastballs, most guys hit that best. So at that point, 2-0, it’s my pitch, I’m
sitting fastball where I want it. It differs a little bit but most guys are
going to be somewhere in the middle chunk of the plate about waist high, I’m sitting
on fastball, I’m anticipating I’m going to get a fastball, I’m getting ready to hit it. We say yes yes no approach. So I’m thinking yes yes yes if it’s there
then I’m rolling yes “boom” and then I whack it and I hopefully hit a double. If it’s not there, if it’s not my fastball
right there, I’m thinking yes yes yes oh it’s not there all of a sudden I just slam on the
brakes and say no and again it can be a strike. It can be here or here but it’s not the pitch
that I’m looking for 2-0. I just say no. Now it’s 2-1. I say good pitch and now we go back to thinking
about what the situation calls for next. That’s a great way to think about it to especially
for a junk ball pitcher or slower pitcher is having that yes yes no approach because
then you’re always ready for those junk ball guys who are throwing stuff out of the zone,
you’re going to be able to hold back. You’re still going to be ready for the pitch,
for the fastball, but you’re going to be able to hold back on off speed. So if you don’t know about yes yes no, you
have a video on your channel about that. I do. So head on over there and watch that video
because it’s a good one. I’ve seen it before. Of course you’ve got to go check out his channel
in general because there’s a bunch of great hitting information, a bunch of baseball information. You want to get the information out of this
guy’s head. He’s a Major League Hitter, Major League Middle
Infielder, so go over there and check it out, subscribe. Oooop, you ok?

16 thoughts on “How To Hit A Slow Pitcher! (MLB Hitter shares his Secrets!)

  1. Okay, but how do you stop popping out. We got beat by slow pitchers and it wasn't timing as much as hitting fly ball outs. I'm guessing guys salivate thinking they're going to crush it and then get under the pitch trying to hit it too hard? But I'm guessing…. But that's what happened to us a lot last year.

  2. Hello, Love your videos and am a subscriber. I’m a 2nd year high school coach, specializing in pitching. I appreciate your responses and feedback you give to your subscribers. The question I have is during the beginning of the preseason, I’m doing flat grounds with my pitchers, and I do them at 60’ 6”.
    But I’ve read up and heard of coaches doing them at a closer distance, while also shorting the pitchers stride to simulate getting out front to compensate for the shorter distance, and the lacking downward angle from pitching off of a flat surface instead of an elevated one.
    I’d love to get some veteran feedback on the method behind the madness between the 2 type of flat-grounds. Thank you for your time.

  3. They drive me nuts! you have to generate your own power and stay back, I always swing too hard and hit dribblers.I face guys that throw 32! Coach, Nolan Ryan once said I heard a pitcher needs to know how to fart on the catcher, can you elaborate on this sometime?I play in a 45+ and 55+ leagues. I am old,

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