Most of our articles at the ABPA discuss the development of the tools that will help you play college or professional baseball. This is our first priority because without these core tools, you have no chance of playing baseball at a high level.
One item that we want to make sure you don’t overlook, however, is your ability to be able to play the game. Baseball, like any other game, has strategy to it as well as has many different moving parts once the ball is hit. One thing that I believe many players and coaches at the amateur level completely overlook is this facet of the game.
As a player, I want to be a student of the game. I want to understand the game and what should be happening at all times. For example, if a ball is hit down the right field line with 1 out and a man on first base, could you tell me where every person on the field is supposed to be? Most players could probably tell you where THEY should be on that play. Few will be able to look at it from the coaching perspective and know where everyone should be. As a player, that is something that you should know.
The same things apply for both offensive situations and pitch calling. What pitch should be thrown in certain counts? What is a good count to run in? Why would you bunt in that situation versus hit and run?
Obviously, we aren’t getting into actual scenarios in this article. This article is to serve as a reminder that throwing and hitting hard and running fast are absolutely critical to playing the game at a high level. However, they are just one piece of that puzzle. Just like football, basketball or even Monopoly, you need to understand the strategy of the game and how to play it. If you do, you will be much more effective and more likely to succeed!
Become a student of the game. Watch games on tv and try to guess what pitch is coming. Anticipate hit and runs, steals, etc. There are very few students of the game anymore. If you truly become one, you will, without a doubt, have an advantage over your competition.
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