The Hitting ChronicleĀ 

Check out my weekly newsletter 


Jan 12, 2023


How do we help our hitters strike out less? 

Strikeouts are going up at every level of baseball. 

Why is that? 

I am going to share two reasons why I believe strikeouts are up. 

1. Pitching. 

Damnit these pitchers are good.

They are throwing harder than ever, with nastier stuff than we've ever seen before.

We can now measure how much their pitch is improving. 

2. Approach at the plate with LESS than 2ks. 

- If you have a hitter who is constantly striking out, I wouldn't solely focus on what they do with 2ks right away.

  • How are they getting to 2ks? 
  • Are they missing their pitch? 
  • Taking good pitches that are strikes? 

Often times we don't strike out on strike 3. We strike out on strikes 1 and 2. 

3. Approach at the plate WITH 2ks

Now let's say they're not missing their pitch but they're taking close pitches that are being called a strike (sometimes it's just bad luck). 

Maybe they're swinging at stuff in the dirt, over their head, taking pitches down the middle, etc. 

How should you help them? 

I would argue that one of the WORST things you can do is to tell a kid to do is..

"just put the ball in play"

"Expand the zone"

"Anything close you're swinging" 

Your're programming them to do exactly that.

"Expand the zone"

How many times do you see a player swing at a pitch in the dirt that he would NEVER swing at 2-0?

I already know the answer because I was a player not that long ago.

The answer is damn near 0 percent! 

So what's changed? 

Their approach changed. They just want to put the ball in play so nobody gets mad at them.

From a development standpoint, if you just "put the ball in play" at a high level of baseball, you're out.


So what should you do?

Tell them to shrink the zone with 2ks.

If the count is 0-2, you tell yourself it's 2-0. 

Lets's say they get called out on strike 3, the first thing they're going to do is look at your reaction.

Players are people pleasers.

If you get mad at them for taking strike three, it won't work. 


This past season I had a young player who was recording awful swing decision scores.

I became pretty close with this player.

One day he opened up and talked about how he hated to strike out, and that's why he would swing at anything 'close'. 

He said he was brought up by coaches who told him to

"swing at anything close" with 2ks. 

"Put the ball in play"  

After three long months, he FINALLY gave in.

He realized what he was doing wasn't working.

Players were moving up past him that he was better than.

He finally took a close pitch with 2ks one game, I held my breath knowing if the umpire called it a strike this player would go back to his old ways...

He called a ball.

Next pitch, HR. 

After that moment he was all in and finished the season a completely different player. 

The irony... He started striking out less, the less he thought about striking out. 

Hope you enjoyed this,


If you liked this please share it with a coach or friend who might enjoy it!