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MLB Hitters Make Mistakes

May 03, 2024


  • Battling the yips as a pitcher
  • Getting recruited as a foreigner 
  • Adjustments to training

If you’re interested in pitching development or college recruiting this is a great episode for you. 


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One of the things I’ve noticed (and experienced) is one mistake during an AB can shake a hitter's confidence…for the better, or for the worse. 

The longer the AB goes, the more information you have as a hitter. 

So you should become more confident as the AB progresses, not less. 

I’ve seen a few of the hitters I’m currently working with swing and miss at balls early in the count and then fall victim to “I’m screwed syndrome” the rest of the AB, so I wanted to share a few ABs of 2 very successful hitters to show that even the best hitters make mistakes within their AB, and still end up with a positive result. 


AB #1 

Bryce Harper 

1st pitch is a low FB and in, clearly out of the strike zone. 

Mistake #1 by Harper


Pitch #2

Slider for a strike.

Now he’s down 0-2


At this point in the AB, how many hitters are done? 

Most hitters I see swing and miss at a ball outside the strike zone, and then take strike 2, swing at pitchers outside the strike zone the next pitch. 

Not Harper, he’s learning as the AB progresses. 

Pitch #3

Slider (ball)

The next pitch is another slider but Harper (because he isn’t panicking) recalls the pitch shape from the previous pitch and knows where it needs to start for it to be a strike. 

The best hitters are the best predictors, but in order to predict, we need to be present in the moment.

The previous take is what separates great hitters from average hitters. 

Most hitters are swinging at that pitch down 0-2 in the count because they’ve lost confidence from the previous two pitches.

Instead of gaining confidence because they’re seeing more pitch shapes. 

Pitch #4

Fastball (Strike) 

Here is the Instagram highlight that we all watch
, but what we don’t realize is he only gets this pitch because he showed the pitcher he’s not going to make the same mistake twice and swing at a pitch outside of the zone, leaving the pitcher no choice but to throw a ball over the middle of the plate. 

Harper made 2 mistakes that AB…

And he still hit a HR. 

You don’t need to be perfect.

You just need to be present.



AB #2

Mookie Betts 

Pitch #1

Splitter (ball) 

Mookie auto-takes the first pitch. 



Pitch #2

Splitter (Stike) 

Mookie sees another splitter but this time he swings right through it.


Pitch #3 

Fastball (Ball)


Pitch #4 

Fastball (Strike) 

Release method in between pitches.



Pitch #5

Fastball (strike) 



So every pitch so far this AB has been middle-away. 

If Mookie is present and learning as the AB goes on, instead of losing confidence because:

1. He swung and missed at a ball
2. Took a FB for a strike, 

He can anticipate another pitch on the outside part of the plate. 

Pitch #6

Fastball (Strike) 

FB on the outer half and he hits it for a HR.

Mookie made several ‘mistakes’ within that AB. 

However, he made adjustments and was present. 

Being present as was Harper, allowed him to learn as the AB unfolded and make an adjustment.

The point of today’s newsletter is your hitters will make mistakes during their ABs. 

Can they start neutral and learn as the AB continues…or feel timid and defensive because they made mistakes?



Mental Game Training 

I’ve been working with hitters all spring on the mental game. 

If you’re interested in getting help on the mental game:

  • Improving confidence 
  • Building an approach 
  • Game planning against a pitcher 

Please fill out the form on this page.