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Pinch hitting is hard

May 03, 2024


Pinch-hitting is one of the hardest things to do in baseball. 

The odds are stacked against you. 


Here’s how the situation normally works: 


You don’t start the game…


Not only are you upset that you’re not playing, but your coach taps you on the shoulder in the 7th inning and says to “get loose” as you’re hitting for one of your teammates next inning. 

But here’s the kicker…


Normally, you’re not pinch-hitting and facing one of the easiest pitchers on the other team. 


You’re going up against a pitcher with nasty stuff.  


  • 1 AB
  • Facing a nasty pitcher 
  • The odds are not in your favor 


1. Don't feel sorry for yourself 

Be grateful you get an opportunity 


Coaches are going to pinch-hit hitters for a variety of reasons. 


The fact of the matter is it’s an opportunity for you to help your team and show you deserve more regular ABs. 


- You have 0% chance to succeed if you are upset and feeling sorry for yourself. 


If you’re not in a good headspace when you’re walking up to the plate, you don’t stand a chance. 


- All it takes is 1 AB to change your season and help your team in that moment. 

2. Stay in the game 

There are so many things you can learn by watching a game. 


Even if you’re not playing that day, take the time to observe what’s happening. 


- Talk to your teammates who are playing.

“What is his fastball like?” 
“Is it easy to pick up?” 
“Is the umpire giving a ball off the plate? 

Even if you don't face the same pitcher, all that information helps.

3. Keep your body ready 

Some players need to do this more than others. 


I needed to feel loose before I went up to the plate. 


Others, may not need to at all. 


Be aggressive 


There’s nuance to every situation in hitting. 


However, from what I’ve seen over the years if the hitting normally takes a fastball down the middle for strike one as a pinch hitter, the rest of the AB doesn’t go well. 


Now that I say that out loud, that’s normally what happens pinch-hitting or not. Lol. 

Bonus: Visualize Success: 

Mental preparation is key. 

Visualize yourself hitting a missile in one of the gaps in the outfield. 

The odds are stacked against you as a pinch hitter, so don’t panic if it doesn’t go your way. 


1. Don’t feel sorry for yourself 

2. Stay in the game 
3. Keep your body ready 
4. Be aggressive 
5. Visualize success



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