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Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 and 0 Count Baseball Strategy

By Jack D. Elliott

The 3 and 0 count baseball strategy is a common issue for all coaches. Do you tell your team to take the pitch or give certain batters the right to swing away?

Conservative baseball would have you take the pitch on the thought you are likely to gain a walk with another ball. This assumes the pitcher will throw yet another ball after three balls in a row. Ideally, you would force a wild pitcher to throw more pitches causing him to give more walks and have him taken out of the game.

A more aggressive strategy would be to allow batters to swing if they get a good pitch. Since most high school pitchers will try to bear down and throw a good fastball for a strike, the odds are you will be getting a good pitch to hit. If you have a good hitter at the plate, it would make since to give him a chance to swing at the pitch. The catch is you may end up helping the pitcher by hitting a fly ball or a ground out.

Based on this situation, you really need to know your lineup. Is the hitter at the plate one who can hit this pitcher's fastball well? If the hitter is not, it would make no since to swing a way. However, if the hitter can see the pitcher's pitches well and is a good hitter, it would be more advantageous for him to swing if he is likely to get an extra base hit. If he will merely be able to likely get a single, it would be more sensible to take the pitch.

Another factor to consider is whether there are runners in scoring position. If there are runners in scoring position, good hitters should be allowed to swing away as you have a better chance for getting an RBI. Also, if you are unlikely to get a hit from the batters following him, it would make a lot of since to let the good hitter swing.

When it comes down to it, whether to take the pitch or swing away on a 3 and 0 count depends on the hitter. If you believe they can drive in a run or get an extra base hit; then, it is to your benefit to have them swing away. However, for most hitters in high school, you will want them to take the pitch as this will give you an additional base runner and force the pitcher to throw more pitches. This could result in him throwing more balls or having a more fatigued pitcher late in the game.

Jack Elliott, is a former player and fan of the game. To read more tips and techniques like the ones in this article, please click here:

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick