Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Don’t look for a walk

June 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Hitting

Hall of Famer Wade Boggs once was asked if he felt he had a chance to ever bat .400.  His answer was that he could

Hall of Famer Wade Boggs

but he would have to get a lot more walks to do it.  The question then becomes, should a batter try to get more walks.  The answer is NO.

Looking for a walk is counterproductive to hitting.  To be an effective hitter in the long run, a hitter must be aggressive when the time calls for it.  Of course, that doesn’t mean he should be hacking at everything.  However, he shouldn’t be taking everything either.  What Wade Boggs meant by his comment was that he would need to be more selective and lay off more of the pitchers’ pitches. 

All hitters occasionally swing at pitches they wish they hadn’t.  A good, downward slider early in the count.  A fastball a little too high that they foul off.  Being more selective on what you decide to swing at is key to consistent success at the plate.  The aggressive side to hitting kicks in when you do get a good pitch to hit.  It’s a tough balance for hitters that few actually master – selective and aggressive at the same time.  Be too selective and you become tentative.  Become too aggressive and you end up swinging at bad pitches.

The point is with regards to walks is that a walk is the byproduct of a good at-bat.  It is the end result of being selectively aggressive. 

If you want to improve your offensive numbers, have better at-bats.  If you do, the walks will take care of themselves.

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