Many players and coaches have asked me if I ever guessed at the plate.
The answer is yes, and no. Sounds weird, doesn't it!
Well, in certain situations I would guess, and other situations I would "anticipate". What is the difference?
The difference is, I would sit on certain pitches when I was at the plate. The pitcher would dictate what pitches I would sit on. Since I prepared so well before the game, I knew the pitches and I knew the pitchers tendencies. I knew how he would try and get ahead of me, and I knew how he would try and put me away. that knowledge allowed me to guess at times during an at-bat.
Early in the count I would guess fastball, because the pitcher wants to throw strike one. Then I would anticipate what pitch he would throw according to the situation and according to the pitches he had in in his arsenal.
I would suggest that you NOT guess 100% of the time. Guessing all of the time will get you in very bad habits and you will get fooled a lot on certain pitches. Instead of guessing, try and learn as much as you can about every possible pitches you could face.
I am a believer that you hit off the fastball and adjust to everything else. In certain situations I would guess fastballs and try and not to miss it. All the great hitters in baseball are great fastball hitters, and I am sure they all guessed at times. Other times they would anticipate.
More often than not, with two strikes a pitcher will throw some type of off speed pitch. He will try to fool you or get you off balance. This is when you anticipate an off speed pitch, and fight the fastball off to the opposite field.
Again, it is alright to guess, but you must guess smart. You must See the ball first, then Read the ball when it is thrown, and Explode on the ball when it gets into your Happy Zone!
Be sure to check out my new Ebook, "Conditioned to Hit" coming out soon, for more great hitting information.
Mike "The Hitman" Easler