Can Average Hitters Become Star Hitters?
Let’s define average hitters first. Any hitter that hits under .330 and slugs under .450 in travel. high school, and college is most likely just average hitters. To be real, most hitters hit around .270 and slug under .350 at these levels. With MLB hitters the numbers change a little but not much really. Since most teams have team batting averages well below .275, this means that over 80 percent of the hitters are average. What about the star hitter? What are his numbers?
Star hitters usually carry the team offensively because they have higher batting averages and hit more extra base hits. By and large, every team has at least 2 of them on the team. They hit at least .330 or higher and they are at least slug 150 points more than their batting average. The coaches know these guys can hit and just hope that the average players somehow get on so these guys can drive them in. Having only 2 star hitters is never enough so the coach always has to figure out away to manufacture runs by playing small ball (yawn).
This scenario is so typical, and it challenges the coach to figure out how to score runs. It is a brutal challenge for the coach and players because the coach usually has little faith in the average hitters and the average hitters know this as they are usually prepared to bunt, hit and run, or move a runner. Your typical “team ball” concept where the majority of players are giving them self up for the team.
Now on to championship offenses. They have at least 4 star hitters in the line up. By just adding 2 more star hitters than a normal team, the chemistry of the line up changes. These 4 players don’t give them self up for the team because they are focused in on driving runs like stars do. For the most part, baseball is the one sport that is more individualistic; especially from the offensive side. It the batter vs. the pitcher in most cases. So from an offensive standpoint, the less you give yourself up, the better chance you have to score runs!
Team Ball Concept
We know most coaches do not think like this, so they are forced to push the “team ball” concept. A strategy that rarely works. Read the book Moneyball and the stats will tell you this. Small does does not build Championships. The percentage of time small ball helps teams score more than 1 run a game is less than 10 percent. It is so much of a challenge to execute runs through small ball ( especially in college and pros) that you would be surprised how much coaches still practice it religiously.
Bad Thinking Coaches
Since the baseball gods grant most teams at least 2 star hitters. It is a surprise to me that coaches do not think a bit differently about their line- up. Since it is proven that a line-up becomes pretty potent with only 4 star hitters, than would it not be smart for the coach to figure out how to get some of the average hitters up to the star level? By and large, all they need is 2 more to step up and increase their batting batting and slugging numbers by another 30-50 points right? This is possible isn’t it? I can tell you that most coaches do not even think this way and don’t give these average hitters the chance they need. As a matter of fact, the average hitter is trained to bat defensively and if they get on base or get a hit once in a while it is good enough.
All you need is 2 more guys that can rake coaches! It is not a hard concept. Only half of your line up has to really hit to be successful offensively. That’s 4 guys hitting over .330 and slugging near .450. That is all you need. What’s the key? Train your team how to do this!
Make it a goal!
Tell the players, you want to score runs and all you need is 4 hitters that can hit .330 or higher! Then focus on this and find ways to train your players mental and physically to do this. You will be twice as better as most other teams and out hit your opponents most of the time!
So how do I know this?
I have studied the formula for championship offenses and if your not the New York Yankees and don’t have the luxury of buying your star hitters, then you have to figure out a way to train them. As a hitting specialist, this is what I do. I consult and help train teams to get to the 4-6 star hitter level in a very short period of time. There are training and mental focus tricks to this that make it easier to convince the average hitter that he can transition to star hitting status.
It is a matter of knowing a few tricks and believing in human potential. It is my experience that teams trained with this mentality in mind will win more than 25 percent of their games just by the change in culture and thinking by their offense.