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  • Hit by Pitch Statistics/Dilemma

    In HS and college it seems to me that an incredible number of batters are being hit by a pitch. My sense is that coaches definitely teach their batters to get hit. I've seen coaches yell at batters for trying to get out of the way of the pitch.

    So how do they go about this and where should the line be drawn if at all?

    Do coaches tell their batters to crowd the plate, especially with 2 strikes, and turn into anything inside?

    Do they tell them to "wear" any breaking pitch in?

    What do coaches teach? Is it getting out of hand?
    Major Figure

  • #2
    Originally posted by omg View Post
    In HS and college it seems to me that an incredible number of batters are being hit by a pitch. My sense is that coaches definitely teach their batters to get hit. I've seen coaches yell at batters for trying to get out of the way of the pitch.

    So how do they go about this and where should the line be drawn if at all?

    Do coaches tell their batters to crowd the plate, especially with 2 strikes, and turn into anything inside?

    Do they tell them to "wear" any breaking pitch in?

    What do coaches teach? Is it getting out of hand?
    I would never teach a kid to get hit by a pitch for liability reasons. My son never played for anyone who taught him how. That said, when he was a leadoff or #2 hitter he excelled at getting hit. He stood in the front inside corner of the plate. As a #3 hitter he wanted to drive in runs and shied away from getting hit. He still got hit legitimately getting knocked off the plate. Through high school he stood in the front, inside corner of the box unless a kid threw 90+. He moved back but still crowded the plate. Crowding the plate makes more pitches available to be pulled and jacked.

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    • #3
      Since I don't particularly want to be hit by a pitch myself, I can't expect someone else to do it for me...so I don't teach it. My son on the other hand, seemed to enjoy it, and did it on his own.

      He got so good at it, that he even got HBP with strikes. During one game after sitting 1-2, the RHP pitcher threw a CB (to my LH hitting son) that broke down and to the inside of the plate. Since my son like to move up on the plate with two Ks, as the ball broke in, he turned away from it, and as he did so, allowed his front knee to travel "back and in", and he caught the ball with the back of his lower thigh over the inside part of the plate....dropped his bat, and started to ran down towards 1st base.

      After a three, or four steps, the umpire started calling him back, saying that he, "never made an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch". So, my son came back, didn't say a word, picked up has bat, and then I don't remember the rest of the AB....but that doesn't matter.

      My son later told me that when the inning ended, and he returned to his catcher's spot and started warming up the pitcher....that the plate ump wandered over and during the warm-ups, and told him that he should have "rung him up", as that pitch that hit him "was in the strike zone, but that's the toughest call for an umpire to make....calling strike three on a batter that's HBP". I asked if he fessed up to knowing it was a strike, and he said that he, "just looked up at the umpire, smiled, and said "really?"".....both he and the "blue" knew that nothing else needed to be said.

      Oh, and when I dad bought him one of those arm/elbow protectors, because he kept getting hit on the back of his throwing arm, my son politely thanked his gramps for the thought, but asked him if he could "please return it, because that isn't part of how the game's supposed to be played."

      I stood there stoically, shaking my head ever so slightly in agreement....but inside I was beaming, bouncing up and down, "high-fiving", and hollering to myself, "Right on son!! Right on!!"
      Last edited by mudvnine; 06-08-2012, 07:40 PM.
      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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      • #4
        I was brought up in a high school program that promoted the art of being HBP. It was taught to young kids at summer camps coming up through little league. At the athletic banquet each year, there was a "Take It For The Team" award, which was one of the old classic trophies, gold plated plastic batter figure perched on top, except the head of the batter would be broken off.

        Here's where the lines were drawn by our coaches: the techniques that were taught involved moving or turning in a manner that APPEARED you were making an effort to avoid the pitch, but in reality was positioning your body to take the hit in an area that minimized the chance for injury. The primary expectation was to get HBP on off speed pitches that WERE IN YOUR BATTER'S BOX. It was never suggested that a player should try to get hit by a hard fastball (due to injury) or dive out over the plate trying to get hit by a strike.

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        • #5
          Very interesting. Please continue. I'm getting the sense that this is not just a coach thing but kind of a player/culture/legacy thing. Also, does anybody know of any players or teams with unusually high statistics for getting hbp?
          Major Figure

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          • #6
            Originally posted by omg View Post
            Very interesting. Please continue. I'm getting the sense that this is not just a coach thing but kind of a player/culture/legacy thing. Also, does anybody know of any players or teams with unusually high statistics for getting hbp?
            I can't (OK, don't want to) go back through all of my old stat sheets, but there are several players that I've coached over the years, that always seemed like "ball magnets".....in fact, we used to tease with them as such....once it started getting obvious.

            Now don't get me wrong, these players didn't appear to do anything different at the plate than the other kids. They didn't try to "lean into pitches", the didn't "crowd the plate".....they just got hit....a LOT.

            If we'd have say 15 HBP for a season, a couple kids would have maybe 2, few more kids would have one apiece, and one kid would have SIX! Might not sound like a lot, but over the course of a season and he has 3x more than the next kid, you gotta start wondering if he's got a target on his back.
            In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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            • #7
              Originally posted by omg View Post
              Very interesting. Please continue. I'm getting the sense that this is not just a coach thing but kind of a player/culture/legacy thing. Also, does anybody know of any players or teams with unusually high statistics for getting hbp?
              My son and one of his friends played travel together for three years (13-15) and high school together. They batted lead off and second until my son was moved to the three hole part way through his junior year of high school. These two kids not only knew how to lean into curves and make it look legit, they had no fear of getting drilled by a fastball. I don't have the stats from all these teams. But these two were hit so much it was laughable on our side of the field and aggravating to opponents. Some parents of opponents would yell at the two of them. I watched a coach get ejected having a tantrum over it.

              For my son I think it started when he was thirteen. In LL he dominated driving the ball over or off the fence. He played a weekend for a 16U team. He drove in the winning run one game taking a fastball in the hip with the bases loaded. At 5'2" as a thirteen year old he discovered a new way to impact a game. Given he has blazing speed (6.65 now) he figured getting hit was as good as a double.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                Some parents of opponents would yell at the two of them. I watched a coach get ejected having a tantrum over it.
                How can parents or a coach get so upset about it....what the hell are they yelling at them for?

                Either they do it inconspicuously and opposing parents and coaches wouldn't be able to tell that there's anything wrong, or they lean into it, or just stand in there and get "plunked", which shouldn't be allowed as a HBP from the umpire per OBR 6.08(b).

                Maybe you, and some clueless umpire(s), were the only ones that thought they could really "make it look legit", or don't understand the rules.

                But there's no way in hell that a player should ever be yelled at for it. He's just playing the game, it's the umpire's responsibility to make sure he adheres to the rules. :disbelief:
                In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                • #9
                  --I don't think this is anything new. When I played LL/youth ball 40 years ago kids who weren't especially good hitters were encouraged (more by teammates than coaches) to take one for the team. The kids at the bottom of the lineup got some real negative reinforcement if they made much effort to get out of the way of a pitch. As I remember it I was more than willing to get hit the first year at a new level, but less so when I was getting my hits.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                    How can parents or a coach get so upset about it....what the hell are they yelling at them for?

                    Either they do it inconspicuously and opposing parents and coaches wouldn't be able to tell that there's anything wrong, or they lean into it, or just stand in there and get "plunked", which shouldn't be allowed as a HBP from the umpire per OBR 6.08(b).

                    Maybe you, and some clueless umpire(s), were the only ones that thought they could really "make it look legit", or don't understand the rules.

                    But there's no way in hell that a player should ever be yelled at for it. He's just playing the game, it's the umpire's responsibility to make sure he adheres to the rules. :disbelief:
                    From a rule book standpoint they made it look good. But everyone one the sidelines who saw them play enough knew it wasn't coincidence.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                      From a rule book standpoint they made it look good. But everyone one the sidelines who saw them play enough knew it wasn't coincidence.
                      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        But these two were hit so much it was laughable on our side of the field and aggravating to opponents. Some parents of opponents would yell at the two of them. I watched a coach get ejected having a tantrum over it.
                        I can elaborate on the frustration as a former pitcher whose "out pitch" was a curveball. It's obvious when batters are doing things to draw a "HBP", even doing things like "turning into it" with the "Ooooh, I was really spinning away" move as I inched closer to the box.

                        The reason why fans and coaches get upset is that batters are supposed to make an attempt to move, and quite a few times with the "High HBP" batters, they actually move into the pitch and use the front elbow as a flipper to catch a 1-2 curveball. The ISSUE is that some of these pitches are very close to being strikes or are actually on the corner. One could also say it's an umpiring issue, but when some batters are doing it deliberately.

                        Fans and coaches would also yell at a pitcher that was continually "breezing" batters even though it's perfectly legal for him to throw fastball after fastball right under the batter's chin.

                        The cure for this in college was to bring in your low 90s reliever to deliver a HBP that was fully, and completely, "earned".

                        -----------------------------------------

                        On a funny note, we played a team in an early spring HS tournament a few years ago who had a batter that got drilled with a high 80s fastball right in the shoulder. He made the "slightest" rotation move with his arm and his dugout erupted with *meow* and "here kitty kitty" calls. It was awesome. They were a definite "don;t let em see ya hurt" team.
                        Last edited by CircleChange11; 06-09-2012, 10:11 PM.

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                        • #13
                          http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...8727/index.htm

                          http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...59#post2022459

                          Obviously it is done in college. probably more so in hs.
                          Major Figure

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post

                            The cure for this in college was to bring in your low 90s reliever to deliver a HBP that was fully, and completely, "earned".
                            You rarely see 90 in high school. My son faced two in four years. In the scout league and showcase ball where pitching was consistantly 87-92 with some mid 90's. He wasn't looking to get it. Speed was part of it. More importantly you can't walk/hbp your way to the next level. Even starting with his junior year of high school when he was moved from leadoff to three hole about the third week of the season he knew his job was to drive in runs. But if he led off an inning, guess what.

                            I took a few 87-92 shots in the body in college ball and college summer ball. The only thing that doesn't hurt is getting on base.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                              You rarely see 90 in high school. My son faced two in four years. In the scout league and showcase ball where pitching was consistantly 87-92 with some mid 90's. He wasn't looking to get it. Speed was part of it. More importantly you can't walk/hbp your way to the next level. Even starting with his junior year of high school when he was moved from leadoff to three hole about the third week of the season he knew his job was to drive in runs. But if he led off an inning, guess what.

                              I took a few 87-92 shots in the body in college ball and college summer ball. The only thing that doesn't hurt is getting on base.
                              I've coaches one kid that has thrown over 90 (hit 92mph on pitch #111 with a pro scout in attendance), and 2 lefties that threw upper 80s.

                              During 92mph guy's junior year we had a catcher hit 23 HR and 72 RBI (in about 30 games) in a season that was truly unbelievable. In a game against a conference opponent he was beaned twice, both times on the first pitch, with 1st base open.

                              Our 92mph guy drilled the first batter of the following inning right between the numbers with some "serious poop". It's the only time I've ever really felt bad for an opposing player. It sounded horrible, you could tell the kid was hurting, and there are some areas of the back that can cause some serious damage.

                              I don;t think their coach ordered the HBP's, but I think the pitcher did see an opportunity to be a jag instead of just pitching around the batter or issuing an IBB. As Rambo might say "They drew first blood." The 1st one went ignored, the 2nd one didn't.

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