Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Making Sure You Have Productive At-Bats

In baseball, you are not going to get on base all of the time or even half of the time. But you can help your team out when you make outs. I’ll discuss productive outs in more depth in individual articles, but here is a brief overview. 

Either of the following scenarios need to take place for an out to be considered productive. 

The first, and best, scenario leads to your team scoring a run. Maybe you hit a sacrifice fly or a ground ball to the first baseman that allows a run to score. 

The second scenario is allowing a base runner to advance. Again a fly ball moves your teammate from second to third or you execute a hit and run and stay out of a double play. 

In all of these scenarios, you made an out. But you also helped your team.

With two outs, you cannot have a productive out. If you make an out, the inning is over. Your focus should be on keeping the inning going whether that is a base hit or a walk. 

However, you can have a productive at bat. Say there is a runner at third base and you fight with two strikes and foul off three pitches. On the next pitch, the pitcher throws a wild pitch that allows a run to score. But on the next pitch, you get out. You may not have made a productive out, but you should get credit for a productive at bat.

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