Three Reasons Why The Pro’s Center Swing In MLB THE SHOW 17
This is the legendary Ted Williams career batting average by pitch location strike zone chart. There are many things that can be learnt from analyzing his play and how he approached the game. You can learn from his books here.
Sometimes we as players over complicate things. If I told you the secret to becoming an elite hitter in MLB The Show is to wait for pitches down the middle, would you believe me? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about using the PCI and fully understand the importance of PCI placement and swing timing to get maximize your chances to get hits. But in this game, pitch location is a huge factor in being able to consistently drive the ball. So here is why the pros look for pitches right down the middle.
Pitch Location is tied to swing timing. In this game late swings are used to drive outside the pitches the other way, inversely early swings are used to pull the ball. The advantage you gain by swinging at pitches right down the middle is you can effectively forget your swing timing. If your slightly late, or slightly early you can still make solid contact and drive the ball to all sides of the field. This produces many opposite field homeruns, triples down the lines, etc….So now if your sitting fastball, and the changeup fools you, you still have a chance at pulling it down the line. Which brings us to reason number two.
Waiting for a pitch, or your pitch has a built in benefit. You get to work the count. Anyone whom has pitched in MLB The Show 17 will tell you that eventually your pitcher is going to have to throw something over the heart of plate. Having plate discipline will put you in those hitters counts where you can sit dead-red and tee-off on your pitch once you get it.
We have to understand that MLB The Show is a videogame. At times it feels as if it does an amazing job at simulating two round objects colliding. But this isn’t pure physics we are dealing with, this is probabilities based off player stats, PCI placement, and hot and cold zones. This collision isn’t random so with that being said we can maximize our batting average by swinging at pitches down the middle. It is my firm belief that random popups and ground-outs happen more often on pitches on the edges of the strike zone. Its seems as if pitches down the middle are classified as “meatballs” *pause* and can routinely be driven to different parts of the field.
Center swinging is not the end all be all of hitting, breaking balls can still get the best of you and for all we know, we may not get a good pitch to hit during an (or many) at bats. Now you may ask, just how often do you get pitches over the heart of the plate? Or you may think that pitchers will punish batters who are waiting for something down the middle. But, I come from the Ted Williams school of hitting. Unless we have good reason to think otherwise, we are waiting for OUR PITCH until we have two strikes. As batters we take notes and adjust accordingly, but as stated in reason #2 eventually he’s going to have to throw something over the middle.
I also feel obligated to state the obvious, a good batter only has to succeed 3 out of 10 times.