Knowing the Count- Improve Batting Average

Baseball, MLB article at Knup Sports


Swing at strikes, don’t swing at balls. That is really basic hitting advice. So why is it so hard to achieve?

Pitchers use different speeds, different arm angles to make the ball move and this causes the hitters timing to be off. How can a hitter improve their chance of success?

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Be Aware of the Count

It is proven fact that there are some counts and game situations where a pitcher is more likely to throw a strike. This is where the hitter can help achieve success.

Take advantage.  First, try to avoid getting into a two strike count as it is the least predictable situation for a hitter. The hitter has more control of the situation at this point than the batter. Hitters are at the pitchers mercy.

Know what a fast count is and you have better chance for success. This would include any count the hitter is ahead, A 2-0 and 3-0 are the best. It is here a pitcher needs to throw a strike to not allow a free base runner.

Another key fact. Many times it is the first pitch of the at-bat as the pitcher wants to get ahead in the count and likely to try to sneak a fastball by the hitter, If that happens, the pitcher has increased his options. getting behind may mean a fastball is coming and you can sit on it for a bases knock.

As players get older and more experienced, then the off-speed pitches start showing up and that is harder for a batter to handle. Just another thing that favors the hurler.

Remember if you are in a two strike count as a hitter, you will need to expand your zone and protect the plate. Don’t lave it to some umpire that doesn’t know a strike from a _____.  You may get rung up.

The Count- Statistics Say

The higher the level the more we can glean on this subject. If you research this, major league baseball has tons of information on the count. Let’s look at league tats from 2015-2017,

These facts stand out- Taking the first pitch took 21 points of the batting average.

To get those odds back he must get it to a 2-1 count.

Averages increase when the count get to 2- 0 amd 3-0 by 57 points.

Two strike counts favor the pitcher. an 0-3 count it is a batting average of .157, 1-2 count is .166 with a 2-2 count rising to .183 and .211 with a full count.

On the other side of the coin, we find an 3 ball count favors the hitter. A 3-0 count has an on base percentage of .944.

Hitters need to be aggressive early in the count.

The Count Advice

Be aggressive with a purpose on strikes in predictable counts.

Focus on fastballs in predictable counts.

Taking strikes is still okay. Sometimes a pitcher can hit the black of the plate and it becomes difficult to handle. Maybe get the next one.

The first pitch may be the most important pitch


Ok slugger, get in there and take some AB’s.


Take Me Out to the Ballgame

About the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup.

Feel free to contact Tom at

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