How far from home plate should you be?

Elvis Elvis

Where you set up in the batter’s box in relation to home plate should largely be based on where you feel comfortable setting up, and where you feel you see the ball best.

To a lesser extent, it should be based on the style of hitter you are and which stance you use, and may further need to be adjusted slightly depending on the pitcher you’re facing, the game situation, or other factors.

Arm and bat length may factor into your distance from home plate.

The first factor is your natural arm length, and the length of the bat you use. Your bat should be able to naturally extend to the outer edge of the plate on a swing when necessary, without feeling like you need to ‘reach’ for the ball, which can lead to not only a decrease in power, but also an unsteady swing, especially in the bat head where you’ll be trying to make contact. This can lead to a lot of weak hits, foul balls, or outright whiffs.

If you do have a naturally short arm length, you should move a little closer to the plate, and may want to avoid using a closed stance, as this will make you extremely susceptible to pitches on the inner half of the plate.

Those with longer reach can afford to stay farther off home plate, as far back as the middle of the box if desired. You’ll have the benefit of being able to reach the outside pitch, while still avoiding the potency of the inside pitch.

How far from home plate should you be?

Your stance will play a key role on where you stand in relation to home plate.

As mentioned, your stance should also be a determining factor in where you set up. If you use an open stance, you will probably want to be closer to home plate, or the tendency to pull off on balls on the outer half will result in a lot of weakly hit balls. With an open stance, you should not have any trouble handling the inside pitches that you’ll be bound to receive in heavy doses by being close to the plate.

Players using even stances have more options as to where they want to set up, and should make their decision based on the field they like hitting to, or the area of pitches they prefer hitting, inside or out. The pitcher will always try to take advantage of your setup, so you can play them right into your hands by luring them into pitching where you want them to, and then taking advantage of that.

Game situations may determine where you stand.

The game situation or pitcher should also determine where you set up for each at bat, and making slight changes as necessary will go a long way. Don’t get stuck clinging to old habits; you have to be willing to adapt and make life hard on the pitcher.

If the pitcher likes busting guys inside, stay farther off home plate and take that away from him. If he still wants to throw over the inner half of the plate, he’ll be doing so right in your wheelhouse.

Where you want to hit the ball can influence how far you stand from home plate.

If the game situation calls for hitting the ball to a particular side of the field, make the necessary adjustments to increase your odds of coming through in the clutch.

If wanting to pull the ball, inside pitches are easier to pull than outside pitches. Move closer to home plate. This sets up the likelihood that any pitch over the plate will appear to you as an inside pitch. But, be cautious and ready to jump out of the way of a true inside pitch. Pitchers don’t like having the hitter crowd the plate and will often throw one high and tight to reclaim their territory.

Opposite of the inside pitch, outside pitches are easier to hit to the opposite field. If interested in hitting the ball the other way, move slightly away from home plate. This action will make any pitch over the plate appear to be outside. However, if you take this action, be aware that the pitcher will try to use this to his advantage with pitches over the outside edge of the plate — a region that may be difficult for you to reach.