How to determine the type of pitch and the pitch rotation?

As a hitter, being able to determine the pitch rotation and type of pitch after the ball has been thrown will go a long way in helping you succeed. You’ll gain a split-second advantage if you’re able to recognize the type of pitch from its rotation.

Use this advantage to adjust your swing as necessary while the pitch is speeding toward home plate.

Pitch combinations can be quite complex.

If the pitcher has only one pitch, determining the type of pitch and its rotation is simple, as there is no guesswork. If any adjustments are necessary, they’ll come from the pitch’s velocity and location only.

However, if a pitcher has more than one pitch, the combinations become dramatically more complex. Will the pitcher throw you a curveball? Slider? Sinker? Inside? Outside? Up and in or down and outside? Fast or off-speed?

How to determine the type of pitch and the pitch rotation?

It is now that you must utilize other factors to help minimize these combinations. The more you can decipher before or while the pitch is thrown, the more likely you’ll get good “wood” on the ball.

Deciphering pitch rotation.

Different pitches obviously exhibit different spins – decipherable by the ball’s seams. While it may be difficult to pick up on the different spins, as you mature as a hitter these spins will become more apparent.

Recognizing a pitch from its spin takes practice. Get into the batting cage and set the pitching machine to throw you only fastballs. Then have it throw you only curveballs. Get accustomed to how each one looks, and how they differentiate from each other. Then add a sinker to your repetoir.

Know someone who can throw a changeup? Get them out there on the mound for you. Watch how the ball comes out of their hand and spins through the air.

The more pitches you see in the practice, the more likely you’ll be able to recognize the pitch and adjust to the pitch rotation during a game.