The definition of a smart hitter in Major League Baseball comes down to several variables, including a patient eye, the ability to hit consistently no matter what the count, hitting with power, spraying the ball to all fields, stretching pitch counts and an ability to constantly give opposing pitchers fits over what to throw.
Few batters in the history of baseball have fulfilled all of the above characteristics. Tony Gwynn and Rogers Hornsby immediately come to mind, although neither were blessed with a power stroke, but they confounded pitchers for years nonetheless.
One of the smartest hitters of all time, Ted Williams, was able to break down his swing after almost every at-bat, and in an era that didn’t have the use of video technology. Williams simply remembered every pitch and every swing, and was literally able to adjust his approach with his next at-bat.
In today’s world, technological advances have allowed hitters to break down their swings, and with the help of hitting coaches, are able to break down every component of their approach in the batter’s box.
Here are some examples of today’s smartest hitters.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.
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