Game Homework: The Knuckleball

Ian HunterCorrespondent IMay 28, 2009
"There are two theories on hitting a knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither of them works.” - Charlie Lau, legendary hitting coach
1.) Get as close as you can: Batters should move up in the batters box because the further the ball travels, the more difficult it is to hit. Moving to the top of the batters box can cut down on approximately 60 inches (5 feet) of travel, so scooch in there!

2.) If it’s high, let it fly. If it’s low, let it go: If you remember Kevin Millar’s homerun off Tim Wakefield, it was up in the zone and Millar just let loose and sent it over top of the green monster. Apparently the higher the knuckleball is in the strike zone, the easier it is to hit.

3.) Lean back, lean back: As a batter, the tendency would be to lean forward and swing through the pitch. Most experts say that the key to hitting the floater is to lean back and wait for the ball to reach the batters box instead of trying to swing ahead of the pitch.

4.) Keep your eye on the ball: All the way from little league to the majors, hitting coaches will always preach the same thing - watch the ball.