Everyone who steps in the batter’s box fits into these two categories: those who read what is coming next, Seam Readers, and those who are guessing what is coming next, Guess Hitters. Some could argue that zone-recognition is a third category, but that hitter is reading location before rotation, so we will include them as a part of the Seam Reader family.
Since you should have a pretty good idea of what a Seam Reader is, let us define a Guess Hitter. Guess Hitters could actually be called educated guess hitters, here is how. In every college and professional game, each pitch thrown is charted by the next day’s starting pitchers. What gets developed after years of this calculation, is a “tendency of that pitcher in any pitch count or situation, is what pitch he or she is going to throw next.” For example, you are facing Jenny Finch right now, and you find yourself in a one-ball and two-strike count. “Educated guess hitter’s have studied analytics and know that she throws a rise-ball approximately 87% of the time in this pitch count.” Now, you are ready and looking for that rise-ball because the odds are in your favor. What happens is she throws you a 55 mile per hour change-up right down the middle, and you can’t even move. In contrast, if you are Seam Reading the seams in the same scenario, you won’t be getting fooled by that change-up because you will read, recognize, and react to the seam rotation and know what the pitch is, and then swing, or not swing, accordingly… in theory.
In conclusion, if we were making a recommendation in comparing seam readers to guess hitters, we are going to say exactly what World Series Manager Joe Maddon would say, “You are a better hitter reading seams than you are guessing what pitch is coming next. Remember, Seam Readers READ, RECOGNIZE, and REACT. Have a great week.
At home drill: This week’s drill is to raise knowledge of the “Two Types of Hitters” and survey people around you to find out what type they are. So call, text or even ask in person all the baseball and softball people in your life, what type of hitter are they. Are they Guess Hitters or Seam Readers? Tally them up and send us the results.