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February 3, 2014 7:50 am
Are some switch-hitters costing themselves by not sticking to one side of the plate?
Every so often, someone asks me whether there are any switch-hitters who are making a mistake by batting from both sides, or whether a particular hitter would be better off picking and sticking to one side of the plate. There are two reasons, I think, why the question comes up even though there have been BP pieces about it before, and despite the fact very few players have ever stopped switch-hitting after making the majors.
The first is that switch-hitting is inherently interesting to those of us who can barely button a button with our non-dominant hand. Hitting baseballs thrown by big-league pitchers, we’re told, is one of the toughest tasks in sports. Switch-hitters can do it not only from the side of the plate where we look at least a little coordinated, but also from the side where we look like Hunter Pence. There are mutants in the X-Mansion with less impressive powers (like Longneck).
Does switch-hitting make sense from an evolutionary perspective?
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Alex Speier covers the Red Sox for WEEI.com. His playing career reached its zenith when he started a game-winning rally by getting beaned. He rarely sleeps, has many questions, and ventures few answers, while demonstrating proclivities towards sesquipedalianism, circumlocution, and the unintentional misuse of foreign languages. Though he is terrified of 140-character communiques, you can follow him on Twitter @alexspeier.
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