They are trying to get the ball to go to the gaps
Many professional baseball players will try different things with their batting style, such as changing how they swing or what kind of pitch they look for. Some do it because they feel that their current approach is not working and they want to find something new that does. Others choose to try something new because they believe that it is better and more effective than what they were before.
Many times these changes are related to getting the ball into the gap, or creating an early running lane for a base in order to draw a walk. Or maybe they just want to hit a home run and this tactic helps them achieve that.
Whatever the reason, most major league hitters stick to their natural swings when they come into the game, so there is no way to know if these outside-the-box approaches actually work until you use them under pressure.
They feel more comfortable doing this
While batting outside your off-stance is not common, there are some instances where it makes sense. If you watch enough cricket, you’ll see at least one example every time India bats in a power play.
The scenario comes after a run out or bad decision by the captain. In that situation, the number three player will take over as skipper while the number two steps up to bat. Because he has done it before, his natural instinct is to step out beyond the crease and let his hands work.
He does so because he knows what kind of shot he wants to hit and how fast he needs to get into position to execute it. By stepping away from the crease, he gives himself more room to maneuver and able to do so quickly.
This way, he doesn’t have to rush coming down and across the line, which could cost him precious time. He can instead just stay back and wait for the ball to come to him, making sure he isn’t too close to the fielders either.
They are trying to keep the ball in the air longer
Ever since cricket was first played, batsman have needed to be creative with their batting styles. Cricket is a game where anything can happen so there is always room for new strategies. One such strategy that some top level players use is to not defend the ball as much when they come forward to face a bowler.
Instead of hitting the ground with your bat before jumping into the action, you stay up higher. This is called batting outside of your off-stump or outside leg-foot area. It helps play this shot because it takes more time to get hit by the bowling attack.
Bowlers will work harder to get this person out than if they were defending from inside their own territory. Therefore, this player has found a way to survive another day at the cost of a few shots!
They are trying to launch the ball into the gaps
While most professional baseball players play in their natural position, there are some that do not. Some professionals feel more comfortable playing outside of the field or even switching positions. This is typically due to personal preference or what position they feel they can get the best chance at hitting with the new position.
For example, left-handed hitters who feel more confident batting righty will shift over to play right field instead of staying at first base. Lefties also may choose to switch off of pitcher’s speed so they move up to second base.
These moves sometimes help create an opening for the hitter by moving the defense out of the way. Or it could be because the player feels more comfortable doing so, thus improving his/her game. It is very individualized though, and not all top level athletes make the same moves.
Why do some professional baseball players bat from outside the field of action? Sometimes it is just because they feel more comfortable doing so, and this improves their game. It is definitely something we can admire about them as sports fans.
They are trying to get more carry
There is a myth that batting outside of your off-stump is bad for you as a batter. In fact, it can be one of the best things a batsman can do in order to succeed. It’s been discussed before how this tactic is very effective when the ball is moving away from the striker, or if the bowler drops the ball low and away.
When a pitcher uses his hands aggressively, like by jumping around with both arms extended while throwing the ball, he leaves the pitch open and vulnerable. A batsman who bides their time and waits on a pitched up pitch will make it easier to hit the ball.
By being able to pick out a good length or drop, a well trained bat will find ways to exploit the pitch. This can help them successively score runs or take advantage of an opponent’s weakness.
They are trying to use the whole field
While batting outside the off-stance is not common, there are some very good reasons why it happens. Most notably, these players are trying to use the entire field of the pitch when they run down the ball.
The most popular theory as to what motivates this behavior comes from cricket. Cricket is a more fluid sport than baseball. It can be difficult to determine whether or not a player has control of the ball due to how quickly it moves. Because of this, batsmen will try to take advantage of the pace of the pitch by running with the ball instead of stepping forward.
This was done before instant replay became an integral part of the game. Now that technology exists to confirm if a play was legal or not, it is made much easier to identify incorrect calls. However, back in those days, it was harder to tell if something was or wasn’t a legitimate play.
Because of this, many people believe that getting away with illegal actions gave players the illusion that it was okay to do so. This mentality still prevails in some circles even now!
They do not like the height of the batter
Many professional baseball players have discussed this phenomenon in great detail. Some say it is because they feel that their team does not need them at that time, while others believe it has to do with nerves.
Either way, batting outside of your natural hitting area can be tricky for some. Professionals have done it many times, making it one of the most common things pitcher-hitters will do!
Some even mentioned feeling nervous when doing so, which could explain why sometimes they choose to stay within their normal striking zone instead of going up against a bigger challenge.
They are trying to surprise the batter
There is a stigma that bat-flipping or batting outside of the box is annoying, distracting, and/or funny (“Why does he keep doing that?!”). Some people even go as far as saying it is bad sportsmanship.
However, there is a reason why this tactic comes in so popular among professional baseball players.
Batting outside of the box can be done for many reasons.
Some athletes do it because they feel like it helps them get going more quickly by breaking the ice with the other team. Or maybe their mind just goes blank when they see a ball coming towards them, making it hard to find the right way to hit it. Either way, it works!
Another theory about bats flipping out of the box is that superstitious athletes may try to scare away bad luck. By flinging the bat across the field, they hope to send negative energy back in the form of broken pieces instead of having to buy a new one.
Whatever the case may be, professionals know all too well how effective it can be. It has become an integral part of their game!
They are trying to create angles
There is a popular theory about why batsmen sometimes bat outside of their own creases when they play forward shots. This theory says that it’s because they want to create an angle at the ball so that it goes closer to the pitch or away from them, respectively.
By creating these angles, the batsman can make the ball go in a different direction, which he or she could not do if there was no gap between the ground and the pitched-up ball.
This may be true for some balls, but only occasionally — and even then, it isn’t always the reason behind the batsman’s decision to change his shot.
It also does not hold up in every situation. For example, if a bowler bowls a good length delivery with very little bounce, a batsman who tries to hit over the top will probably fail.