So we were fortunate enough to play in the Met Classic this past week. It’s a really prestigious event, hosted by the NY Mets where they basically challenged the six teams in it to build the best team possible and compete.
Most of the players on the field are already committed to some big time colleges (or will be soon)…some will even be draft guys out of high school. So literally every player at the event was very talented.
So with all these loaded rosters, what separates the winners from the losers?
Well that’s where the vicinity theory comes into play (I just made this up).
There are an average of 290 pitches in a game. How many of those pitches do you have an affect on?
Most players only affect the game when they are close to the baseball…hitting, pitching, fielding, etc. and do very little for the game when they are not close to it which in a sport like baseball, is the majority of the game.
So let’s think about this… if I’m a shortstop, I may get to touch the ball 9-10 times a game on defense and get 3-4 ABs. Even if they’re long ABs, I’m only involved in 30-40 pitches during the game. That leaves 250ish that I’m not involved in. Does that sound like a recipe to positively affect your team?
No, I don’t think so either.
Then what does?
Impacting the game every pitch or as close to every pitch as possible. Constant defensive repositioning, base-running, sharing information you gathered from your previous AB with your team, etc. Now you’re impacting many more pitches than that original 30-40.
Now imagine that the other players you’re playing with are doing the same thing…a group of players trying their hardest to impact 290 pitches…That’s when winning takes place. That’s where championships are won and lost…away from the baseball.
Take pride in affecting the game when the ball is no where near you. Win the vicinity game. 290 pitches. Be obsessed.
Director of Baseball
Maplezone Sports Institute