There comes a point in every MLB The Show player’s life where hitting just clicks. Unfortunately, that time usually comes a couple of months after you’ve already owned the game. To help expedite that process, here are five tips to help you become a better hitter in MLB The Show 17.
1. Find Your Interface
I’ve always been more of a “Timing” or “Directional” guy, but if I’m really feeling it, I’ll give “Pure Analog” a whack. It’s really important to find a style your comfortable with, and even though “Directional” is definitely less complex, there’s more of a rhythm to “Pure Analog” that might help you out. “Zone” is the more complicated combination of the two styles, but if you can master it, zone-style hitting can lead to some really professional hitting.
2. Find Your Difficulty
MLB The Show 17 is really unique in that its difficulty isn’t artificial. Instead, the pitching can get brutally smart, placing the ball in some of the worst locations to hit it. They’ll mix off-speed pitches with fastballs just as well as some of the better managed teams in baseball do.
Going from easy to difficult is going to save you a lot of frustration. The “Dynamic” difficulty option can save you a lot of stress, but I prefer to work my way up to the hardest difficulty on my own. Getting used to the hitting on easier difficulties is going to leave you with better habits than if you start from the top down.
3. Work The Count
This is going to be the biggest mountain you’ll ever have to climb in MLB The Show 17. Why? Because the AI and online opponents aren’t going to be doing you any extra favors on the mound. All the same, it’s important that you work pitch counts. If you allow low pitch counts deep into the game, prepare to deal with a pitcher who has full confidence and lots of stamina left.
Working deep counts can also lead to some advantageous situations for a hitter. That’s not to say that you let every first pitch go by, but it’s important that you don’t swing at anything that could be considered a “pitcher’s pitch.” An 0-1 count is better than a weakly grounded ball to the infield. Furthermore, working a 3-0 or even a 3-1 count gives you the opportunity to swing for the fences without worrying about a strikeout.
4. Wait For Your Pitch
This goes with the above tip, but every player has a certain pitch that he or she clobbers. One of the best things you can do in MLB The Show is keep your eyes on one part of the zone. If you don’t get your pitch, leave it and wait for the next one. Even if you don’t have the “Guess Pitch” option on, feel free to wait on a fastball or something off speed, whichever you tend to hit better.
Another thing you can do is take a walk. Even if you’re up in the count, sometimes it’s a good idea to wait. A ball in play is still unlikely to get you on base, but a walk is a surefire way to keep an inning going. Sometimes the best thing to wait on is a strike or two.
5. Don’t Abuse The Power Swing
This is the easiest trap to fall into if you’re a new MLB The Show player. Power swings, even when they connect, don’t end up with home runs too often. Plenty of downsides come with the power swing, but the biggest is that it shrinks your contact window. In other words, those power swings often result in whiffs, so you need to be very careful using it any time you’re down in the count.
Likewise, save the contact swings for when you’re behind in the count. This is especially true if you have a player on first with some outs to give because the contact swing can lead to some tailor-made double plays. If you like using the contact swings or power swings, save them for special occasions. It’s nice when they work out in your favor, but they very much are double-edged swords.