Hitting behind a runner at first base
By: Coach Bob McCreary
Provided by: Baseball By The Yard
The same pitch selection principle and hitting drills mentioned above applies to right handers as well. Much of the battle will depend on the right handed hitter being patient enough to wait for a pitch on the outer half. Of course, sometimes they won't get one during the at-bat so it's important to practice hitting the hole on pitches that are not on the outer half. Moving the tee around and focusing on keeping your hands inside the ball will help with that.
Probably the biggest problem I see righties have with hitting behind the runner is that they feel they have to drastically alter their swing in order to do it. They shouldn't have to. The only thing that changes is where the swing makes contact with the ball. Whenever a righty attempts to hit the ball well to right field, he needs to let the ball travel a little more towards the catcher before contact is made. Letting the pitch “get a little deeper” will put the bat at the proper right-field angle at the point of contact. Therefore, the basic swing stays the same. What changes is where in the zone the bat makes contact with the pitch. The mistake most hitters make is that they try to make contact with the pitch in the same location they would if they were trying to pull the ball or hit it up the middle, which is just in front of their front foot. When a hitter tries to hit to the opposite field this way, he will have a very tough time hitting the ball hard. In order to get the correct bat angle to hit to the right side, the batter would have to move his hands forward too much before contact. Doing so will lose a lot of power in the swing.
Hitting behind a runner at first with no outs is not easy but if a hitter does it, he'll score a lot of points with his coach. Of course, to do this will require lots of work on the part of the player.