MLB The Show 21 is set to have a pretty major year. Not only is the annualized baseball sim making its first appearance on next-gen hardware, but it's also leaving PlayStation for the first time ever and will now release on Xbox consoles. Not to mention, the game is also going to be available on day one to those who are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass.
With all of this in mind, it stands to reason that a major injection of new players will be trying out MLB The Show 21 this year for themselves. And if you're one of those people, you might be finding yourself struggling to get a grasp on how the game's batting system works. While it takes a bit to get used to, with a little bit of practice, you can get better very quickly.
As someone who has played MLB The Show for years at this point, here are the best batting tips that I can give you to make sure that you'll turn into a hitting machine in a short period of time.
Find the Batting Style That Works for You
This is the most important tip I can give to new players that you must try out all of the different hitting styles to see which one you like the most. MLB The Show 21 has three different formats in which you can hit: directional, zone, and analog.
Directional hitting is largely the most straightforward of the bunch and will simply allow you to determine whether or not you'd like to put a certain spin on the ball if you hit it. So if you're trying to drive the ball to a certain part of the field, this can be helpful.
Zone hitting is perhaps the format that most people use and will have you move about a reticle within the strike zone to try and hit the ball. While it takes a bit longer to get used to compared to directional, you can really start to hammer the ball with this style if you get good at it.
Lastly, analog hitting utilizes the thumbsticks rather than the face buttons to swing the bat. It's perhaps considered the most difficult of the three styles to master, but it feels more fluid once you get used to it.
Different players tend to gravitate towards different hitting schemes and none of these are better than the other whatsoever. Try all three out in the game's opening set-up phase and see which one you like the most before advancing.prevnext
Choose a Part of the Strike Zone to Focus On
This is the tip that really helped me get drastically better in my years of playing MLB The Show, although it's mainly a suggestion for those that are using the zone hitting scheme. Rather than trying to chase every pitch that is thrown to you, focus your attention on a certain part of the strike zone and wait for a pitch to come into that sweet spot.
A lot of times, if you end up chasing pitches in a part of the strike zone that you're not expecting the ball to arrive in, you'll find yourself swinging late or just generally making poor contact. By focusing your attention on a certain part of the zone with your reticle and waiting for the ball to come to you, you'll find that you can hit way more pitches out of the park than ever before.prevnext
Don't Swing at Everything
This is going to seem like an obvious suggestion, but you absolutely should not swing at every pitch that comes your way. You would be surprised by how many players that I play against online don't heed this warning and proceed to swing at everything that is thrown to them. This is a very bad habit to get into and will lead to you scoring a low number of runs on a regular basis.
Be sure to take some pitches here and there. While taking pitches might lead to you getting called strikes, that's okay. It's important to learn how to work a count in MLB The Show 21 and you should aim to get comfortable in situations where you might have two strikes on you.
Taking pitches also allows you to see how a pitcher might be wanting to throw to you. Are they wanting to work the inside or outside of the plate? Are they keeping their pitches lower or higher in the zone? These are all vital things to be aware of and if you stop yourself from swinging at everything thrown your way, it will lead to you generating far more hits.prevnext
Use Power Swings Sparingly
There are four types of swings you can initiate in MLB The Show 21: standard, contact, power, and bunt. If you're someone who is looking to launch the ball out of the park, especially with your best hitter, then you may be inclined to use power swings as much as possible in a plate appearance. More often than not, though, this is the wrong approach.
If you use your power swings by default, you're going to find yourself failing to connect with the ball quite regularly. Power swings are primarily meant to be used when you know exactly where a pitcher is going to put the ball in the strike zone. So if you feel like you have a good idea of where that next pitch is coming, feel free to unload with a power swing.
For the most part though, standard swings need to become what you utilize by default. Not only will this help you put the ball in play more often, but standard swings can still very much lead to home runs as well. If you're frustrated by how often you've been striking out when playing MLB The Show 21, perhaps lay off of using power swings just a bit.prevnext
Learn to Recognize Pitches
This is by far the most complicated thing to implement of the five tips that I have for MLB The Show 21, but it's vital that you can recognize over the course of a game what types of pitches are being thrown at you. If you're dialed-in enough, you can get to a point where you can identify what pitch is coming at you as soon as it comes off of a pitcher's fingertips.
To know what pitches a given pitcher has in their repertoire, press the right trigger when you're at the plate and you'll be able to view the full list. Most of the time, starting pitchers tend to have far more pitches to throw compared to relievers. You can also press the right trigger after a pitch is thrown to see where it exactly landed in the zone and what type it was.
Once you get to a point where you think you have a good idea of what pitches look like when coming your way, create a game plan and wait for the right opportunity to strike. Most of the time, fastballs are what you need to keep an eye out for. If you think you see a fastball heading to a certain part of the zone that you're focusing on, then feel free to swing away.0comments
MLB The Show 21 is available now in early access for those that bought the Jackie Robinson Edition on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. The full release will transpire in just a few short days on April 20th.prev