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MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show Beginner’s Guide to Hitting

It is MLB The Show season. Below is a guide to hitting with the various game mechanics offered by Sony San Diego Studios. 

MLB The Show Beginner’s Guide to Hitting

Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz in MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Series X.

Hitting in MLB The Show

Avoid dropping the PCI. All sports gamers drop the plate coverage indicator in The Show. It is a right of passage. Welcome to the game. As we track the pitch, we naturally follow where the ball is going instead of aiming to where it will finish. Be mindful of this fact early on, and you will not develop the habit. The hitting feedback windows provide actionable data, grading your PCI placement and timing. Master them. 

Advanced Tip: If you initiate micro-circles on the left stick, this keeps the PCI in motion and active. Moving the PCI from an active state, as opposed to a frozen or static state, can help alleviate dropping PCI and help you develop a feel for the PCI cursor’s sensitivity.

Different batting stances are quicker to the ball in MLB The Show. Xbox Series X.

Pre-load your PCI. Pre-loading or pre-setting your PCI to a location in the strike zone can help you do damage on the most challenging pitches. We recommended shading the outside of the center-center square with your PCI to the side of the plate that you anticipate the pitch will land. Remember to stay cool and calm as the ball barrels towards home plate. Recognize the pitch, and go put a good swing on it.

Advanced Tip: Breathe. Hitting in MLB The Show can be a challenge, especially if you get ahead of yourself. If you are playing online in Battle Royale or Diamond Dynasty and are desperate to earn your next big reward, take a minute to cool down. A deep breath can slow your heart rate, calm your frustrations, and fine-tune your motor skills. This tactic is used by professional athletes and applies to hitting digital baseballs. So remember to steady your breath, and this also will grant you some time to pause the game, go into the menus, and dive into in-game pitch analyses.

MLB The Show’s pitching engine is technically sound. Study it to improve your hitting.

Pickup on user tendencies. MLB The Show is rich in data and feedback. This information is available in the in-game menus. The data includes the pitches thrown against all batters and all counts. Studying your opponent will allow you to develop a game plan at the plate.

Pitch Recognition. MLB The Show has a variety of pitches, but not more than 12. Study them. Learn which pitches are most effective and where. Splitters can be absolutely devastating because their speed and break are hard to track. Sliders are filthy low and away and make for an excellent strike-out pitch. Study the trajectory of each pitch and use a fixed point in the backdrop to assist. 

Don’t take the bait.  Constantly conduct situational analyses – use your baseball IQ. Understand the count and the game situation. Is the pitcher looking for a double-play, and how will they pitch to you as a result? What are the hitter’s cold zones, and how often does the pitcher attack them? Try not to chase low, off-speed pitches. Instead, lay off, work the count and work the pitcher’s fatigue ratings. Force them to throw strikes and control the strike zone on your terms as best as possible.

Icon Jackie Robinson awaits the pitch in MLB The Show 21.

Use the Opposite field. Let the ball travel deep into the zone. To do this, take your time and not jump at the pitch early. As you learn the game, adjust your timing to the various pitcher’s throwing mechanics and velocity ranges. Get comfortable with taking your time and work the zone from outside pitches to inside.

Advanced Tip: Patience. Taking a few pitches works the pitch count, increases fatigue, and can frustrate the gamer on the other end. This may lead to a rushed pitch and a mistake. Capitalize. 

Never use the power swing. The power swing shrinks PCI, and the normal swing has plenty of lift-off power. The Contact swing is useful depending on the situation – it is perfect for two strikes because it expands the PCI. Waste your opponent’s wipeout pitches, and live to see another pitch!

Luis Robert squaring up the baseball in MLB The Show 21 on Xbox Series X.

Practice Mode. Lastly, head into practice mode to recreate the most difficult counts and pitches. Practice hitting various fastball speeds. This is also a good time you experiment with batting camera angles. The Strike-Zone cameras allow you to pick up pitches better than most. Different angles can help with various pitch breaks. 

Advanced Tip: Remember that each pitcher has a unique animation and delivery, which can impact our perception of how quickly the ball travels to the plate. SDS has not confirmed, but most competitive gamers believe that some throwing motions result in pitchers jumping on hitters quicker. Not all 99-mph fastballs look and travel the same to the plate. Become accustomed to which Diamond Dynasty cards represent the most significant challenges, and practice against them. 

Over time, all of these hitting strategies will come together and will become second nature.

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