- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
Brady Anderson swung as hard as he possibly could throughout the 1996 season and blasted 50 homers. He swung hard on the first pitch, he swung aggressively when the count was 0-2, he swung aggressively always.
He scored 117 runs and compiled 92 extra-base hits, 76 walks and 106 strikeouts, and late that season, Orioles hitting coach Rick Down mentioned that before Anderson, he had never seen anyone succeed with that approach. Most hitters made adjustments according to the count, Down noted at the time, cutting down on their swing when they reached two strikes, protecting against a strikeout.
But more and more, that sort of thinking has become outdated, and a whole lot of hitters are thinking like Anderson did. Swing hard throughout the entire count. Look to damage throughout the entire count.
The problem for them -- and for baseball, really -- is that this approach is not really working.