Young baseball players just like the professionals have hitting streaks and slumps. Like Yogi Berra once said, “I ain’t in a slump, I just ain’t hittin’”. One of the things I noticed as I coached my teams was that often the batting line-ups of our competitors were same every time I played them during the season. Three meetings during the season and I would see the same line-up each game. That always indicated to me that the coach was not paying attention to the details of the game. He didn’t do something as basic as knowing how your players were performing – it was an indication of laziness.
Players at all levels are streaky and the only way you can be aware of how hot or cold your hitters are is by tracking the stats and using those stats to set you line-up. There are several options to accomplish this from the pencil-paper calculator to fairly sophisticated computer programs that allow you to report to your players how they are doing. I prefer the computerized approach. Nothing works, of course, if you do not have a dedicated score keeper that is able to accurately communicate to you through his score pad how the players are doing at the plate. I highly recommend a program that handles various sports. I have used both their baseball and football products and they are excellent. The company is called TurboStats and you can find them via the link here on my blog. They offer a free downloadable version that you can use for several games before you have to buy it. This trial period gives you the ability to see if it suits your needs.
Another benefit of reporting your stats to your players is that they learn what the various stats mean and they can be used to motivate the players to improve their batting averages. I constantly adjusted my line-ups for each game based on the batting averages, on-base percentages and certain power ratings. I started this practice when my players were eight years old.