An enlightening post by the Baseball Analyst in his blog yesterday revealed to me that MLB batters make contact with about 82% of swings. The best contact hitters make contact with over 98% of swings. This knowledge has given cause to reevaluating Pitcher’s Duel’s play.

I recalled that in my various play testing sessions with Pitchers Duel, I seemed to get about a 70% contact rate, batting with the mouse in the batterdemo script.

For a new session last night, I paid attention to the statistics, and observed a contact rate under 50%, for a couple dozen pitches. The ‘SurRound’ feature, intended to aid batting, seemed to be a distraction. Newbies to the game are going to do substantially worse than I do, and I am not doing very well. It is ‘back to the drawing board’ for now, and my plans to release the updated batter demo is postponed for a while.

My first try at improvement will be to make the surRound ring much more subtle, so that it is observable while ceasing to be a distraction. The next step will be to make the pitch trajectory more pronounced somehow. Sometime back, I tried artificially slowing the pitch timing (by 0.7 ratio, more-or-less), and did not observe any hitting improvement. I may revisit that,(Unfortunately, that was before going Subversion, so I may not have the code to reuse) more carefully.