Hitting a baseball is a difficult task, no matter how hard it's thrown, how much it spins, or how much it dips and dives. We took a closer look to determine the best hitters by specific pitch types and situations.
BEST VS. FASTBALLS: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks Goldschmidt is hurting now, but he hammers the heater when healthy. His .336 BA against the pitch ranks in the top five in the game, and his 39 homers over the past two seasons are still the most of any NL hitter. Joe Robbins/Getty Images BEST VS. BREAKING BALLS: Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners AP Photo/John Froschauer BEST VS. CHANGEUPS: Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers Cabrera not only smashes the changeups that hang in the strike zone but also excels at hitting the ones off the outside corner. His 16 extra-base hits against changeups over the past two seasons are one shy of the major league lead. Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports BEST FIRST-PITCH HITTER: Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies Tulowitzki is out for the season, but he's posted a .446 batting average with nine homers on first pitches over the past two seasons. He's patient too, swinging only 28 percent of the time. Rob Carr/Getty Images BEST TWO-STRIKE HITTER: Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
Since 2010, Beltre has hit .272, .234, .248, .252 and now .286 with two strikes, all well above the major league average. In the past three seasons, his 32 two-strike home runs are tied for fourth most in MLB. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images