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Hitting Against a Major League Pitcher 2 min read

Hitting Against a Major League Pitcher

Dude Perfect's Tyler Toney takes on every kid's greatest unknown question: "Could I hit a pitch from a Major Leaguer?"

By Cary Littlejohn

A relatively short video from YouTube stars at Dude Perfect show what it takes to hit a World Series-winning closing pitcher.

There's no shortage of "average guy tries to hit a 90 MPH fastball" videos on YouTube. Just google "how hard is it to hit a major league pitch" and you'll find tons of articles and videos.

They'll quote a lot of the same science: It takes a 90 MPH pitch about 0.4 seconds to reach the plate; it takes a batter about 0.25 seconds to decide to swing. A lot goes into that decision: assessing the pitch's initial trajectory, analyzing its spin to identify the pitch and decide whether it will stay on that trajectory or move, and if it's going to move (they almost all move), is it going to move out of the zone or is it going to move somewhere else in the strike zone? This is just a fraction of the inputs and considerations to be made, and it's also just trying to put the bat on the ball; it doesn't take into consideration situational hitting when a player might need to hit it to one side of the field or another to help a particular runner or drive in a run.

All of that's to say: Baseball is hard.

The guys at Dude Perfect expanded the typical "average guy vs. MLB pitcher" by focusing on another part of why baseball is so hard: the stratification of difficulty and competitiveness.

Granted, the guys take it to extremes: They first put Tyler through his paces of facing off against a 12-year-old pitcher, a high school pitcher, and a college pitcher before he faces Jose Leclerc, the Texas Rangers' closer.

There are even more levels of baseball stratification, from Single A to Triple A. The talent can be different at each one.

Tyler is a natural athlete, as any viewer can discern from watching him in Dude Perfect's often silly videos. He's got a natural talent. But when he tells another Ranger that it's been 17 years since he last faced live pitching in high school, well, the odds don't seem in his favor.

The video does a great job of building up the suspense, the will he/won't he have it all. And the thing that makes it fun for the viewers is the recognition of his natural talent that makes you think maybe, just maybe, he could pull it off.

I'd love to have the opportunities he got while at the Rangers' spring training, because if anything is obvious in the video, it's that baseball is a lot of fun.