ANATOMY OF AN AT-BAT
|2nd inning with a 0-0 count. The batters strong areas in the batting zone (hot zones) are high & inside and high & outside. His weak point (cold zone) is low & away. Note the size of his sweet spot when aiming dead center.|
|Now look what happens when he aims inside his hot zone. The sweet spot inside the bat increases dramatically.|
|0-2 pitch so he gains a cold zone low & inside. Note the size of the sweet spot decreases when aiming in that area.|
|He works his way back to a 2-2 pitch and notice the low & inside zone is no longer cold. It appears the low & away zone is more faint as well.|
3-2 pitch, note his high & inside zone changed from hot to cold. However, in the last two images he also had two strikes against him so why the change now? Before we explain keep in mind all the images shown above were taken from two separate at-bats (the 2nd and 5th innings.)
In the user manual it states "Hot and cold zones fluctuate depending on how frequently the pitcher throws in those locations."
Also, the pitcher's weakness is that he is a slow starter. We know this because of the black (negative) special skills button shown underneath the pitchers name plate. This is diplayed on the right side of the screen but only in images taken from the 2nd inning. So perhaps the pitcher has "settled down" thus becomes stronger now with two strikes?
So basically it's hard to say for sure exactly what factors make the hot & cold zones fluctuate in every at bat. However, we posted this to illustrate these zones are not static and it pays to pay attention to ongoing factors such as:
Since the zones fluctuate so much it's recommened in user settings that you set 'Strike Zone: Strong/Weak Points' to ON. If you don't want to spend the time translating and memorizing the special skills then you can tell alot by the batters hot/cold zones and pentagraph which will also fluctuate depending on the situation. All of these things (Special Skills, Pentagraph etc) are covered in detail on other pages of this site.