giants8307 wrote:It's tough to believe every major league hitter is a guess hitter.
IMO, they aren't. Pitch recognition is still a huge part of the game. I think the point, though, is that you might be "looking" fastball, then if you're a good hitter you'll pick up the spin on a curve and not swing because you were looking fastball. Or vice-versa. Meanwhile a poor hitter might not pick up that spin and swing early and over top of what he expected to be a fastball. But at the same time, making an educated "guess" as to what the pitcher is going to throw in certain situations can play a big role as well.
Pitch recognition is still a big part, and as the original poster mentioned, the best hitters in the league can adjust to whatever the pitcher is throwing as it is coming towards them. Hell, Vlad's home run last night showed that the VERY best hitters don't even have to recognize it... they can just smoke anything!
I remember reading about how Beltran uses that machine that fires tennis balls with different numbers and colors at 120 MPH. Then Beltran would call out the number/color as it came towards him to help improve his pitch recognition. I'm sure he's not the only one doing it. Also, Brian Roberts attributed a lot of his success in '05 to the special-made contacts he wore because they helped him to see the spin on the ball more clearly.