Originally Posted by Brutus
It's not a fundamental and frankly it doesn't even make sense.
The first pitch is sometimes the best pitch a hitter is going to see in an at-bat. Why should a hitter let that pitch go for the sake of being patient? When you're down 0-2 or 1-2, you're giving the pitcher an advantage because you now have to protect the plate and sometimes swing at a borderline ball because you can't afford to let close pitches go by. So why waste a fastball down the middle, if you happen to see it early in the count, for the possibility of having to hit defensively? You're not guaranteed a walk, so you shouldn't go up to the plate expecting to force one.
If a hitter gets a good pitch to hit early in the count, you should take it. That is not bad fundamentals, that is good hitting. Being patient for patience sake is not a good way to hit.
Straw man. Nobody is saying anyone should be "patient for patience sake" or should let good, hittable pitches go by.
Patience means waiting for a pitch you can handle. If the first pitch is in the zone and something you can handle you swing at it. Of course.
But a hitter like Heisey swings at almost everything early in the count. He's overly aggressive. He may be "comfortable" doing so but it doesn't yield good results.
He would be far better off being patient. And if waiting for a good pitch isn't fundamental, I don't know what is.