Laurila: Players’ view: Do hitters focus better in the late innings?

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on May 13, 2016:

Do hitters focus better in the late innings of close games? Once the eighth and ninth roll around, does their mental acuity shift into a new gear?

Human nature suggests it happens. Faced with an impending work deadline, most of us will see our mindset kick into now-or-never mode. On the other hand, we routinely hear players say that every plate appearance matters. If you’re a professional, you’re going to take pride in never giving away an at bat.

I recently asked a cross section of players, managers and coaches — and one mental skills coordinator — for their opinions on the subject. Here is what they had to say.

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Originally published: May 13, 2016. Last Updated: May 13, 2016.