Coaches tell hitters all the time, “The harder he/she throws, the farther you will hit the ball”. In theory this may be true, but in reality, the velocity of the pitch is not nearly as important as solid hitting mechanics.
To prove my point, one only needs to watch the Home Run Derby tonight. The pitchers for each of the players are throwing the ball at velocities MUCH slower than the normal major league fastball. Yet, the players are hitting BOMBS! How can we explain this? The answer is simple.
With slower pitches, hitters are able to use nearly perfect hitting mechanics. When hitters can really load, extend their arms fully, maintain a power swing angle with perfect timing, they generate crazy batspeed. As we know, the higher the batspeed, the greater the distance the ball will travel.
When hitters are facing 90+ mph fastballs in games, they don’t have enough time to use the same mechanics they use with slower pitching. Once in a while, a hitter in a game will guess right and will load up and hit the pitch with perfect timing and solid mechanics. The result is usually a long home run that travels 400-500 feet. The best power hitters are the ones who come the closest to duplicating their batting practice swing in games. That’s why being a successful hitter requires hours and hours and hours of practice.
So, I think the answer to the question is “False”. Baseball and softball players are not totally dependent on fast pitches for great distance. A hitter with great mechanics will hit the ball far, no matter how fast the ball is pitched.