A batter who can hit from either the right-handed or left-handed position is said to be a switch hitter. Such batter usually choose to bat from the opposite side of the pitcher, that is, when a right-handed pitcher is on the mound, the batter will bat left-handed, and vice versa.
Switch hitters make it very difficult for opposing teams because they cannot use the usual matchup guidelines to decide which type of pitcher to call on in a given situation. Managers cannot count on a lefthander getting a left-handed batter out late in a game, for instance, because the hitter will simply turn to the right side. Switch hitters often enjoy great success because they maximize their advantage due to their flexibility. Great switch hitters in baseball history include Mickey Mantle and the all-time hits leader Pete Rose. It should be noted that most switch hitters are stronger from one side of the plate than the other, usually the side they began to hit from when they first learned the game of baseball.