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  • Hitting to RF

    I find myself with a hitting question.

    My 15 year old son (RHB) has the ability to hit most everything to RF or to the right side. Occasionally he goes up the middle and rarely if ever pulls the ball.

    The weird part is that it almost makes no difference whether a pitcher is throwing 65, 75 or 85.

    I'm checking back foot alignment. He proclaims it is parallel to home plate and that he is not pointing his foot toward the catcher. Even in BP, where the speed is so consistent, he consistently hits the ball to the RCF gap.

    If he pulls, he usually tops the ball.

    He believes he is not bringing his hands close enough to his body as he travels through the zone.

    I'll check his distance to the plate.

    What is a good way to address home plate and your distance to it? What's an easy way to figure out plate coverage without over stretching your arms to do it?

    Any other suggestions or comments on this very consistent tendency to the right side of the field no matter the speed of the ball. Because of his size 6'1", lean, he looks very tall in the box and bats 3 through 5, is it just a matter of place in the batting order and pitchers staying away??? I almost never see him get tied up by inside heat!

    I was horrible at hitting and never saw anything but fastballs down the middle that I couldn't handle. OR one curve and I was done.

    I mean, if I played the field, I bet I could position myself and get him out everytime.

    What has your experience been at the plate?

    ???

    -scott
    "There are no miracles in sports. Miracles have been rehearsed hundreds of times in practice." - Scott Waz

  • #2
    This does not sound like a horrible problem to have. A lot of high school and college type coaches prefer this and would probably bat your son in the #2 spot. I couldn't tell you any more without a clip of his hitting preferably in game situations, because that is his real swing.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Baseball gLove View Post
      This does not sound like a horrible problem to have. A lot of high school and college type coaches prefer this and would probably bat your son in the #2 spot. I couldn't tell you any more without a clip of his hitting preferably in game situations, because that is his real swing.
      I agree. I've also been told that college coaches love kids who can hit to the opposite field and move runners...in this day of high scores and metal bats, its become a lost art.

      Comment


      • #4
        in this day of high scores and metal bats, its become a lost art.

        I agree. But is this due to it's perceived lack of importance in this day of high scores and metal bats? Personally the most enjoyable year I had coaching was when we scratched for runs. It was fun to frustrate teams with precision plays. If the game was tied with us up in the bottom of the last we knew we would win.

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting.

          I always thought he was a #2 guy. He can bunt and runs pretty well. Long legs. I will try and video tape at some point. It's hard during HS games. I don't want to be seen as the dad who needs more footage of his kid playing ball...but, footage would be very revealing.

          Thanks.

          -scott
          "There are no miracles in sports. Miracles have been rehearsed hundreds of times in practice." - Scott Waz

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by APPpitch View Post
            I find myself with a hitting question.

            My 15 year old son (RHB) has the ability to hit most everything to RF or to the right side. Occasionally he goes up the middle and rarely if ever pulls the ball.
            Have you checked for some borderline bat drag?
            Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

            I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
              Have you checked for some borderline bat drag?
              My 8 year old has massive bat drag and has no problem pulling the ball.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you do a lot of T-work put the ball out a little more and have him pull off the T. Exagerate the movement of the T towards the pitcher and in or away from the plate. Make sure you account for the stride.

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                • #9
                  Yea this is a really good problem to have if even a problem at all. This means he is staying inside the ball well and also that he sees the ball well. Good hitters focus on hitting up the middle and oppo and then just react to inside pitches and pull them(Joe Morgan Sunday Night Baseball last night). I would say this is a good thing not a bad thing. Just throw inside to him during bp and tell him to just react to the inside pitch.
                  "I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball." - Pete Rose

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by APPpitch View Post
                    I find myself with a hitting question.

                    My 15 year old son (RHB) has the ability to hit most everything to RF or to the right side. Occasionally he goes up the middle and rarely if ever pulls the ball.

                    -scott
                    Singles, doubles, home runs? Does he drive the ball or...?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chris O'Leary View Post
                      Have you checked for some borderline bat drag?
                      Usually the problem if you hit everything to right. I had this problem when I was around 12. I could only pull the ball if I was really early on the ball. It's either bat drag or letting the ball come in too deep on him.

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                      • #12
                        He hits most things hard. I'm still looking for low liner one bouncers through the infield. I find those kinds of hits very telling. Very good. Usually they are the hard hit 3-5 bouncers through the infield. Some liners, some major gappers where the ball lands between the CF & RF at their normal distance and they have to chase it as it rolls to the fence. So lots of singles and doubles. In BP he can hit the ball 350 feet to either Left Center or Right Center. Only twice have I ever seen him do this in a game between last year and this year. He rarely strikes out. Seems to walk a lot.

                        His evaluation after some thought after practice yesterday was that if he thinks about it, he feels almost every ball thrown to him is on the outside corner, so he just goes with it. This makes him susceptible to curveballs inside because it surprises him. Usually how he strikes out.

                        Is this just normal freshman-itis as he becomes accustomed to JV and V ball that he is now seeing?

                        I appreciate all the very kind observations. Of course, my fear is bat drag and defensive swinging.

                        Is it wrong to make the goal of hitting the other way fall into that category of swinging where the ball seems to rocket off in the opposite direction of what you would anticipate the swing to do. You know, those guys that swing and the ball lines sharply the other way after they just pulled one down the line foul.

                        To maintain a good path to outside pitches, should I position a T on the back corner of homeplate and have him have at it? I have one of those T's with the small piece of plastic sticking up behind the ball and the ball is on the brush. Should the piece of plastic be behind the ball in this position or should it be swung around so that it is even more outside so as to double check long round a bout swings??

                        I guess what I'm asking is, if he is going to get a steady diet of outside fastballs for a while, what hitting drill is most useful for this scenario??

                        Thanks gain,

                        -scott
                        "There are no miracles in sports. Miracles have been rehearsed hundreds of times in practice." - Scott Waz

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How about some game video of some good swings on good pitches where he wasn't fooled?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by APPpitch View Post
                            His evaluation after some thought after practice yesterday was that if he thinks about it, he feels almost every ball thrown to him is on the outside corner, so he just goes with it. This makes him susceptible to curveballs inside because it surprises him. Usually how he strikes out.
                            He could be setting up too far away from the plate.

                            It's impossible to pull an outside pitch, and setting up too far away from the plate turns everything into an outside pitch.
                            Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

                            I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Chris,

                              This afternoon I went to your site and brushed up on your Pujols analysis. It had been at least a year. I discovered it after researching Pujols after watching him on ESPN and it dawned on me that this stance would help cure my son's problem. Then I found your website. It was your analysis that made me change my son's entire stance and approach at the plate. I just knew it would work. I had a real gut feeling about it.

                              So after a few months of highly concentrated effort, he was ready. Within a few months he moved into the meat of every order. So I left him on auto pilot.

                              Everything was progressing swimmingly until this latest bit of concern showed itself.

                              So after reading through your analysis again, I learned about keeping the hands above the barrel of the bat. And that MLBers lean over the plate to hit the low outside pitch. I also discovered a better timing trigger after watching Pujol's feet.

                              My son used to open up early. So after watching Pujols, I made him turn his lead foot inward and thus show his heel to the pitcher, right from the start. I also had him widen his stance, just like Albert. But I never knew what to do with his hands and how to get them back for loading. His hitting coach on the HS team had him begin with his hands about mid chest and as the pitcher got going, Mike would bring them back. That seemed to work fine. But today, after going through your material and watching Albert, it dawned on me that Mike should begin with his lead foot flat, and when the pitcher gets going, as he pulls his hands back, he can also turn his foot inward and show the heel.

                              I like this because it's two things moving at once. Very natural. Like when a pitcher lifts his knee, the hands should go up and then down together. It looks and feels fluid.

                              OK, so now I have three things going in my mind. Hands above the barrel, the hand-foot coordination and the body lean. I started thinking that maybe Mike was trying to swing "level" on low pitches. I also determined in my mind that I should place our Solo Hitter ball above the back outside corner of our home plate.

                              All I needed was my kid. I left him a message on his cell phone before practice describing as best I could all this stuff. So when I pulled in early this evening...Ahhhhh, the sound of pings coming from the backyard.

                              He wasn't quite sure what I was getting at, so I went through it. After about 10 minutes, all 3 ideas were in motion.

                              It was very pretty. The ball was rocketing off the bat at just the kind of angle I craved. He was extremely comfortable, explosive and consistent. We moved to high and inside corner at the front of the plate and raised the hands even higher so that the barrel was lower. Basically getting the hands out of the way in order for the barrel to get to the ball. Very pretty. Lastly, I talked to him about getting up on the toe after bracing the front leg.

                              More importantly, I now could see the line drawn from shoulder to shoulder through the barrel of the bat. All one plane. Again, just like pitching, seeing a straight line through the shoulders to the elbow and that the only thing that changes is upper body lean.

                              So now we have a plan and can work on perfecting it.

                              Thank you for your observations of Pujols and other hitters who share common traits.

                              That was a fun mental exercise that I'm sure will provide big hits.

                              Cheers.

                              -scott
                              "There are no miracles in sports. Miracles have been rehearsed hundreds of times in practice." - Scott Waz

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