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  • "Getting on top that pitch"

    What is your understanding of getting on top of a high pitch???
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

  • #2
    Jake,

    As with all baseball sayings, it undoubtedly means different things to different folks. Here's what I believe many coaches take it to mean. When a pitch is thrown high, the pitcher is hoping for the batter to get under the ball and hit a pop fly. Therefore, to counteract this somewhat natural effect, the batter is urged to "get on top of the ball" in an attempt to hit it square and not hit a pop fly. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    -JJA
    The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they will ever play

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JJA View Post
      Jake,

      As with all baseball sayings, it undoubtedly means different things to different folks. Here's what I believe many coaches take it to mean. When a pitch is thrown high, the pitcher is hoping for the batter to get under the ball and hit a pop fly. Therefore, to counteract this somewhat natural effect, the batter is urged to "get on top of the ball" in an attempt to hit it square and not hit a pop fly. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

      -JJA
      Makes sense.
      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

      Comment


      • #4
        I try to feel like my hands are above the high pitch, hoping the barrel stays lower than my hands to square it. My son has (or had until last week thanks to some great advice) a really high handset at launch, so loves high fastballs because as it was pointed out to me, he can keep the feeling of staying on top even on a pitch at the letters. The problem with that is adjusting to low strikes.

        Comment


        • #5
          well you don't want to hit the top but you also don't want to hit under it.

          ted williams claimed that most swings and misses are under the ball (especially if you are late) so a correction for this is setting the sights a little higher.
          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's another of the dozens of 'opposite cues' in baseball. Obviously the bat isn't on top of the ball, but the bat is up in the zone in a timely fashion.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              Getting "on top of the ball" is a mental adjustment that the batter makes to avoid popping up or swinging and missing. The batter aims to hit higher on the baseball or even visualizes swinging over the ball. He could even be thinking of hitting the top half of the ball with the bottom of the barrel of the bat. It's not just necessarily for a high strike. At times, it is very solid thinking.

              When facing good pitching, a good four seam fastball often appears to be lower than it really is. This is especially true under the lights. So the batter exaggerates.

              Also, mechanically, there are many possible things which cause the hitter to naturally be underneath. The stride lowers the head/eyes and even if it does so minimally it's enough to matter against tough pitching.One more reason for a short stride. There are a variety of other issues that cause a hitter to tend to be underneath naturally or on a given day. A guy who hangs back on their back leg and has it buckle or collapse a little will miss underneath a lot and hit a lot of fly balls. That's fine for a big juicer making millions but we're talking for most hitters here. Also, having the back elbow up high and tight can lead to trouble. Really, there are a bunch of possible combinations that cause problems.

              It's a viable adjustment for a hitter who has to get a hit on this pitch now. Swinging above the ball might be hard to stomach for a video guru/anal retentive pseudo logician but actual hitting is pretty hard. It's all Ted Williams stuff, even if TW himself was a fly ball hitter. You know, if a batter pops up previously or fouls a bunch off then he might want to consider aiming a little higher today against this pitcher.

              Rod Carew was a pretty good hitter and he said this about hitting breaking stuff, also kind of hard to hit: "A hitter has to have an imagination. You don't swing at where the ball is but where you think it will end up."

              So when you see Johnny or Johnny's daddy are up at the commercial batting cage trying to hit the super fast machine and they are missing every single one, tell them to "get on top". They are swinging underneath the ball.
              Major Figure

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              • #8
                I feel many who announce the game, to include the two tonight, have little clue as to what really happens in the game... After the "Get on top" comment from last evening, the pregame guys, after watching a high speed clip, said the barrel actually is below the ball. Then they revel in the merits of high speed video as if it was brand new...
                "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                  What is your understanding of getting on top of a high pitch???
                  You want to feel as though you're attacking the ball from above, rather than attacking it from below. Thinking about "coming down" on the ball typically yields better results than thinking about swinging slightly up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                    I feel many who announce the game, to include the two tonight, have little clue as to what really happens in the game... After the "Get on top" comment from last evening, the pregame guys, after watching a high speed clip, said the barrel actually is below the ball. Then they revel in the merits of high speed video as if it was brand new...
                    Many years ago Tim Mac was calling a televised game. As the hitter blasted a major league popup he announced a "deep drive to left." The SS drifted back into shallow LF and settled under it. McCarver: "and the wind blows it all the way back to the Infield! " Cameras show the outfield flags hanging limp, and Tim without missing a beat says "look..that wind is blowing straight down folks! "

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pstein View Post
                      You want to feel as though you're attacking the ball from above, rather than attacking it from below. Thinking about "coming down" on the ball typically yields better results than thinking about swinging slightly up.
                      But what they spew is NOT what actually happens...
                      "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                      - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                      Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                        But what they spew is NOT what actually happens...
                        For me I use staying on top just to keep the hands above the ball. This keeps the barrel radius tighter and shorter to the ball. It keeps the hands from dropping and creating a long swing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HYP View Post
                          For me I use staying on top just to keep the hands above the ball. This keeps the barrel radius tighter and shorter to the ball. It keeps the hands from dropping and creating a long swing.
                          Same here, in general both the hands and the front elbow should be higher than the ball as it comes in and really on most swings the elbow is up over the hands, which might be a little harder to do if the ball is shoulder high. In any case feel like getting on top is kind of a visual where the hitter must quickly literally get higher than the ball when the pitch is borderline high.

                          It used to bug me but now I just try to make the expression fit. If I have a kid whose bottom hand is going down and getting on plane, while reading the pitch I might tell him to stay on top. (i.e. hands should stay up near shoulder not drop down to ball height).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HYP View Post
                            For me I use staying on top just to keep the hands above the ball. This keeps the barrel radius tighter and shorter to the ball. It keeps the hands from dropping and creating a long swing.
                            Ditto. This is my interpretation of the cue. I usually say "keep your hands on top of the ball" if they drop their hands below the plane of the pitch.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HYP View Post
                              For me I use staying on top just to keep the hands above the ball. This keeps the barrel radius tighter and shorter to the ball. It keeps the hands from dropping and creating a long swing.
                              I think that is the simplest and best description.

                              Comment

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