How To “Stay On Ball Longer” & “See It Better” Like Giancarlo Stanton

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STOP Pulling Off The Ball, Increase Batting Average, and Boost Power By Using The Closed Stance?

I know, I know,

Some well meaning coaches will think, “Well, a closed stance cuts off a hitter’s vision, and/or restricts hip movement”

I get it.  I used to believe the same thing a couple years ago,

…But what I found in my research was counter-intuitive, yet very promising for hitters.

Giancarlo Stanton: Closed Stance

Giancarlo Stanton using his “closed stance”. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

My process is to chew and digest the science, observe how elite hitters apply the movements, and then try it out!

As you’ll soon find out, Giancarlo Stanton did his homework before making this particular change in his swing.

Since there may be many of you raising the same objections I started with, I wanted to discuss:

  • Addressing the above “Study of Planes” video, then we’ll move on to…
  • Analyzing the small change that has netted BIG results for Giancarlo Stanton this season.

 

Study of Planes

My good friend Seo Perales shared the above video with me a few years ago.  By the way, he’s a multiple level black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu.

We love comparing notes because we both like to seek and explore human movement principles that are validated by science.  The only difference is, in his line of work as a Jujitsu instructor, he wants to learn how to break down the body, and I’m into maximizing its effect.

The above video demonstrates the science of movement planes.  What are considered weak and strong planes of movement from a Judo perspective.

I think you’ll find the video enlightening.

Now, you may be thinking, “A Judo video? Really?!  What can I learn from a video about Judo?”

If you find yourself camped out in ONLY baseball or softball circles, then you’re missing out on A LOT of useful information that will take your hitters to a whole other level.

The video is very applicable to hitting.

Furthermore,

My good friend Lee Comeaux from Texas, who teaches professional and amateur golfers, also brought the power of movement planes to my attention about a year ago…

He told me draw an “X” in the batter’s box from opposite corners, and have the hitter stand on either line when hitting.  He’s very versed in Thomas Myers’s book Anatomy Trains.  He says hitters standing on one diagonal leg of the “X” encourages the springiness of fascia.  He taught this to his 15yo daughter, who has hit over .600 the last couple years playing Fast-Pitch Softball in Texas, which is one of the hotbeds for both baseball and softball competition in the country.  Oh and by the way, she also hit a half dozen homers as well.

The second part of this post, I wanted to share the tipping point in addressing Giancarlo Stanton’s new closed stance…

Giancarlo Stanton & The “Dreaded” Closed Stance

The straw that broke the camel’s back for me in writing this post, came from this MLB.com article by David Adler titled, “Closing time: Stanton’s stance fueling surge: Marlins slugger’s home run tear lines up with change to batting stance in June”.

You can go there and read the full article, but I wanted to tease out the quotes from Giancarlo Stanton (and some of David Adler’s commentary), and how Stanton arrived at the batting stance change…

I just said I was going to try it. Honestly, I had about 30 minutes of work, maybe 45 minutes, before the game,” Stanton told MLB.com Sunday, when he crushed his Major League-leading 45th home run against the Mets at Citi Field. “And then 10 minutes before the game, I was like, ‘This feels more comfortable.'”

Stanton was already having a helluva year, so it’s interesting to me that he made the change when he did, typically a change like this follows a slump.  However, this wasn’t a spur of the moment decision – like it sounds from that quote – he did his homework, which you’ll read about shortly…

“My best striking position is closed,” Stanton said. “It’s not smart to try to completely change something in the middle of the season. But if you are 100 percent committed to it … well, you’ve got to be. You’ve got to trust what you’re trying to do. If you change something, you want results right away, otherwise you try to go back. But I trusted it completely and let it ride.”

Sounds contradictory doesn’t it?  To have the attitude that you can’t completely change something in the middle of the season – especially when you’re already doing well!!  But then he says you MUST commit to giving the change time – that is – IF you’ve done your homework beforehand.

I’ve heard some parents and coaches say mid-season changes aren’t smart.  I don’t like to think that way…WHY?  Because if you don’t guide the hitter, the hitter will make changes on their own.  And if they don’t get highly resourceful on the subject, then this could lead to DISASTER with all the junk hitting info on the net these days.

David Adler did fantastic research illustrating the evolution of Giancarlo Stanton’s closed stance in this Tweet:

In the earlier mentioned article, Adler states…

“Stanton’s closing of his batting stance has correlated with his massive power surge. On June 18, he had 17 home runs in 282 plate appearances; since June 19, he has 28 in 236.

When Stanton hits from those positions [open or straight up], his front side can come open before the pitch arrives, leaving him exploitable.

The closed stance is a natural counter. When Stanton is already turned inward to start, his rotation drives him into the pitch, instead of causing him to fade away from it.”

By the way, for those not doing the math:

  • From start of season to June 18th, he hit 1 homer every 16.5 plate appearances, and
  • From June 19th on, he hit 1 homer every 8.4 plate appearances

He cut his rate in half!!!!  The closed stance was the ONLY change to his swing in that time frame, so this makes an interesting case study with a decent sample size of plate appearances.  See for yourself with the following David Adler Tweet:

David Adler adds some terms of comparision you may be familiar with…

“With his adjusted stance, Stanton has been driving the ball in the air more often. His rate of fly balls and line drives, per Statcast™, has risen from 41.5 percent prior to June 19 to 50.3 percent since. Stanton’s average exit velocity on those balls has increased from 97.6 mph to 100.8 mph, the highest in the Majors over that time.”

I don’t care that Stanton is a beast, if you increase your Line Drive and Fly Ball Rates (Launch Angle), and Ball Exit Speeds that much, you’ll make a lot of Ground-ball teams VERY VERY upset.  Small hitters CAN and DO take advantage of this formula too.  Statcast has given hitters the cheat codes to increase offensive productivity!

Furthermore, in the Adler article…

“[His stance] gets him in the position he wants to be in. It looks like it’s keeping him on the ball more, and he seems like he’s seeing it better,” said Christian Yelich, who’s played alongside Stanton as long as any current Marlin — since 2013, when he was 21 and Stanton 23. “Some guys have different problems than others. You go about fixing them or covering them in different ways. It’s all about feel. That’s what works for him, that feel.”

Look at that bold sentence once more because that is one of the most critical keys to this whole thing.  Yelich is also tapping into making extreme adjustments, for example, Stanton’s challenge in the past has been pulling off, maybe because of when he tragically got hit in the face a few years ago.  Whatever the reason, the extreme adjustment (a closed stance), helps him stay on the ball longer.

CLICK HERE for a video I did on how to make adjustments…the scientific term for this is “Paradoxical Intention”.

Now, here is where the article gets into the research that brought Giancarlo Stanton to the point of taking the stance change seriously…

“But at a level of the game where emulation is fundamental, success begetting imitators, Stanton found his prototypes: Nolan Arenado, Matt Kemp, Adrian Beltre, prominent hitters who do close off. He recognized past greats, too: Hall of Famer Andre Dawson works as a special assistant to the Marlins, and he hit with a closed stance in his playing career. Stanton didn’t copy the technical aspects of their batting stances, but their accomplishments gave him precedent to actually make the change himself.

Some on Twitter have written this change off as a band-aide, avoiding a true fix.  A true fix?  Are you kidding me?!  Cutting his home-run per plate appearance rate in half IS NOT a true fix!?  Dude!!  Success leaves clues.  These people are saying Giancarlo Stanton is “playing to the slice”, where a golfer who chronically slices the ball will angle his body at setup so they don’t have to fix the real problem…which is not squaring up the club face at impact.

This is a poor attempt to protect an inflexible teaching philosophy, and sheer laziness on their part to get educated on their craft they claim to know a lot about.  You instructors seriously think Giancarlo Stanton is not “squaring the ball up” at impact since June 19th and is just “playing the slice”?  That is laughable.  You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

This is the problem I have with instructors with inflexible hitting systems…they’re WILLFULLY IGNORANT to experimenting with things that could push their hitters forward, especially movements validated by science.  We’re ALL in this together, and we’re ALL helping hitters.  It’s NOT about your ego or protecting “your brand” coaches.

But I digress…

Here’s some insight into Giancarlo Stanton’s thought process with the change…

“I just know the guys with success,” Stanton said. “Arenado and Kemp, those guys, you know you can have a high average with it. So that kind of gave me the green light to try it…I knew it could work. Not very many people did it. But I know people like Hawk and them did it in the old days — and it worked for them, too.”

 

The Bottom Line…

Giancarlo Stanton: Tweet About Closed Stance

A day or two after re-tweeting Homer Bush’s Tweet about Giancarlo Stanton’s closed stance, I received this response from @Omaha_Outlaws4…

I understand your objections that a closed stance may cut off a hitter’s vision, and/or restricts hip movement.  You’ve heard me talk a lot about “keeping the back foot sideways”, well, this plays right into that.

Matt Nokes is religious on restricting hip movement to the point of impact with keeping the back foot sideways.  Homer Bush agrees in this interview.  So are the Backspin Tee guys Taylor and Jarrett Gardner.  LIGHT BULB! The closed stance does this naturally.

The main benefit of restricting hip movement at impact (includes keeping back foot sideways) that you’ll hear from Nokes, Bush, and the Gardner Brothers, is to keep the barrel in the hitting zone longer.  This increases BA and Slug%.

Here’s my advice:

  1. Chew and digest the science,
  2. Observe how elite hitters apply the movements, and then
  3. Try it out!

If it doesn’t work after giving it the ol’ college try, then toss it.

As many of you know, I will gladly eat crow and change my hitting system IF you can show me the science, swing experiments, and many elite hitting examples that I can’t ignore the issue.

This is an informal Part-1 to a Zepp swing experiment I’ll be doing on the Giancarlo Stanton closed stance in the near future.  So stay tuned…

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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.

It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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67 Comments

  1. Big Taco

    Joey –
    Interesting stuff. What are your thoughts on hitters setting up with an open stance and stepping to a closed stance as they swing? Seems like this would have the same effect.

  2. Clint

    Great article. Like a true scientist you are willing to follow the evidence even if it goes against past understanding.

    Unless I missed something…the evidence in the article is all correlative. Correlation does not prove causation. I have no problem with the change. If he was flying open too early then a closed stance would help him compensate and stay on the ball longer. There are other factors that could contribute to higher success however.

    Different pitchers, different stadiums, different time of day, different pitch locations, better pitch recognition due to improved vision developed over the course of the season, and perhaps even more…his mental game may have improved dramatically by that point in the season…and success hitting is largely mental.

    I am not discounting your article. Just pointing out that there are other variables to consider. One thing I have to struggle with now due this article: I teach slightly open to my young students who are not getting their hips through. Having them land slightly open (30deg) is an almost immediate cure. I suppose once they get the feeling and become successful I could put them back to a closed stance. One player had 20+ strikeouts in a row…I changed this (and worked BIG TIME on her mental game) and she had maybe 2 Ks in the next 30 ABs…had a 90% contact rate). So there is another correlation I could make…that landing open was the reason for her success.

    Hopefully I am making a valid point and not coming across as bashing. Thanks for all the info you continue to put out for us!

    • Joey Myers

      Clint, you’re right! Absolutely. All those factors are…well, factors. Over time with a bigger sample sizes, we’ll find out more. I think with Stanton, the extreme adjustment was the ticket for him. I think a closed stance will help hitters that step out or pull off…OR, train hitters that step out, to stride in towards the plate, and most likely they’ll stride straight. They need to FEEL striding in, to get striding straight. Thanks for the kind words, and your constructive criticism wasn’t bashing, like some out there.

  3. Thomas Hanson

    Seems to me the closed stance puts you in show numbers position and by opening front foot on stride batter can get fascia stretch that way.

    • Joey Myers

      You’re absolutely right on point there Dr. Hanson! I agree. If you look at Miguel Cabrera, who keeps his back foot sideways VERY WELL on all pitch locations, he starts with both toes pointing slightly towards the catcher, then he strides “open” (but it looks like the front foot is closed to a chest-view camera angle)…but if you look at where he starts with his closed feet, he lands open.

  4. jayroach4@comcast.net

    I have been instructing my hitters to go from a slightly open stance (for stability) to a 10 degree closed stance per the hitting system. Are we talking about more than 10 degrees closed? Would the experiment be to go from an open stand ego a closed, then from closed to closed? Or would it be even to closed versus closed to closed?

  5. Djura

    I don’t like it Joey. I feel it’s harder to control your direction. It’s harder for me to explain unless you followed my logic from previous comments… So for me you inherently cut the first swing down which is used for at least guidance and as thus have a harder time hitting across your face with your ribcage.

    At the end of your really big and strong it may work but how many little power hitters set up this way…. Obviously we are talking set up not finish…

    Also the video didn’t play for me….I’ll check later…

    I still prefer open to close….As for my foot… my foot is always around 65 degrees relative to my ankle….Now relative to my pelvis, hip or the plate depends on the pitch… I hope you get that….😉

    Last note: I do wonder if having excellent posture changes the feel of this stance… if I were assuming I would think it would…..But when I do this I fail to have the downward direction to the ball which always keeps me in check…. With that action, I always know where I’m headed…

    Without it I feel like a slow pitch softball hack… lost too… it actually makes me feel like I have no control… something to think about…

    I have NO TOUCH to hitting… I don’t think this is ideal…. but what do I know…

    ~DM

  6. Djura

    I hope it’s obvious that I think control is most important… and I feel that stanton’s new approach has less control than mine. Notice that it’s possible that his earlier stance didn’t have more control if he doesn’t approach as I would do this could be a step up for him… but I’ll not go there… remember bigger people can WILL the ball…And if you look at Aaron, Williams, Bonds… staton is much different in load and approach…

    ~DM

  7. Djura

    Last note… as to my feel… I’m a righty who’s left eye dominant… that can change how I direct my forces….somewhat ????

    • Joey Myers

      Yes sir…Djura, did you read the whole post? I say this because I address a couple of your concerns in there. Also, I don’t agree with writing the results of his adjustment off as “big people can just WILL the ball”. I know you had trouble watching the Planes video, please try it again. You also missed in the article when Giancarlo Stanton talked about his inspiration for this adjustment, guys like: Nolan Arenado (not big), Matt Kemp, Adrian Beltre (not big), and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. You can also add quite a few of the hitters in the 70’s and 80’s to that, including Cal Ripken Jr. Donaldson even starts closed off a tad. Don’t get too caught up in the friendly confines of your own system is my warning. I appreciate your comments though…

  8. Djura

    I do think being closed in your stance is ok… but for Stanton I might have to look at it again… he really gets into the ground like WR do with doing an out route… I believe you mention before how to get down and cut or rotate… I also don’t see the massive side bend in his stance… obviously he has them…

    For me he seems to have the bottom hand push extremely built in his swing…

    For me I have to have that bottom hand push and top hand pull FEEL than get into that great hitting position or else I’m lost…

    Doing it his way…I’m just aiming and just guessing where the barrel will be with either a throw or a turn…I already guess (anticipate) where the ball will be…I don’t want to do both…

    I don’t like that…

    So what I don’t really like is his shoulder alignment but I guess he takes care of it by being knee deep in the ground… and he had an unbelievable tight coil.

    I like going into the ground than I go get the ball ( like a down and out)… it’s hard to explain ….

    And better yet… it’s hard to know if this is a muscle memory thing or not… for me my approach is just a better mechanic….but I don’t know… what say you.. I hope you understand what I’m saying…

    So for me… it’s messes with my lateral tilt… I guess that might be a way to explain it…

    I’m curious what you think…Thanks Joey.

    ~DM

  9. Djura

    I’ll try the video tomorrow…as it’s late…

    Joey for me… the open stance is already built in with your grip….. so when I’m open I’m actually not but it appears that way… so my lateral tilt is a product of getting my stance back to closed where the stance was already set… in some weird way.

    Night

    ~DM

  10. Joe

    Joey,

    Great article as always! I understand your logic. However, Stanton did some things that made him vulnerable to pitches on the outside half. Taking his being hit in the face, and his tendency to fly open as a consequence, out of the equation, Stanton did not do the following:

    (1) He never really closed his top half with an effective counter movement/rotation, taking his front shoulder down and in. Thus he was prone to flying open.

    (2) He didn’t tuck his back elbow in to his back side ribs but separated that back elbow early. Thus, he tended to hit around the ball. He still does that but closing off his front foot compensates for that, minimizing the negative consequences. See your presentations about centripetal and centrifugal forces.

    (3) He didn’t adjust his front elbow with the proper bend in his final turn to enable him to adjust to varying pitch planes. He says he patterned his new swing off of Adrian Beltre but he didn’t copy how Beltre utilizes house elbows. Reference your presentations on the law of the conservation of angular momentum.

    Keep in mind that Stanton is 6-6, 260. That can allow him to hit against his front leg. He just out “beasts” the damn ball. Can’t argue with the results. It works for him. But I think the statement in the article by his teammate Christian Yelich speaks volumes. “Some guys have different problems than others,” Yelich said. “You go about fixing them or covering them in different ways. It’s all about feel. That’s what works for him, that feel.” It works for Stanton. Shouldn’t work for Yelich too?

    • Joey Myers

      Good points Joe. It’s interesting how something simple as closing off his stance, allowed other human movement “rule” dominoes to fall. On a similar parallel note, a couple years ago Mookie Betts changed his bat…he started swinging an Axe bat, and this seemed to allow different human movement “rules” to fall as well (something having to do with grip brought in fascial lines he wasn’t using before). Little things can often lead to taking care of big things…one rock can kill three birds 😉

  11. Djura

    So Joe are you saying Stanton just hooks into the ball and his new closed stance enables him to avoid the consequences of just hooking… Obviously he does more than just hooking… So he does plenty of good things…so nobody is saying his swing isn’t good but we are comparing his swing to THE SWING… and if your saying he’s kind of hooking without full control…I would agree…

    When I try batting like him I feel like I can’t get on the ball…I would say his tight coil, great posture and close stance are enabling him to avoid the consequences but than again pitchers don’t have his stats with this new stance…

    Now if he has success this could be very meaningful… As this could be an approach for Consideration but I would always start from the ideal which is not this stance…

    I think the notion that some things work for some people …blah…blah…blah… comes from not knowing the specifics…Every person has there posture which makes everyone work slightly different in some weird way but we all have the same parts… our parts unless of something not typical should work the same way in the IDEAL…

    The swing is a controlled hook and stanton with his really good posture and his closed stance has more control than before but his approach is not a controlled hook… it’s wrong but that doesn’t mean anything as he makes it work for him…and I hate that statement…

    Also today’s batter is different than 50 years ago… we were embarrassed to strike out…Not no more…

    ~DM

  12. Djura

    Joey… regarding the grip allowing for engaging different fascia lines…

    I’ve been trying forever to discuss this point… your hands and grip should engage most if not all your fascia lines…using your nerves as well to trigger said engaged lines too…

    It’s usually the lead hand that good players fail to use to make them great…And beginners use their top hand wrong….

    The fascia lines also go to your head, neck and everywhere else…

    The grip, neck and head along with the feet are always poorly understood….

    Also the fact that our truck is held up by two legs… so as we are turning either way… our axis at least on the ground is tricky…

    Later…

    ~DM

  13. Joe

    Joey,

    I’m not disputing the closed stance activating facial lines. I’m sure there is a anatomical basis for Stanton’s recent success. However, I think if he did the things I mentioned in my last post, he wouldn’t have had to close himself off. Another thing, he stood very far from the plate, which is another cause of his difficulty with pitches away. Refer to past slo-motion swings of his on You Tube.

    If you are now advocating the closed stance approach, what becomes counter-rotational movement which engages the facial and muscular X pattern? Can you do both? Will there be enough time to do both?

    • Joey Myers

      I like the discussion fellas. The video at the top of this post shows the power of motion planes to Stanton’s change that’s part of the science. The body’s use of fascial lines is much more effective when the springy X pattern can be engaged. To answer your question Joe about Stanton being far off the plate, great observation…it’s because he’s 6’7″ and his reach is long compared to Andrew McCutchen or Jose Altuve, so he MUST stand off the plate so he doesn’t get “handcuffed”. The same can be said of Miggy, Judge, and Griffey Jr. The longer the wing span, the farther from the plate they must start.

  14. Joe

    Djura,

    If you check his swing prior to the recent changes, he was far away from the plate. I feel that this was also a cause of his problem.

  15. Djura

    Joe, I’ll check out some old videos as this is interesting…

    Joey, Part of me thinks if my posture was at it’s best perhaps I would be able to engage my swing using statons stance but I’m not sure….I feel like he’s missing an angle and just hooking and using his really great posture and extremely tight coil to make up for it…

    I do notice that he seems to be standing taller than years past…But in not sure….. later…
    ~DM

  16. Nob

    Love the article but not sure a closed stance would increase power numbers in a player who is not a physical specimen such as Giancarlo. He is strong enough to hit the ball over the fence without using much lower body rotation. I wonder if the distance of his last 28 homeruns have decreased. Thanks for what you do. Nob

  17. Michael Sheffield

    Joey-
    After watching this video and reading your post I went to YouTube in an attempt to find other complete slow motion video of GS’s swing. I came across an interesting swing analysis that stated the his swing was completely level, parallel to the ground. When watching it does somewhat appear that way. However, on closer observation it appears that the shoulder tilt and bent back knee put the bat on a slightly upward swing path (ie. the pitch plane). The interesting thing to me is his powerful straight arm bat extension after contact. Its almost as if his “feel” is to keep the bat level which naturally forces good extension and keeps the bat on the pitch plane longer.

    • Joey Myers

      You’re right on Michael! The term “level” is subjective and I wonder as to its definition when I hear online gurus use it. GS still uses his shoulders to get to differing pitch heights. Others say his swing is more Merry-Go-Round than Ferris Wheel.

  18. Joe

    Michael,

    One swing at one pitch plane doesn’t make a hitter. If he was level to the ground, he’d never hit a pitch down in the zone. I guess video clips are like statistics – there are lies, damn lies, and then there are video clips of hitters.

  19. Joe

    Joey,

    I think we better bring Max Scherzer into this conversation, if you saw how Scherzer dismantled Stanton’s swing last night.

  20. Djura

    Micheal, that extension is built in his swing… He holds it and moves around that point…The problem he has he just lets it go with the swing…. he’s suppose to trigger it for full control of that plane and use it as a guidance not a guess which is what he does… He should use that hold and lightly touch his direction… Badically he’s doing it out of sequence….

    Bonds and Aaron does this really well… there swing just come right up to the right spot and they just turn…

    At best he’s pulling on the handle with his top hand towards the catcher but still this is not the first move….

    So this is a control difference…. meaning he’s not using both hands to control the bat head….

    Which he can get away with since he’s really big and does everything very well… For example, he gets a great coil and solidified really well (tight) and gets his feet really hard into the ground like he’s trying to move the EARTH….

    The fact is we have two legs and in order to get in plane we can control it to get around our rear leg or built it in… my view is why wouldn’t you want FULL control… well the answer is you would if you knew how to do it…

    Just like all the other questions…

    Why would you want power…

    The eye sees what it wants…

    For example we really should NOT say hands as one unit…. each hand has 3 major forces….

    Feet as well…

    Hips too… Image that hips can be interdependent… having movements on there own and as a unit…

    For example, as per my understanding and I may be wrong, the glutes are a 3 dimensional muscles and works in a plurality of angles… other leg muscles are not versatile….

    At the end, there’s a tensegrity model which is differcult to model… it’s like the ones that can reverse engineer it may model it best but who know if there reverse engineering the SWING…………

    😉

    ~DM

  21. Djura

    Michael, his swing appears level because he has a really tight coil… I read an article way back that studied these angles… the article said if you can get the bat speed to around 102mph you will carry more if you swing level to the ground… To start… we swing in relation to our body not the ground… Tighter coil, more level… more importantly the swing is about pointing to your target and hitting it… If you do it all right your swing takes care of itself… Said another way, do think of the angles when you throw… up, flat or down….

    Also, the pitch dictates your swing if doing everything right… So we will never swing level to a ball at our knees and we will never upper cut a ball chin high…

    I think it’s best for the batter to produce the best swing and than just GO GET THE BALL and let the body do its thing and in no hit lasers… and never think in terms of angle, bat speed….blah..blah…

    My two cents but what do I know… I never played pro 😱

    ~DM

  22. Djura

    Joey, the more I think about it the more I’m coming around on Stanton adjustment to a certain extent….

    To start, I was taken back by the amount Stanton closed himself off…

    1st, Stanton is very tall so that space we see might needs to be viewed with regards to his length… So if JUST LOOKING at the distance one mare fall trap to the actual space rather the distance covered based on his size… So the distortion for me was when I was replicating the stance without adjusting that length in my head…

    2nd, Stanton has excellent standing posture and further gets into better posture in his new stance…Getting an unbelievable tight coil…

    3rd, Stanton is taller in his new stance and his feet seem narrower… thus giving him leverage some or enough down and out…. He falls really well…

    Some points….

    It seems like he’s using his lead hand/forearm correctly but hard to tell….

    Something I noticed as I’ve been fixing my posture now over a year…

    My move which I labeled “Getting strong” was crazy BIG…. like I was about to kill something… I’m talking my first move… as my posture improves that first big move became calmer…my intention has not changed ONLY my standing or normal posture….

    Hard to say but there is something there because I started open and obviously finished closed… If you can read between the lines than my previous summaries still stand and are even clearer…

    It’s all in the hands, feet and what smokers do 😉

    ~DM

  23. Joe

    Just to add another aspect of all this after seeing an overhead shot of Stanton last night on ESPN. He stands very far from the plate, on the back line and about 4 – 6 inches from the 3rd base sideline of the batter’s box. That’s pretty far from the plate!

    If he was to use a parallel stance and employ a straight ahead stance, he would never get the requisite plate coverage on pitches away. Thus, his prior difficulties.

    Not to disparage the fascial aspect of all this because I dont have the expertise to do so, but I can see why, from a purely baseball standpoint, he went to a closed stance. It was either that or move closer to the plate and keep his parallel stance and forward stride with a slightly open front foot (at least 45 degrees).

    So, I would caution instructors and coaches from teaching and hitters from employing a Stantonesque closed stance and stride into the plate.

  24. Djura

    Great observation Joe! This is pretty interesting… Making me think hard about a few things….There are two ways to get on plane that works…. They both involve the lead hand and other body parts… For me, using your top hand would be terrible… At any rate, this clip is making me think…Confusing me at times… Anyway I’m out…

    ~DM

  25. Joe

    Djura,

    The body parts are linked – bent front knee, front shoulder, front elbow, flat palms, back arm angle, hinged back knee, back shoulder angle – all work to get a pitcher on pitch plane.

  26. Djura

    Joe your absolutely right…It’s all linked but how to get that GO moment to get it all going is what I’m concerned and directed too…and Stanton stance is interesting…

    Ive been giving advice to a friend regarding golf and basically telling my friend it’s just like swinging a rod like baseball… He has some success but can’t get this hitting across your face thing…and challenged me to pick up a club and practice what I preached…

    I never really played golf… I went to the range a few times but I can count on my hands how many times I had a golf club in my hands…

    Well… the first think I noticed was I do a few things by just holding a bat in my hand that I don’t holding a club….Basically, I noticed a few things I did with a bat that was only brought to my attention because I didn’t do them with a club…

    The major thing I noticed was I couldn’t hit across my face in a controlled manner… We played 9 holes, again my first time playing… By the 7th hole I got it…. Again it relates to the lead hand/wrist/ forearm….

    What made me think was swinging my a club gave me a better understanding of swinging a bat… I might do this crazy thing and pick up golf… My friend actually challenged me and basically said if you know it so well just start playing golf and perhaps if you practice what you preach you might find yourself winning some money one day as golf has many older golfers…

    Joe we are connected with alignment, connective tissue and nerves…etc…

    Your right…

    ~DM

  27. Joe

    Djura,

    That’s what makes baseball so great – the variation in stances, swings, etc. I guess it becomes relative – to each his own. The quest for uniformity may be fruitless, though Joey did an article on that.

    • Joey Myers

      I did Joe…yes, you go to a bowling alley and elect to put bumpers in the gutters, so you don’t embarrass yourself. Human movement principles validated by science are the bumpers…I don’t care what path the bowling takes down the lane, just as long as it stays between the bumpers. Between the lines are a hitter’s fingerprint, but the original “lines” MUST stay intact if the hitter is going to be successful at hitting the ball as hard and as far as possible.

  28. Joe

    Joey,

    I’m not disagreeing with you and I meant no offense. I know you did that article. I believe there are universal principles that apply to all hitters, one of which is the separation between the upper and lower halves creating torque, which has been said to be the source of batspeed. However, you get guys like Stanton and his closed stance that take that separation out of the equation. Jose Altuve is another one.

    You get these guys out there who refute the principles you set with what they are doing, ones you and I both believe in. Byron Buxton of the Twins has gone to a no-stride swing under the tutelage of his manager, Paul Molitor, whose no stride swing landed him in the HOF. But, whatever happened to linear momentum as one of those human movement principles? Yes, I agree in those bumpers/boundaries you discussed but what we see is uniformity giving say to relativism, to each your own or whatever floats your boat. That’s until they run into Max Scherzer. 😉

    • Joey Myers

      Joe, there are many different ways to skin a cat, however when you’re teaching young hitters, as young as 7yo, putting them in a no-stride isn’t very productive. For whatever reason my hitters are calling me a hitting magician. It’s not that there is magic involved, just human movement principles validated by science. Like you and others have said, big hitters can get away with things because of their size, but I think Stanton is onto something, namely because of the science. No offense was taken brother. I know you mean well.

  29. Djura

    Joe, I think Stanton has incredible feet torque at the least… for me I think I see incredible separation too… and some upper body resistance and other body resistances…. I haven’t really looked too closely… usually when I see something I just grab a bat and try to copy the stance and try to get all I can from the stance….but I may be wrong…

    ~DM

  30. Djura

    Joey, I think if you did an article regarding the lead hand or both hands that would be interesting… I know I’ll have some angles that you may find interesting especially if you haven’t heard these angles…I’m sure it could open a flood of comments too…

    By the way have you heard anything regarding Thomas Myers?

    • Joey Myers

      It would be interesting. What do you mean have I heard anything regarding Thomas Myers? You referring to doing an interview with him? I’m so busy I haven’t given it another thought. Someday for sure.

  31. Joe

    Djura,

    I posted my comment on the “One Swing Fits All” article. That’s where it all started, I guess. Btw, I agree with all of those principles that Joey listed. It’s thst uniformity is hard to see in today’s hitters, though I think that the laws of human movement science would, more or less, require that. What we have is a “to each his own” scenario.

  32. Joe

    Joey,

    I do not disagree. We’re on the same page. I heard John Smoltz being asked on MLB how he’d pitch to Stanton. He said, without hesitation, he’d run his fastball up and in and sliders away, of course.
    I think that guys with closed stances who come into the plate with their front foot are vulnerable up and in, and away.

    I’m a proponent of getting the separation between the upper and lower halves, utilizing a counter rotational movement of the front shoulder, creating the downward front shoulder angle, with a parallel stance and stride at least a 45 degree angle. Your fascia advocacy, along with the serape effect makes sense in this regard. That counter rotational movement conforms to the body’s anatomy. I’m stuck there, I guess, but Stanton doesn’t get that counter rotational movement. He’s kind of rigid and doesn’t stay connected with his hands. Rhys Hoskins’ minimal counter rotational movement is intriguing as guys like Miguel Cabrera can’t do that forever with age catching up.

    I like what Carlos Correa does. Carlos Gomez is textbook when he’s right and has his head screwed on. Andrew Benintendi is good and should be your new poster child for small guys.

  33. Djura

    Joe, Stanton does have separation but it’s built in… also don’t let separation (rib cage and pelvis) fool you…It doesn’t stop there… it goes all the way to the feet and hands… and if done correctly it may appear like it ALL COMES back to the START…

    Joey… you said it’s not magic… well depends on your angle… FOR ME magic is no more than an illusion that may reveal itself…and yes science can prove the magic trick but usually if the magician just explains the illusion most people don’t need to do the science….it’s obvious but hindsight is a bitch…

    Yea… I thought you were trying to get Thomas Myers…

    As you know I been working on my posture and had incredible results… mind boggling to me…

    As for Stanton, I’m not entirely sure but I think that if you have great posture than you can close off more… the only problem I have with my own statement is I don’t think he’s really closed off… this is why he is standing taller… he still gets to his rear and than his lead side in Good transition…He looks really good… im not sure if he uses his hands and wrist correctly and I think being closed off makes it harder to use your hands and wrist in order to get in the correct position since you start “closed off” …. what messing with my head is the extent or gap but that has to be because of his height…

    So to sum it up, I feel like his gap is distorted based on his size and he would have a hard time triggering his swing for direction but since his posture is really good he can load that trigger to go with his swing… but ultimately he is throwing the bat head but since his trigger is loaded so well based on his posture he appears to be hitting not throwing… he is top hand dominate with incredible posture….

    Although I’m a righty that is left eye dominant… I starting to think this has more of an angle that I thought…

    ~DM

  34. Djura

    Joey… the stance is OK… the batter just needs near perfect posture IN ORDER to get his neck and head around… Starting open helps with the batters who can’t turn around and look for that long line telling someone to stand up straight by pushing their shoulders back…

    Nice observation… perhaps if perfect posture is what we are looking for that this stance MAY be the —— of THE SWING… who knows…

    ~DM

  35. Djura

    Last observation… he’s really tall so his strike zone changes but does it change in both direction and if not what advantages may that give him… just a thought!

    ~DM

  36. Dave

    My son has put the closed swing to the test. Sample size isn’t that large yet, but his average has jumped and balls hit in the air have increased dramatically, (quality line drives and deep fly balls). He has never hit inside pitches better than he is now with the closed “Stanton” stance. It’s been four weeks of games and probably 8 batting cage sessions with the stance and he loves the results. He was a good hitter prior, but much better now. Power has increased too, prob added 20 feet to batted ball distance.

  37. Djura

    Great Dave… I have one question if you don’t mind. Did you son close off before when he was hitting. So did he start open and finished close? And when you say he starts close now, is it substantial distance, for example, 1 or 2 inches or 7 to 8 inches… Obviously it’s substantial in results…. Thanks…

    ~DM

  38. Dave

    DJURA,
    Prior to using the “Stanton type stance” my son had his feet and toes inline prior to his stride. After stride he would probably be offset about 2 inches, with his front foot striding toward the plate.

    I would have to say his front foot is now offset about six prior to stride and reaching a 7 inch offset after stride. I will have to get an accurate measurement on that though. He is only twelve, so I just have him do what feels comfortable.

    With the closed stance I too notice that he shows his numbers and he shines the nob of his bat at the catchers feet with little effort. I think he is really getting his springy facia involved with his new stance. With his old, more traditional stance, he would have a difficult time getting the nob of his bat to shine on the catchers feet and i don’t think he adequately showed his numbers.

    I thought for sure with the closed stance he would have a problem turning on inside pitches. That is not the case at all. He is hitting inside pitches better than ever and still does good on the outside pitches too.

  39. Djura

    Dave,

    It’s pretty awesome when you do a minor adjustment which feels better and more importantly substantial increases productivity….

    This is definitely interesting as culturally this has always been a no-no….perhaps as long as I can remember…

    By any chance does your son notice any difference in the lead shoulder. For example, does he notice more control of the lead shoulder or a sort of a slotting of the lead shoulder or lead elbow….Does the lead shoulder feel differently at all?

    And if you have time it would be awesome if you updated us with the results once you have a larger sample… I would be interested in contact ( strike outs and average) and the power number….

    ~DM

  40. Dave

    DJURA,

    I will ask him about the front shoulder and elbow. I will also keep you posted on his stats, when I have a larger sample size.

    Dave

  41. Djura

    Joey regarding my posture. I can’t even start to explain this… I would sound like I’m from Mars and additional I wouldn’t want others to do what I did as they can easily hurt themselves…

    I did start out with Thomas Myers book and basically rolled every part of my body to a certain extent but than I noticed other things not usually expressed…

    I haven’t seen exactly what I’m doing anywhere but it would be similar to the structural integrity people. Something like Rolfing which I only read about briefly…What I’m doing is just reversing my body’s distortions… it’s easy if you understand… you really don’t need any of the nonsensical things people are selling just an understanding on how our muscle and body works…So people talk about myofascia release… I can ” release” without a foam roller or any device…. It depends on what you think release means…

    All I know is I only understood this process because I did it when I swong a bat… I had bad posture but when I touched a bat and I loaded I ended up with perfect posture and I knew what that feel felt like… if I only made the connection than perhaps I could have had perfect posture while walking or other places…

    If you ever notice I usually say either you have near perfect posture or can get yourself into perfect posture….

    The funny thing about it is ive seen all the connections and distortions in my body. I’ve seen how everything works… For example I’ve seen how our little hands just holds it all in place… And it’s happening so fast that I remember my hands and feet just a year ago when they were dead… but I didn’t know…

    It’s truly amazing especially since I was about to get shoulder and back work… big time work.. I have no pain in either now…

    The funny thing is if you look at the big picture… it all makes sense at least in engineering terms…

    ~DM

  42. Djura

    Joey I wouldn’t want to give away the details because I’m afraid people may hurt themselves… and by that I mean badly as I’m not a professional in body work. There are about 5 positions that are almost like absolutes in terms of releasing, unwinding or whatever I’m doing is called.. but you also need to know how to GO with it… So it would be easy for some to get ahead of themselves or force it… I did and it’s no fun having spine and neck pain for 3 days without sleep… I couldn’t go to the doctor because they wouldn’t understand….That was scary and teaching moment…

    Shit if you want good posture, For the common person… work on your big toe and feet, do serrate anterior work ( push push up, dynamic hug), front squats, roll the shit out of your hands and feet, pec minor and pelvic floor…and try your best to hold extension when running….and some kettle bell…

    ~DM