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How To Teach “Pull Happy” Hitters An Opposite Field Approach

I Need Your Help…

But before I get to the “BIG ask”,

How to Hit to the Opposite Field: Jim Thome, Mark DeRosa, & Lauren Shehadi

Mark DeRosa and Jim Thome helping Lauren Shehadi of MLBNetwork to hit to the opposite field. Photo courtesy: MLBNetwork YouTube Channel

I want you to watch the video above, where Mark DeRosa and Jim Thome help teach Lauren Shehadi how to hit the ball to the opposite field (she claims to be a chronic pull hitter).

It’s a fun video with some cool sticky coaching stuff in it.

In the video, please pay particular attention to the following:

  • What are some of the things either Thome or DeRo offered Lauren that didn’t work?
  • What were some of the things either Thome or DeRo offered that did work?
  • What did Lauren do when she didn’t understand a concept “Don’t bail out”, and then what did DeRo/Thome do or say to clarify?
  • Notice the use of positive reinforcement when she did something right…more on this at a later date, I’m currently reading a GAME CHANGING book for coaches called Don’t Shoot The Dog that goes more into this.  Sorry, only paperback version available on Amazon.

Now, here are a couple “BIG asks” (you don’t have to answer all)

  • What are the top two mistakes you see coaches make teaching pull happy hitters to hit to the opposite field?
  • What are your top two drills, sticky coaching cues, and/or hitting aids that consistently help pull happy hitters hit “oppo”?
  • If you had only 4 weeks – and a million dollars on the line – to train a pull happy hitter to hit with power to the opposite field, what would the training look like?

Pull happy hitting is going to be a MAJOR challenge as hitters climb the playing career ladder.  Extreme shifts are becoming a reality nowadays.

Great baseball minds like Homer Bush said in his book Hitting Low In The Zone,  that in order to hit .300, hitters MUST be able to lift the low pitch AND hit the ball to the opposite field.

Consider this quote from Justin Turner, who at the time of this writing is hitting .364 with 11 HR’s and 19 2B’s (a little over halfway through the season):

“Today, with the way defenses shift, you’re out.  Especially if you don’t run that well.  You don’t beat the shift by hitting around it or through it, you beat the shift by hitting over it.”

Someday your hitters will face a shift, and if they aren’t prepared, they’ll fail way more than they have to.  Be proactive coaches.

THANK YOU in advance for YOUR comments 😀

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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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39 Comments

  1. Joe

    Well, they have her moving around the batter’s box so as to position herself better to hit the ball the other way. That doesn’t happen with a pitched ball, especially a mid-90s fastball. If you move your body so as to hit the ball to the opposite field, naturally you’re going to do it. That and she is striding into the tee, the better to hit the ball the other way.

    Notice how DeRosa is teaching her to hit to CF and he was doing so out of a power V position with a rigid front arm. DeRosa was a “handsy” hitter by his own admission (refer to that segment he did with Josh Donaldson that created such a stir in hitting circles).

    One thing they didn’t address was where contact is made and what the bat angle is when going opposite field. Let the ball travel or hit it out front – that was not addressed by Thome and DeRosa.

  2. Djura

    Sorry Joey I haven’t watch the video… I just don’t want to hear pros get it wrong… it’s just bothersome as many look to them for advice and wouldn’t give others the common curtesy of just an ear…….

    But to comment on your million dollar approach in 4 weeks… I would make sure the pull happy hitter knows the FACT that they don’t have THE SWING and they DONT know how to hit a ball…. if you have one fielder away and they pitch you away and you can’t drive that ball passed one F******* fielder… and you think you know how to hit….

    If your a pro… just do what got you there unless you trust your sources and self…

    As for hitt oppo…. you GO GET THE BALL…. Lets start at step (2) you go with your EYES, lead elbow and your FRONT KNEE or slings or connections……..etc….

    Than (3) you go with your lead pointer in combination with your top of rib cage and hold that pinch 🤔until you push your rear elbow to the ball….

    So prior to that you hit the location of the ball that directs the ball to oppo… so if you think you hit the ball down to make it go up please don’t think about this as this might blow your mind… at any rate I’m being funny…. but you DONT think WHERE ( in front, besides or behind) the zone…. it’s WHERE on the ball… and F****** drive it….

    Just like throwing a ball.. it’s not up, level than down…. you throw the ball… you hit and if your driving it… The body will react appropriately… read that last line…. the body would unless your not set up and approaching correctly…

    Also, saying elbow and knee is misleading but I’ll not go there..

    Anyway…. I’m out Joey…. I hope you enjoy my point of view….. Later…..

    ~DM

  3. Joe

    Joey,

    As to your questions as to how to teach how to hit to the opposite field – it depends on what approach we are using. Where are we making contact – are we letting the ball get deep (a method that is falling into disfavoir as of late), or are we making contact our in front (a method that is trending)? It’s the old Emerson quote about principles and methods. It depends on the principle – let the ball run deep or make contact out in front? State the principle and I’ll give you the method.

    • Joey Myers

      I agree Joe. Also, I’m going to do a video shortly on how to use variance in hitting the barrel in different spots. This can help hitters “feel” an oppo swing as well.

  4. Djura

    Joe…. if you hit the ball to pull, up the middle or to oppo… you’ll notice that if you just go to the ball, you know move your center or whatever, and hit the ball at the location of the ball, you automatically either hit the ball out in front, besides you or you let the ball get deep….

    I don’t know if it’s a teach or not…. if this was just a way that worked only for me or if it’s universal… perhaps you can try it and let me know…

    I just go to the ball… try to square it in front of my face….obviously having an approach for direction…

    I know I never thought hit it out in front of let it get deep… it’s really weird for me when I try that and just thought my first approach was better and inherently did what everyone else said… hit in front or let it get deep…

    Joe let me know what you think or if you ever thought of pulling the ball by driving to the left ( I’m right handed) by going left and approaching the ball from the right side… notice right side is not out and around just driving from that side….

    Hope all is well… later…

    ~DM

    • Joey Myers

      Djura, I think Joe was referring to conventional coaching cues being used right now to teach hitting oppo/pull. Matt Nokes teaches “swing across your face”, and golf pro teacher (and one of my good friends) Lee Comeaux teaches that the face will guide impact. Where the head (or face) goes, the body aligns and follows. Great points my friend!

  5. Djura

    Joe… it’s funny because I actually never heard anyone really say it this way… than again these days I usually dont talk baseball unless I’m at this blog…

  6. Doug

    Hi Joey,
    I wish teaching a player to hit to opposite field were this easy….
    I find that most hitters at the college level or younger are either pull or away…with the outside pitch, the pull guys hit towards centre. Good opposite field hitters have trouble hitting the inside-inside pitch . I have found that just a few hitters are spray guys/girls and can handle both sides equally well.
    I totally understand trying to teach hitters to handle both sides of the plate. I think that the key idea here is “young hitters”.
    I would give anything to know the time frame for this young lady to begin hitting outside pitches to the opposite field with authority and what the downside to her overall hitting would be.
    I bet that experienced coaches who have worked with more mature players could predict…
    For example: A really great D1 Juco hitter and very skilled athlete (.395 average) hit away really well even a couple inches off the plate. When he went to a top D1 NCAA program in Texas they worked all fall and winter on him so he could pull the inside pitch. Guess what happened when he went into the spring?
    He still couldn’t pull very well, but now he couldn’t hit away either. Timing was messed up and he didn’t feel comfortable in the box.
    Head coach had the player in his office with a broom stick trying to get him hitting again.

    • Joey Myers

      Aye-Aye-Aye…I know the drill all too well Doug. It’s a shame, and yes, it’s not easy to teach. I’m going to be doing some video soon on using variance with barrel control. With all this talk about Ball Exit Speed and Launch Angles, I think it’s happening at the expense of barrel control. Thanks to my golf friend Lee, I feel there’s a lot left on the table with helping hitters hit .800! Lots of cool stuff coming soon.

  7. Joe

    Djura,

    The problem with letting the ball get deep is that you are hitting it on the downward part of the swing. So, no lift but more of a line drive. Maybe Joey can weigh in on this, but is there less bat velocity when allowing the ball to get deep? Does the bat pick up more speed in traveling farther (not letting the pitch travel more), or does the moment of inertia kick in? Where in the swing does the greatest acceleration occur?

    • Joey Myers

      Physics professor Robert Adair said in his book The Physics of Baseball that a hitter can hit the ball the farthest by pulling it. And I think because barrel speed has more time to mature on middle 1/3 of the plate. I think the bulk of bat speed acceleration must occur early in the turn, then as the front arm lengthens, according to pitch location, you’ll see Ball Exit Speed increase with a longer lever. Just my thoughts.

  8. James

    Joey,

    I no longer teach a hitter to exclusively train oppo hitting. Instead, I just use the moving tee drills and tell them to hit the ball up. Consequently, within the moving tee drills, the outside balls are in the area of the heel of the front foot and inside locations are around the toe of the front foot. Middle locations are in between. When the ball is moving, I just want my hitters to work their approach and hit long fly balls.

    So, in my four weeks for a million, i would drill moving tee and vigorously work on developing timing, pitch recognition and an approach that is built around the high probability of pitch type and locations that the particular hitter is seeing.

  9. Djura

    Great point Joey… I love your point”….as the front arm lengthens according to pitch location…” all I like to add is as the back arm ***** according to pitch location….I think if we at thinking bigger picture than the pitch location guides one to the ball and the body adjust according… and even though there is a difference in potential energy transfer… squaring the ball is the key… now saying that one can start throwing the bat head too especially on outside pitch to shape hits….but we must first need to know how to square and drive… and than we may have a way to transfer more energy on those outside and higher pitches but at the end driving ( pushing) is best and thus pulling the ball is powerful…

    But most powerful is driving the ball in all locations…I guess this is a play on words… said another way, can you get on plane and push in all directions… if not your throwing the bat head…

    Now this is key… think about it and perhaps the approach on how to HIT may reveal itself of perhaps I’m an idiot…. I’ve been an idiot many times 😂
    What is powerful mean… squaring the ball can be powerful… TIMING can be powerful…

    What if you have less time to hit the inside pitch and more time to hit the outside pitch… more time to hit the low pitch and less time to hit the high pitch…..

    What if you drive and throw the bat head…. meaning your approach is to square the ball drive it and the body either drives, drives and throws or just throws…..

    When it drives its fast and when it throws its slower… and you use the drive on inside and lower pitches and you tend to start throwing on outside and higher pitches….

    So, said another way, is the GO moment different… are we waiting for the ball to get deeper or should we go after it and let the approach in the hall and the body do its thing….

    And why do we care about bat speed or where the speed is fast first… well so we know IF there are problems… but that was something I never thought off as a kid….and I think for good reason, if I thought of where the speed was it would change my approach… I love the math but the physics are for trying to spot the issues but not for swinging the bat… if you get that…cool if not… well at times even I don’t 🙄😃…. and I’ve been wrong a thousand times so a thousand and one is very possible…

    By the way, I think the variance thing is big… I really love that and thinking about when I was a kid going to the park or street before even one else I know I tried a thousand things even weird things and god forbid I tried batting like ALL the pros… but I tried to drive the ball in all those stance… I think I use to bat like a player every couple of months and eventually grow up and wanted my own stance…

    Man I still talk to much 🙄

    Later…

    ~DM

  10. Djura

    Funny I always here on the fields… “let the ball come to you” … Man I always went to the ball!!!! well if you have timing issues…. the question is why????

    If I just go to the ball and hit it across my face and drive it… well than …if my driving slows down I don’t care… if I start throwing… I don’t care… my body will do what it has to do… if my lead foot lands differently… I’ll always say it’s at 65 degrees even if it appears not to be… said another way… if I bend my foot and hold it… but move my “hip” does my foot change angles… do I care… well only if something is wrong 🙄….

    Alright I’ll stop saying pointless comments. Hope all is well later….

    ~DM

  11. Djura

    Sorry Joey I’m not trying to be “that guy”… but at times I think I’m really not getting my point across… so for a quick example…

    If your trying to take an outside pitch or a pitch down the plate the other way with power I don’t like the wait for the ball get deep… I like drive it the other way…

    So if your trying to hit left side of the ball you can do many things… like shorten your swing of throw your hands inside but this is my point…

    If you know how to DRIVE (push or punch…etc), I know cues suck, you’ll understand that all you have to do is start your drive and LET the rest take care of itself… Meaning if you try to hit inside part or the outside part of the ball but your body doesn’t follow than you don’t know how to drive as it starts with just a LOOK… said another way… if you can’t look and have your body follow than your not driving… your hooking, your slapping, your jabbing, your snapping ….etc….

    Which can be great if you can steal 50 bases and cover a lot of ground… in not hating… just saying… if you can’t drive to all fields, than you can’t drive to all fields… BECAUSE you can’t drive the ball… you still could be great at hooking a ball 450 feet but let’s not confuse what hitting really is… it’s driving line drives everywhere where homruns are mistakes…

    Sorry but I had this thought…

    ~DM

  12. Djura

    Joe, we have to understand that there is a serious issue when looking at the physics and baseball. The physics NEEDED to see the whole picture is not really understood, especially, myself included. Essentially the simple rules of classical mechanics are not easily transferable to TENSEGRITY….Models require solutions to some pretty complex calculations….So I would be careful on where the bat speed is fastest as that fails to see the right model..

    I actually think more of structural integration, breathing… etc…And FEEL because from an energetic perspective a tensegrity system integrates every part of the anatomy via a pretensioned hierarchy would lead to better results than to rely on a stress ridden system of isolated beams, pillars and levers… So I would think about FEEL as it pertains to tension like cables and compression like struts..So again, who cares about bat speed…and the old and out dated physics….

    im not saying that bat speed isn’t important and physics too but I think the approach should be different… one that includes presetting, approach and breathing….

    ~DM

  13. Joe

    Joey,

    I agree. So, do we teach a hitter to hit to the opposite field by letting the pitch travel a bit, hitting it over the plate, or do we go oppo
    hitting the ball out in front with the bat angle changed accordingly? What strategy works best?

  14. Djura

    So Joey just in case I’m not getting my point across with my book of comments 🙄( sorry)…if you try hitting across your face and go get the ball… you still get on plane the same way ( an actually step) than you drive ( like your chest which ends up pushing your right arm and pulling your left arm) but your body will adjust to the ball location… meaning if you look inside and get it… anything locked will be locked but your cables that are pulled or tensioned will release and that affects the whole system so at Go your body adjust … so if you go get the ball… you automatically either hit the ball in front of you, besides you or behind of you… and this is not somatics or the word game… the power generation and transfer inherently changes but your APPROACH stays the same… which is go get it and drive it across your face… So take a ball outside, hit it across your face and to oppo…Notice the spot of bat and ball collision… When you notice that spot… ask me what I’m suggesting…and I’ll just say… you load and hold that load, go get the ball and let’s do some damage and drive it across your face…

    Where you hit the ball is NOT a dot… it’s a line or vector or plane … it doesn’t go from home right to the pitcher… it’s the drive if you want to see what the body produced you can see where the back was on contact but I like pointing out where the back knee was…

    So my way is… DONT think about anything different with your swing… do the same thing JUST drive it across you face but NOTICE the spot or the direction of the drive… AGAIN for the ones who don’t have this approach it may feel weird but for the ones that do this without thinking… tell them to drive it or look at it differently and in a micro second they will look at you and say… why the hell ould you approach it like that… you might as well run backwards…

    So I feel like either I can’t get my point across or perhaps everyone stops reading my comments after the first line which makes sense since I go on for ever…

    So Joe not to be a prick I’ll I’ll ask your question again but with my point of view…

    Joey which method works best for you when going oppo–

    1) consciously letting the ball get deep in the zone
    2) consciously getting the ball out in front
    3) consciously changing the bat angle
    4) for an outside pitch just driving it the other way and letting your body just do its thing just like every other swing…for other pitches not outside … well it’s the same concept as hitting the spot across your face but it’s more advance…
    5) some other way

    Later

    ~DM

  15. Joe

    Djura,

    I don’t think you would want to be overly conscious up there but, instead, plug into the mystical realm of your subconscious or unconscious. The conscious part comes in the preparation to do that spontaneously, the “autonomous” stage of motor skill development.

  16. Djura

    I think your right Joe… sometimes I get a head of myself… all I know is how I FEEL things and just try my best to explain them… And the fact that I didn’t play for many years… in those many years many things happen to me that distorted my body that when I picked up a bat a start swinging one day it didn’t feel close to what I remembered it… my reflexes seemed to just not work… it seemed like I was thinking to much… all bad… than I said who cares this is what I remember and I’m going to figure that swing out….and who knows if that swing was anything special….

    Than I run into special things… 1) our nerves and 2) thanks to Joey fascist meridians and 3)tensegrity…4)… your mind plays tricks on you like magic regarding what you see and feel…

    Put the first 3 together and you get the 4th 😃

    It’s funny because if your looking at the old mechanically way of thinking that I can draw it out and you’ll still miss it…

    For example… levers are misleading…

    How bout this … if you picked something up for a long time it gets heavy… at the point of dropping it would you know how to drop it… you just go with it… would you know how to swim with the river… if you know what your feeling than it’s easy to just go with it…

    There’s a reason Bo Jackson said he thought all those drills for football and baseball were pointless…Tbe fact is he might not of understood where the feeling were made or how they were transferred but I’m sure he know to go with the river… and he figured it out…

    The old models are out dated…

    For example… if you have time and I’ll not bore anyone with the details ( funny as those are the most important part 😉) but look into the elbow and the anconeus and brachioradialis in combination of the nerve supplied to those sectors and facial networking between all those… of your elbow works like mine than you might get see it…

    Back to what I’ve been saying… it’s feet to knees, knees to elbows, elbows to hands and what smokers do.. and than you snap your fingers…

    Joey a long time ago I spoke about the nerves in your hands and you told me about the fascial network… they are both important Especially when the fascial network has switches and interconnections…

    If you get the connection between all those elements, your hands and trunk…

    What I’m trying to say is you go with the feeling… that’s how the body is designed… but if you can’t HIT than obviously the feeling has not been REVEALED to you…

    If your looking for bat speed… the strike zone is big… what if the best bat speed for high and outside is a different swing for low and inside… you going to wait to see what type to apply… or you set up for the best swing for down the plate and use the same approach for the rest… but perhaps there’s more bat speed for other pitches… learn one and master it and let the body do its thing…Have one approach that allows the body to adapt without you thinking… the other way around means you want the best body position for all spots in the strike zone but those mean you have different approaches for all of them… it’s not in the physics…

    It’s the physics, the bio- tensegrity , the math ( probability)…etc… the question isn’t in this spot let’s say down and low what is the best position we can get into for greatest power…

    It’s what’s the most powerful swing repeatable throughout the zone that is effortless… like going down a slide…All you have to do is see ball and hit ball…If you have to think that means you lost the feeling…

    If you lost it… Well wouldn’t it be nice to know that people are trying to understand it and someone thinks (ummm I wonder who) think they know it….

    Remember I did these things and the reason it took me a few years to figure what I did was I didn’t know what I did I just looked at the ball and hit it…so the whole conscious thing… yep…
    But remember this… I just learned how to walk and sit the right way…And there I was thinking I know how to do that… thinking you know something is the worst damn thing 😉

    ~DM I’m out for a few days… perhaps I had something interesting to say… Later!!!!

    And please someone at least say they read this… shoot just say I suck… at least I know a few people at least take the time to read what I say… One thing I really need to learn is how to teach… I suck at it…I have no patience…. any advice with that would be awesome…

    ~DM

  17. Djura

    Joe… I love your point about the downward part of the swing… notice the body uncoils differently to a certain extent when you LOOK at different locations…

    Let me add one more thing to this book of comments I entered…. your looking at the old way of thinking… if you ended your stride early it should be easier to get to high pitches… if you had a vertical bat at landing it should be easier to get to the lower balls… if you had a horizontal bat at landing it should be easier to hit the high pitches…. etc…

    If you want perfect than why would you end your stride early or have you bat at a less productive position… well you don’t care… you go to the ball and drive it and the pitch location will dictate what the body does… where it falls… where the bat was at landing etc… obviously this happens really fast… AGAIN you want the perfect approach not the perfect bat position or the perfect stride because if you get the perfect pitch and you guessed right than you will get the perfect picture… But as a hitter we are not looking to look good we are looking to drive the damn ball… It’s all approach…

    If you do it the same all the time than you start educating your hands…. your feet… your knee.. your hips… neck…. blah…blah … blah… you get the point…

    Once that happens… than you can get fooled and with two fingers in you lead hand.. get
    on plane and drive the the ball hard…the second finger being helped with the top hand…

    And how the hell can two little fingers be strong enough to do that… Especially if at certain positions I may look like both of my hands can’t even hold the bat…Biotensegrity of course…

    You know people and break wood boards with there hands and fingers… but you have to feel this and know how to trigger it… you have to know how to direct it… you do that with doing the same swing over and over until you can feel the energy moving and you can pop or snap anything from anywhere…

    You can’t do this by the slice… the best slice here the best slice there… it’s the best down the plate and whatever is left everywhere else…

    So watch a player who can hit line drives anywhere get fooled… and just snap there wrist… what they are doing is using g there hands to hold the position and with a snap of the fingers it pops…It like unlocking the body…. this education of the hands along with the rest of the body… you educate yourself to know how to KEEP the INTEGRITY of the system ( said best swing for balls right down the plate make the most sense) and to release the TENSION thus the term Biotensegrity…

    We are asking the wrong questions…This is so complicated… we actually know a lot and know that right know don’t have the tools to model the swing the right way and the math is too much… We need to ask the people who do it best what they feel and try to figure it out by reverse engineering with what we know…

    And what think is don’t worry about bat speed and do t look at small muscles or bones when those parts are part of a bigger system that can amplify those parts… and stop looking at slow motion pictures in terms of slices…

    So if you know Aaron is the man… look at his swing and when you see something off… he either didn’t guess right or he’s hitting a ball away from his perfect spot and the body is adjusting… of he’s adjusting in more complicated ways…and notice his approach seems perfect… and he didn’t homer despite bad mechanics.. because unlike golf you have guess where the ball will be….

    Ok… I’m officially making no sense and off topic….

    ~DM

  18. Joe

    Joey,

    As quoted from your previous comment: “… I think because barrel speed has more time to mature on middle 1/3 of the plate. I think the bulk of bat speed acceleration must occur early in the turn, then as the front arm lengthens, according to pitch location, you’ll see Ball Exit Speed increase with a longer lever.”

    Not to dwell on this but, where in the contact zone should a hitter be instructed to make contact with an pitch away – out in front of the plate or out over the plate (letting the ball get deep, which seems to have fallen out of favor because, like many instructional cues, it has been misinterpreted and misapplied). If maximum bat speed is achieved out in front of the front foot, i would venture to say it is the former, no?

  19. Bat Drag

    I have no bat drag off a tee, with the tee in the correct position, but when i transition to any kind of soft/front toss or live pitching, my bat drag comes back. Why does this happen?

  20. Joe

    Bat Drag,

    There are a lot of factors that cause bat drag. (1) Do you bar your front arm in your take away – counter movement or rotation? (2) Are your hands past your rear armpit at foot strike? (3) Are your hands between your elbows, near your right pec, on your turn towards the ball? (4) Do you drop the bat back towards the catcher, just letting it fall, in your turn? (5) Do you apply hand pressure to the bat handle? (5) Are your hands strong enough to do that?

    But what does this have to do with hitting the outside pitch?

  21. Djura

    Bat drag, sucks to be dragging the bat… stop doing that!!! 😀

    Look there can a plurality of reasons… The fact you don’t do it in golf could mess you up. Can you hit a golf ball 300 good consistently? If not, you just hiding your flows in your golf game…

    You just don’t know how to hold the bat and approach the ball correctly….

    Make sure your hands fight in your grip…There are two swings… The first one sets up the second… the first one starts with the bottom hand… it is a hand thing… or pinch… meaning you are engaging a sling in your left arm….the second one starts with the top arm…both swings have pushed and pulls but the fact is nothing is a perfect push or pull…

    Tell us more about your swing… never use your top hand… use your top elbow/ forearm… but only after you triggered the left arm….If this doest work your not setting up right… try finger or hand pressures too like Joe expressed…if you tried bottom 3… also just try middle and ring…. depending on your set up you may not need the pinkie…

    There’s more I can say but I’d rather keep a few tricks to mayself 😉

    Also you haven’t told us your approach…

    ~DM

  22. Djura

    Joe… are you asking bat drag if he drops the bat behind him… than what pick it up and swing… your funny…Never drop the bat… Never… never never… never never never…etc….

    😉

    ~DM

  23. Djura

    Joe if your talking about getting on plane or lateral tilt or what not… Remember, the bat is part of you…so if the goes… well that bat is connected to you and as the bat goes… you will start moving… there’s good momentum there too….This is a controlled thing…preset in your swing and when practiced you will educate your core… educate your feet… especially specifically educate your left hand and your top forearm so you don’t release in the wrong order and without the proper momentum…

    Don’t drop your bat… it’s best to control it and feel it so release is easiest…And so your quicker to the ball giving you much needed micro secs longer…

    Again this complicated because there is a slight of change of direction but you stay on top of it… meaning you don’t let that fall or release because you want to control it…So there’s a fight between your body or core or system or whatever wanting to go in the reverse direction. You don’t stop it but slow it down and wait for the engagement of your left arm and it’s bigger connections…than we can just turn into the ball…

    To Bat drag…

    When you go to the ball… you should feel like your chest is going to the ball than turning… Many times we turn out of sequence…so it’s go to it while holding… you should feel a shrug perhaps…

    ~DM

  24. Joe

    Djura,

    Some kids drop the bat because their hands are to weak to control it. That’s what I was referring to. They never get the sensation of feeling the hands being yanked forward by the energy created from the actions of the lower half. So, they just drop it.

  25. Djura

    Yep Joe. Having weak hands or poor upper limb alignment makes the batter weak. Notice that if you were a gym rat and can bench a million pounds that having poor upper limb including your hands alignment still makes you weak..

    Regarding the bat going behind you. This is really important so for the ones who dont understand just try to take this in… there are two “swings” in the baseball swing… The first one is behind you and the second one is besides you… The batter should be focused on the feel of the first swing and if you master that many of the most common issues go away… The trick is for that first swing too lock in your second swing and for the first swing don’t use your lower body use your hands…. use the fact that your hands fight and the body wants to GO and I guess gravity…It’s a push with the lead and a pull with the top hand… And these hand actions ought to be connected to your body. Think of bench pressing and how we solidify our body parts…

    Here I go again just speaking out load…At the end swing behind you with at than just turn… Do them slow so you can feel both swings…. Than try to make them LOOK like one swing..

    NOTICE: if your hands are not fighting it will be hard to make them look like one swing and your hand alignment would not be good for pushing meaning you have not solid part to push from….

    ~DM

  26. Djura

    Yea Joe… strong hands is a must…Let s just remember that alignment can make your hands strong…. Strong feet is a must too…but your right you have to have strong hands… What’s funny is the hands are the only thing that actually holds the bat… and people will hit a thousand reps of everything and will not focus on there hands…

    Obviously many things we do in the gym will hit our hands but baseball players should focus on there hands… Strong hands is a MUST….

  27. Kyle

    Joey….

    Two things….

    First off, and I wanted to say this for a while, there is a world of distance between managers, coaches, players, and hitting scientists like yourself. 99% of managers & coaches should do just that… manage and coach. But more hitters are wrecked these guys than they help. Even players at the highest levels give horrible advise. That being said, DeRosa’s imput was full of clichés that he can’t explain anyway.

    Most, not all, Professional hitting instructors are not sitting on the benches at MLB ballparks. They are watching video and learning what makes their player hit or not hit. They are not managing 20 hitters with 1/2 effort. Even players that pay attention to details like timing, plane and mechanics sometimes don’t see themselves clearly. That’s where a professional hitting coach comes in like you or Nokes. For an MLB player, that can afford it, not to have a full time consultant is crazy.

    I watch Aaron Judge here in NY struggle. He bats .300 for 1/2 a season, and the other 1/2 hit a bad .260. He is under most fastballs and has a “tell” in his swing that he cant swing late on a fb and hit it the other way. He’s way under in the back of his swing. He has no chance at all of being anything but perfect in his timing on fb’s. This does not happen with Joey Votto or Robinson Cano’s swing plane. He gets no help from the Yankees…..So “baseball people” are lost on Judge.

    Now lets go to Judge himself…… Where was his adjustment? Surely this happened to him before….what did he do to change it? Or, is it possible, he never really went through the ringer before and had to evaluate his swing that much. His size covers many flaws and his popups went over the fence since he was 10 years old. Everyone slumps, but the guys who adjust quicker and listen to “tells” get out sooner.

    Off rant….lolol…

    The way describe hitting oppo is this:
    -front shoulder has to stay in or closed more at impact

    A player that cant tee a ball up outside and back in his stance and hit it 100% of the time opposite field has a pretty bad flaw. The only way that ball gets hit up the middle is if u pull off with front shoulder and cast bat away (which is the result of pulling off in that pitch location)

    • Joey Myers

      I agree Kyle. I watched a YouTube video on why Judge started struggling after the All-Star game, and it held good insight. The video talked about the difference in his swing pre-All Star home-run derby to after. Think about it, in the home-run derby he’s seeing a 65-mph lollipop, the plane of the pitch is more drastic. In games, he’s seeing a 95-mph almost straight line. He started shifting his swing plane up to match the lollipop in the home-run derby and never made the adjustment come post All-Star break. Basically, his swing plane was much “flatter” before the shift in swing plane. I think that pretty much matches your observations.

  28. Joe

    Kyle and Joey,

    Yes, the HR Derby for Judge is the obvious villain in his struggles. But there are some psychological and economic causes of his second half struggles as well.

    Remember, Judge was reluctant to take part in the HR Derby. He accepted when his teammate, Gary Sanchez, got in. Yes, you can blame meatball pitches for messing up his swing plane but it didn’t hurt Sanchez as he has been hitting HRs in the second half like Judge did in the first. Hey, Stanton was in the Derby too. He’s on his way to 60 HRs as I type this.

    One other thing, these guys face meatballs in bp every day. Batting practice in general doesn’t match the 100 mph fastballs a hitter is going to face in a game. Judge made many statements about how he was not going to alter his swing in the derby but inevitably did, I guess. Bp can be a waste of time because it doesn’t match game situations. Unless a hitter goes in and hits off an Iron Mike throwing cheese. But, then, you have that Iron Mike hesitation to throw you off. What makes a good hitter, a good bp pitcher who can get it up there to simulate game conditions. But those guys are pitching somewhere in the pros. So, don’t blame bp meatballs. That’s what they see everyday before games. If you follow that line of thinking, no one should be hitting.

    The motivation for Judge to hit bombs plays into it all. I think it is more relevant here. With all the hoopla he had to endure with the clowns dressed like judges in an especially created “judge chambers” in right field at Yankee Stadium, it just created pressure for Judge to try to hit HRs. Those people didn’t get all dressed up in judge’s gowns to watch him get on pitch plane.

    Throw in an appearance on late night TV (I think it was Jimmy Fallon) and you have a too much-too soon scenario. Baby steps, remember? Judge got into the habit of swinging at bad pitches, likely in an effort to live up to the hype and in an attempt to please. He was trying too hard to please.

    There’s a lor of blame to go around as the Yankees kept feeding their cash cow. Remember, as George Steinbrenner once said about Billy Martin, “He puts fannies in the seats.” Well, so does Judge. Chicks dig the long ball, right?

    Another thing, Judge never experienced the type of success like he did in the first half of the season. He had to be pinching himself to see if he was dreaming. All the more reason to try a little harder to show people he wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

    Kyle, Judge has hit several HRs to right center field over the past several weeks lije he did in the first half, especially into the friendly right field seats at Yankee Stadium.. He’s coming back to us.

    But, I wish he would just bend his knee in his stride more to help him get on plane for low breaking pitches.

    • Joey Myers

      Joe, I agree with you, this is more mental than physical. I also think that HR Derby experience was so emotionally charged, the physical changes he made for it became more cemented than ordinary BP. Experience with high emotion can be VERY powerful in solidifying good or bad anchors. Yes, too much too fast. Judge will learn from this and come back next year with ‘fire and fury’ 😉

  29. Djura

    Is it possible that perhaps this is a case where not understanding your swing can mess you up. It looks like he took a bunch of cuts for the contest and than a few more during the contest… And he goes on what HE feels… The only issue is he could have changed that feel to a certain extent… AND here we are, talking about a professional who has a great swing but doesn’t know the details of his swing….

    Just like when Trout does his tee work to stop him from dropping his back side…

    I just fine this interesting….

    ~DM