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Baseball Online: Ryan Bruan
Baseball Online: Never Suffer From Bat Drag Again

One of my High School hitters Keenan, using the Swing Blaster to ADD more barrel on the plane of the pitch (swings are synced).

Since it’s the end of 2014/beginning 2015, I wanted to do a baseball online re-cap article on my TOP-3 blog posts in 2014, based on my Google Analytic Metrics.  The top-3 were:

  1. Baseball Training Aids: Long Slow Swing Fix? (4,425 page views – 12 page views/day),
  2. Josh Donaldson: Stay CLOSED & Add Ball Exit Speed (4,250 page views – 11.5 page views/day), and
  3. Youth Baseball Online ALERT: Hitting Fix For Bat Drag (2,956 page views – 8 page views/day)…

Apparently, you guys dug the “bat drag” stuff this past year B-).  PLEASE NOTE that along long those lines, I recently tapped into my readers’ knowledge-base with this article titled, Hitting Tips To Boost Barrel Time On Pitch-Plane, that offered up some handy gold nuggets for correcting bat drag.  There almost 30 comments!  So go check it out and get involved in the discussion.

To refresh your BEST-of 2014 memory, let’s recap…

 

Baseball Training Aids: Long Slow Swing Fix?

Speed Hitter Review

SpeedHitter promo featuring Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton. Photo courtesy: Momentus Sports YouTube video

In this baseball online post, we talked about:

  • Speed Hitter baseball training aid review,
  • Barrel path science, and
  • A better alternative…

CLICK HERE for the latest 2-minute Swing Hitter demo video.  Momentus Sports promises the Speed Hitter will help a hitter achieve four ingredients all great hitters do (watch the video to see what they are).  When proven human movement science is applied to the Speed Hitter, it doesn’t deliver on any of the promises.

Unbeknownst to Momentus Sports, the question the Speed Hitter attempts to answer is, “When is the barrel suppose to accelerate?”  Is it at impact or before impact?  The answer is the latter, but the Speed Hitter’s focus is the former.  So, what better alternative is there?  The Swing Blaster.  Focus should be on hearing a clear audible “click” before impact, NOT at contact.

 

Josh Donaldson: Stay CLOSED & Add Ball Exit Speed

Josh Donaldson "staying closed" with this shoulders

Josh Donaldson “staying closed” with his shoulders at landing. Photo courtesy: MLB.com

In this baseball online video, we analyzed:

  • Josh Donaldson v. Jose Bautista metrics,
  • What “staying closed” means to spine engine mechanics, and
  • Where Josh Donaldson might be leaking force at impact.

How eerily similar Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson’s body types AND swings are.  CLICK HERE to listen (start at the 1 min, 10 sec mark) to Josh Donaldson discuss how he modeled his swing after Jose Bautista.  This was an interview after being traded from Oakland to Toronto.  By the way, this post got some air time on Canada’s National Post!

In the above post, “staying closed” DOES NOT mean an inward turn of the hips – towards the catcher – to “load”.  It also has ZERO to do with striding with a closed front foot.  But what this baseball online BEST-of post does do, is go into the counter-rotation of the shoulders – versus the pelvis – during the fall.  Or what my hitters will tell you, “showing the pitcher their numbers.”

Upon analysis, it was interesting to note that Josh Donaldson didn’t commit his weight to his front side like Jose Bautista did.  And this led to inferior ball exit speeds and a lower average home-run distance because of an inefficiency to use Gravitational Forces.

 

Youth Baseball Online ALERT: Hitting Fix For Bat Drag

Baseball Online: Charles fixing his early arm bar

One of my local High School hitters Charles fixing an early arm bar.

In this baseball online post, we went over:

  • What is Bat Drag?
  • The science of Bat Drag (to hitting an unknown moving pitch), and
  • How-to fix Bat Drag.

This post along with a few other ones are really pissing people off.  Why?  Because the “old guard” is still using Ken Griffey Jr.’s swing as a gold standard.  Griffey Jr. was efficient in many ways, but he was also inefficient in others.  Specifically, he arm bars too early.  Before he starts his turn.  Not on certain pitches, speeds, or locations…nope.  On every pitch.  And this is why later in his career, after joining the Reds, his inefficiencies were exploited, and his Metrics suffered.

Hitting an unknown pitch makes what baseball and softball players do, a truly unique skill.  We have to handle two factors in the Conservation of Angular Momentum, carefully:

  1. Angular velocity (turning speed), AND
  2. Moment of inertia (inertial force).

We want the barrel to be a “motorcycle” (light weight but fast) to the plane of the pitch.  Once here, we want the barrel to be a “Mack Truck” (sacrificing some bat speed for inertial mass).  The latter is where the front arm is okay to bar out.

And we fix Bat Drag with a mix of fascial loading and spinal engine mechanics.   Also please re-visit this “Hitting Tips” post to listen to my readers help fix arm barring and the racing back elbow.  Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Baseball Training Aids Review: The Speed Hitter

 

Baseball Training Aids Review: The Speed Hitter

Derek Shelton – Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach – spokesperson in Speed Hitter video

It’s featured advertising on MLBNetwork.  Derek Shelton, the Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach, is the spokesperson in the video ad (CLICK HERE to see video).

Go to the SpeedHitter website, and you’ll see endorsements from:

  • CC Sabathia (son uses),
  • Aaron Boone (son uses),
  • Kerry Wood (son uses), and
  • David Segui.

I’ve also seen the Speed Hitter being used – this past summer – in Little League All-Stars game on-deck circles.  Does it work?  In this baseball training aids video blog post, we’ll talk about:

  • Speed Hitter baseball training aids review,
  • Barrel path science, and
  • A better alternative

 

Speed Hitter Baseball Training Aids Review

Two main objectives of Speed Hitter baseball training aids (softball included) allegedly address a hitter’s contact point and barrel path.  A hitter is suppose to swing it and hear the “pop” of the ball where contact is made.  The Speed Hitter is priced between $59.99-79.99 + shipping.  Baseball training aids that are highly endorsed and visible often raise red flags for me.  THREE reasons WHY:

  • Endorsements – A majority of Pro-level athletes simply CANNOT teach what they do (or did)*,
  • Expertise – MLB hitting coaches carry A LOT of high “lose-your-job” risk instructing big money ballplayers, and
  • Marketing – Big money ads, in the proper places, can lend massive credibility to a defective concept that as a result, users tend to overlook.

*This actually has to do with what Neuro Linguistic Programming calls Unconscious Competence.  Players simply perform on ‘auto-pilot’.  On the other hand, Conscious Competence is being able to instruct someone else to exactly model what you’re doing.

Barrel Path Science

Baseball Swing Path

Image from Ted Williams’s The Science Of Hitting. We want the hitter’s barrel path to match the plane of the pitch, not chop down OR put an extreme uppercut on it.

Speed Hitter baseball training aids are flawed for FOUR-reasons:

  1. Point of contact and barrel path -for the most part – are two different things,
  2. Point of contact – ranges from slightly out front of the hitters front foot (inside pitch) to slightly behind it (outside pitch).  CLICK HERE to watch Harold Reynolds change his point of view on where contact actually is made on video,
  3. Barrel path – should be as long as possible starting in front of the catcher’s glove, extending about 6-12 inches passed contact (Power-V), and
  4. Tampa Bay Rays hitting coach and Speed Hitter spokesperson Derek Shelton doesn’t have an efficient swing himself (wraps the bat in the ad).

Addressing #2 above – The main objective of the Speed Hitter is to use the hands to be “short to the ball”.  The problem is an efficient swing isn’t focused on accelerating the barrel at the point of contact.  It’s before that, if we look at the inverse relationship between turning speed and moment of inertia in Conserving Angular Momentum.  CLICK HERE for the latest video I did on fixing bat drag and the science of turning faster.

Addressing #3 above – Being “short to the ball” cuts off a hitter’s ability to get on the plane of the pitch early.  Having a barrel on pitch plane early is key, just in case the hitter is late on a pitch.  CLICK HERE for a Chris “Crush” Davis post I did revealing “5 Problems with being ‘Short to the Ball'”.

 

A Better Alternative…The Swing Blaster

Baseball Training Aids: Swing Blaster Review

Keenan Wolf, one of my H.S. Frosh hitters, after one 45-minute session using a Swing Blaster demo this past summer. Swings are synced.

FIVE benefits of using Swing Blaster baseball training aids (good for softball as well) are:

  1. Early Barrel Acceleration – focuses on getting the barrel on pitch plane ASAP.  It’s not about being quick to the ball, it’s about being quick to pitch plane.
  2. Lengthens Hitter’s Pitch Plane – Gives hitter the ability to hit pitches harder – and keep them fair – that they may be late on otherwise.
  3. EIGHT levels of difficulty – there are eight little ‘washers’ that increase or decrease the level of difficulty to hear the audible “click”.
  4. Take soft toss – You can use the Swing Blaster to take short range soft toss.  A hitter CANNOT do this with Speed Hitter baseball training aids.  DO NOT hit LIVE batting practice with it unless the hitter has good bat control.
  5. MADE IN USA

How does it work?

The Swing Blaster gives a hitter audible feedback in the form of a “click” when max barrel speed has been reached.  It’s simple…

If the hitter hears the “click” AND contact at the same time, then they’re doing it WRONG.  If they hear a “click” FOLLOWED by contact, then they’re doing it RIGHT.  Whereas Speed Hitter baseball training aids have it backwards.  They want the hitter to hear the “pop” at contact.  To be effective, this isn’t when a hitter should be accelerating the barrel.  The barrel should already be accelerated at impact.  Impact is when a hitter’s arms are lengthening out or adjusting in to increase turning speed or inertial force.

The price?  Get yours today for only $34.99 + shipping on Amazon…I’m not sure if Swing Blaster will be raising the price soon, but for now you’ll be SAVING at least $25 than buying a Speed Hitter.  CLICK the following link to

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