Tee Drills: Adam Eaton Speaks High Inside Pitch Approach Truth
In this tee drills with Adam Eaton video, some main points Adam Eaton covers:
- Ball flight tells you everything,
- Demonstrates how REAL high level barrel path is on high inside pitches,
- How most get the cue ‘stay inside the ball' wrong, and how to use it properly, and
- Tee drills tip for putting the high tee on steroids!
Make sure you watch the brief 5-minute 30-Clubs in 30-Days Adam Eaton interview before diving into my notes below. I time stamped the above video for quick and easy reference…
- At the 0:45 mark, Adam Eaton talks about how tee drills are the most important part of the day. According to the tee drills naysayers out there, man oh man, how many Big Leaguers are doing it “wrong”. Haha!
- At the 1:30 mark, while working tee drills, DeRo asks if Adam Eaton is worried about his hands, bat path, what? And Adam responds by saying, ball flight tells you everything. If ball flight is clean, he knows his body is in the right position.
- At the 2:30 mark, Adam talks about letting ball get to belt buckle on pitches away. He clarifies you aren't actually going to hit it there in the game. Feel cue, pure and simple. Interesting he mentions getting on plane quickly here in reference to outside pitch. This is when deep barrel dump is okay. Adam mentions his powerful impact position checkpoints: palm up palm down, hardly any bend in the front arm (he actually works on this!!), and nice bend in back arm (90-degrees).
- At the 2:55 mark, Adam Eaton talks about high inside tee drills. Uncomfortable drill because it feels like you're crowding yourself. But it teaches body control and to control the shoulders. “Blackout moment” defined as an experience when body takes over without thinking because you've practiced it so many times. And just before the 4-minute mark watch him demonstrate how he gets to that high inside pitch — he keeps the barrel up, above his hands, until last possible second. Much different barrel path he'd take to a pitch away. I talk to my hitters about the difference between hitting a catcher's glove perpendicular to the hitter's “belly button” (inner third part of plate), versus knocking off the real catcher's glove (outer third part of plate).
- On these tee drills, Adam Eaton talks a lot about ‘keeping hands inside the ball'. The cue is great for hitters that do the opposite – hook the ball a lot. And ‘get barrel around the ball' works brilliantly for hitters with racing back elbow or who tend to push the ball opposite a lot. Over the years I've learned that every hitting feel cue has their place. We used to laugh, cajole, and mock Major Leaguers when we'd hear them say things like ‘get on top', ‘swing down on the ball', or like in Adam Eaton's case ‘stay inside the ball'. These cues do work, but mostly to the hitters who do the opposite of what these cues suggest. It's called Paradoxical Intention.
- Also note on Adam Eaton's slow motion game swings how virtually straight his front arm is at stride landing. He's not a big guy, 5-foot, 8-inches, and only 176-pounds. He can lever up that front arm because of a shorter wingspan for sure. I've seen him do this on outside pitches as well as inside. Although, here's the catch on the inner half of the plate, you have to take the barrel path approach he demonstrated on the high tee drill. In addition to training my hitters to use a longer front arm on the high pitch, I also make them do it with an end loaded heavy bat. Makes the drill even more uncomfortable – as Adam Eaton put it – BUT if they can accomplish it at that pitch location, everywhere else is gravy.