Benson 14YO {Batting Analysis}


#1

Due to the minor UCL injury in the beginning of the season, his swings were off. Too many CF flyouts and timing against off-speed pitches resulted in GO.

For this summer, we are re-focusing on the basics: #1, his back foot power transfer; #2, his front foot stride/timing.

His coaches are busy for the summer teams, so no lesson is planned until late fall. So, we will be working alone. Any feedback is appreciated.

Alex


#2
 **Problem**: His hands are drifting which wraps his bat around the back of the neck delaying his barrel-to-zone reflex time. Which means  he is striding forward as his hands are going back and then up around the nape of the neck causing a flow resistance with his inside hip (right hip) rotation.
 **Correction**: Instead have him shift his hands back at the same time he shifts his weight to the **back leg** that way his hands will sit still as he strides forward, creating an even rotation of the swing with his right hip when his front foot strikes the ground eliminating the drag-delay of his barrel.
 **Note** Usually drifting will result in pop-ups and ground-outs due to the barrel trying to play catch-up with his hips. The hips will unload early while the barrel hasn't made it through the zone yet. Also if his hands are going back as his legs are striding forward then the upper and lower body are going in opposite directions which delays timing the ball.

#3

Thank you for the advice. We agree. As he ages, he has been trying for more power/distance, and his grips are too “stiff” and not flexible enough to “adjust” at the last second. His contact rate has dropped, but if he connects, they would go far. I am helping him to adjust his approach based on runner(s) on base situation or the level of pitching he faces.

We are working on the “fixes”.

Alex


#4

It’s great to hear that you pay so much attention to his over-all approach and you take his training seriously , I see that planning is definitely in your arsenal which translates into success… Speaking of his grip, try having him line up his " door-knocking" knuckles with both hands when he grips the bat ( Basically, the set of knuckles you use to knock on doors ); This can help prevent stiff wrists and forearm roll-over in his bat-path when his barrel is extending over the plate, allowing a more level-swing plain which can keep his barrel in the zone longer…This grip can be a little uncomfortable at the beginning but when your hands extend out over the plate is where it takes effect.


#5

Hi lesles4vr, thank you for your feedback. My boy and his his team performed poorly in a tournament this weekend. He and his teammates were all upset about why their cage batting success didn’t translate to success during the games.

One of the many reasons was they faced much better pitchers than what they were used to from cage BP. With additional variances like outdoor weather conditions (sun, humidity, rain shows, etc.) and added peripheral visions (the whole field vs. just the tunnel), and other noises, the boys are in a “transitional” stage when they enter a more competitive environment.

A quick batting lesson from his coach, Ed Collins, confirmed that my boy needed to fix some minor mechanical issues on his swings. He did grip the bat “too tightly” and lost his flexibility to react to the pitches. But the main issues came from his “strides” and timing when he had bigger movement. The solution was to minimize the movement and simplify the mechanics. Every batter wants to connect with the balls and drive them, but it’s more “efficiency” to make solid contacts instead of worrying about the power. This also holds true to pitching. Instead of trying to pitch “harder”, which forces the whole body to “tense” up and loses the flexibility to generate the “torque”.

I was too harsh on my boy over the weekend’s tournament and I learned with him on his journey to transition to HS baseball.

“Result should NOT be the main goal. The journey in itself can be more impact-ful than the actual outcome!” - Alex


#6
  1. Drills should mimic game situations. As such, when doing batting drills - tee drill, soft toss, etc. - he should be looking not at the tee or the coach soft tossing the ball, but at the “pitcher”. He should look down at the ball only after he begins his swing, to mimic the timing of a swing in a game.

  2. Practice how you play. You throw bullpens from 60’, not 50’, right? You practice fielding on a 60’-90’ field, not a 50’-70’ field, right? Then wear a batting helmet when you take batting practice. It gives you the actual “view” you get in a game.

  3. I disagree that he should line up his door-knocking knuckles. While that is a popular teaching cue, and I taught it myself to my son when he was young, I later came across a study that debunked the cue, finding that is not how most MLB players hold their bats. I don’t have the study before me, but as I recall most line up the “flat” part of the grip - the part you would throw a punch with.


#7

My advice on lining up the proper knuckles did not come from research but from actual application as many of the athletes I train have used this technique resulting in numerous home runs… I was privileged enough to have 2 uncles play major league baseball with extensive 14 year careers each and I have to go by their teachings since they’ve not only been to the show but retained careers over a period of time there… but results don’t lie and since I have applied those with the proper loading of hands ( some hands load high and some hands load low ) depending on the individual athlete it has been rewarding to say the least. Not all great hitters line-up the doorknockers at the beginning of their swing but in the great words of yogi berra " they get there eventually " take a look at Albert Pujols hands in this pic/ link as an example http://www.whatproswear.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/albert-pujols-batting-gloves-400x400.jpg… In all the ultimate goal is to avoid WRIST-ROLLOVER when the hands are extended over the plate…


#8

Hi lesles4vr, I think it sounds like a golf grip to line up the knuckles, but not overlapping them. I believe every player should develop his own unique style that works for him the best.

After struggling a few games, my son finally started to come back to his “old form”. I emphasized on “old” because it worked. He started to have bigger strides hoping to increase his power. It ended up messing up his timing completely. I told him to go back to the basics. He refused (for being 14). I had to pay a couple private lessons and his coach said the exact same things as me. Figures!

  1. One needs to see a lot of pitches to condition his eyesight relative to the pitches. This will train his reaction.
  2. One is really waiting on the FB as the pitch to hit. So, I gave him a tons of FB to help him get his timing down again.
  3. He needs to learn the approaches to different count situations. He was taught to always take a first pitch, for the reason to observe the speed and adjust his timing, plus increase the pitch count. However, moving up means he is facing better pitchers with excellent commands/controls, he needs to learn to swing the first decent FB. If he falls behind in count, he needs to adjust to have smaller swings to counter the unfavorable count; hence shortening up the bat.

Summer season is coming to an end. He is looking forward to the one-month break in August to enjoy himself and also let his body rest. We will continue with the training in the fall.

Good luck.

Alex


#9

Yes I absolutely agree on the uniqueness of the game and if the old assets were paying off then that’s exactly what he wants to go with. I am excited that he back on track and I wish him the best seasons possible moving forward. We all love the game and without diversity in form and style the magic would be lost. Best of wishes to all players who have the passion for the game and God bless !


#10

MLB players using box grip, not door knocking knuckles grip:


#11

Grip too strong and too tight.
Hips rotated too far back. Keep them squared up to the plate to feel more stretch in the obliques at address. Video is really blurry, but it looks like you are not getting on plane early enough. You are steep to contact with a negative attack angle. The bat head should be parallel to the ground before reaching the point of the plate so the bat spends as much time in the zone as possible. This will set you up to have a positive attack angle.


#12

Paul, thank you for the feedback. He changed his form this year due to puberty. We are working on regaining his basic skills and confidence back, then we will try new things before next spring. I was a Tiger Dad and I didn’t make it fun for him. I am trying to correct that and help him regain his passion for baseball.

We like to learn new things and make it interesting and fun. Being on a competitive travel team, they locked him on outfielder and pitcher. I gave up arguing with the paid coaches!

To us, it’s our bonding time, which is what we look for. We will update on his progress!