This hitting diary records my work with my college hitters during the 2017 baseball season.
Our statistics are available on the Internet if you are interested in understanding the impact I've been able to have on the program and our rankings within our conference.
HSSU Hitting Diary
I've broken this hitting diary up into two sections, one that gives you a sense of what I'm thinking about each week and another that contains...
Thoughts for the Week Ahead
We're getting ready to come back from the break, and I had a talk with our head coach about what to focus on. His comment was...
- Let's get their HANDS going/working.
...my thought was...
- Let's get their HIPS going/working.
HANDS/HIPS reflects an all too common debate within baseball and I explain where, as a result of direct experience, I come down on the debate in The Problem.
- Swing Length
- Bat Drag
Spent some time talking about Rotation, Lag, and Jose Altuve with one of our hitters who has ridiculously good hand-eye coordination. I think he could hit for an even higher average if he hit the ball a bit harder. To do that, he needs to rotate a bit more and maintain his Lag for a bit longer.
One of our hitters' swings is very similar to Randal Grichuk's. Power but lack of Adjustability. Arm bar. Pull-hooking. Root cause of the problem is not being taught about Y-Axis Adjustability. In truth, being coached out of Tilt.
Also causes problems with Alignment. Loses the Vertical V too soon on pitches down because he has to drop his hands.
Also talked about tracking the ball more with the eyes than the head. Not dropping the chin. Jason Heyward's problem.
Open Top Hand Drill for a couple of hitters whose swings are just a bit long because they collapse the Triangle.
Theme = Give guys permission to be Athletic...
- Back leg angle.
- Y-Axis Adjustability.
- Front foot angle.
Lots of work on Coil.
Swing with your HIPS, adjust with your HANDS.
If you get the Hips generating power, then the Hands are free to adjust.
Point of Emphasis = The Front Foot
- We should lead the league in doubles.
- Home runs and singles are OK, but I'd like to see more doubles and walks.
- The Worst Cue in the World.
- My Main Mantra.
- Moving Forward While Staying Back.
- The Front Foot
- Get the Front Foot Down Early?
- The Contribution of the Front Foot to Adjustability.
- The Message I got through to Matt Holliday.
- Z-Axis Adjustability.
- Albert Pujols Drill.
Emphasis for the week ahead = Adjustability.
This weekend we faced a team that threw up some hard throwers and some guys who didn't throw that hard. I viewed our success against soft tossers as a sign that our work on Adjustability is working, but we have more work to do.
I traveled with the team for the first time this weekend. We beat the other team 33-5 over two games. I thought people might be interested in what I tell my hitters during games...
- Get a good pitch to hit. Hard.
- Hunt fastballs up until your get 2 strikes.
- Let it happen. Don't try to make it happen.
- Swing for doubles. Let God take care of the home runs.
We are in the top 5 in the nation for the NAIA in five offensive categories. Here are some thoughts to get us to Number 1...
- Covering the top of the strike zone.
- Not taking hittable pitches.
- Not letting hittable pitches go by.
- Hitting the fastball up.
- High tee drill.
- Not trying to lift the ball.
- Letting the barrel lift the ball.
- Front foot.
- Front foot angle at Foot Plant.
- Z-Axis Adjustability.
- Adjusting to hit off-speed pitches.
- Leaky back elbows.
- Swing length.
- Hitting to the opposite field with power.
- Swinging from the inside-out.
- Compact as you turn the corner.
- Flying open, pulling off the ball is normal. Necessary to hitting the ball hard.
- As long as it's properly timed.
- Axe grip.
- Hank Aaron.
Thoughts About Individual Hitters
In this section I collect my notes about individual hitters, especially their weaknesses and what I need to keep an eye on.
- Standing too far forward in the box.
At the beginning of our Fall practices, I asked our hitters to...
- Show me Contact
- Show me How You Get to Contact
The thing I immediately noticed about Jordan was that he dropped his hands. As a result, he was literally unable to cover the upper half of the strike zone.
We spent a lot of time talking about Alignment.
Some of the cues that worked for Jordan include...
- Aim your front elbow at the ball.