I thought that people would be interested in learning what Andres and I have worked on over the years and what we are still working on, how, and why.
I just talked to Andres Torres. He is an outfielder in the Cubs organization. He came across my classic hitting flipbooks, and my flipbook analyses of Albert Pujols' swing in particular, and he had some questions about what I say in it. He can see that it's correct, but it's different than everything that he was taught.
We spent a lot of time talking about Connection because he was taught to throw his hands at the ball. I explained to him how that could explain his problems hitting for power. I also explained how, by extension -- and due to the relationship between hitting the ball hard and success -- it could also explain his problems hitting for average.
He needs to learn how to let the ball come to hit, rather than going and getting it, because that will let him hit the ball harder, and hitting the ball hard is a key to hitting for average (and not just power).
Got a call from Andres today. He's in Puerto Rico and his swing is holding up well. In a game a few weeks ago, he hit a ball that went something like 500 feet.
One thing that we talked about was batspeed. He wants to hit for more power and is wondering if he needs to try to increase his bat speed. I told him that I am nervous about going after bat speed for its own sake. Pujols' batspeed is "only" 87 MPH, which is quite average and well below the MLB peak batspeed of more than 100 MPH. However, I believe that Pujols' relatively slow batspeed is a key to his ability to hit for both power and average; he swings hard enough to hit the ball hard -- and hitting the ball hard IS important -- but not so hard that he hinders his ability to make solid contact with the ball.