FLAWS > LEAKY HANDS

2017.11.18

I have gone on record as, and faced considerable ridicule for, saying that Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna will likely be a bust because I see him struggling to hit for average with his current swing.

Part of the problem is Acuna's swing plane in general and True Loop in particular.

Ronald Acuna

The bigger problem is the length of Ronald Acuna's swing.

Ronald Acuna

While the sweet spot of Ronald Acuna's barrel is moving ridiculously fast at the Point Of Contact, and that allows him to absolutely crush the ball, his barrel takes too long to get to the Point of Contact.

That is due to a very common flaw -- and inefficiency -- I call Leaky Hands.

Related Topics...

Leaky Hands

Despite all the video that is now available -- and what Ted Williams first put into words 50 years ago -- hands-y swings continue to be taught at the highest levels of the game.

And continue to ruin swings.

As I discuss at length in The Problem with Hitting, I personally know and have had as clients a number of hitters who have -- or had -- swings comparable to the swings of great hitters like Mickey Mantle...

MiLB Hitter and Mickey Mantle

...and who were coached out of those swings.

And then out of baseball.

The Problem

The problem with hand-driven, top-down swings is that they are fundamentally inefficient; they attempt to create power from the wrong place and, in doing so, short-circuit the High-Level Swing's true source of power.

The core.

Because of these inefficiencies, hands-y swings are one of the main causes of...

As I discuss at length later on this this piece, I first really saw and came to understood the problem of Leaky Hands by looking at the swing of Aaron Miles of the Cardinals and comparing what he did -- and when -- to what Albert Pujols did.

Aaron Miles

The difference between what Aaron Miles and Albert Pujols did was seemingly tiny, but made a huge difference when it came to the efficiency of their swings.

Leaky Hands were one of the two main problems I had to fix in Tommy Pham's swing before he was able to thrive at the major league level. Leaky Hands were also a major, and common, problem with the hitters of HSSU.

YEAR

AVG

SLG

XBHs

2013

.248

.324

56

2014

.298

.412

72

2015

.263

.357

74

2016

.311

.449

144

2017

.334

.472

142

Fixing that one basic flaw was one big reason why I was able to double HSSU's extra base hits during my tenure in 2016 and 2017.

A to C Swing

Leaky Hands are a symptom of a commonly-taught, but inefficient and low-level swing that I call the...

...and the use of a variety of cues, including...

  • Throw Your Hands at the Ball
  • Take Your Hands to the Ball
  • Pull the Knob to the Ball

How would I fix Ronald Acuna's Leaky Hands? I'd talk to him about a number of concepts, starting with...

Case Study: Jake Luce

I was recently contacted by a client who I helped get signed by the Orioles and who gave me a nice testimonial...

 

...but who I lost touch with a few years ago.

He wants to give it one more shot and reached out to me for help. A bit wiser, and with an even better eye after spending two years working with the hitters at HSSU, I asked him to send me a clip.

I saw that, while his angles at contact and his top hand were spectacular, there are a number of things he needs to work on to increase the efficiency of his swing, starting with his Leaky Hands.

Jake Luce

The problem is obvious if you compare Jake's swing and Albert Pujols' swing, and the first thing I did was put together a comparison clip that did just that.

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