updated 2018.12.24

Andres Torres was my first client.

We started talking in 2008, as he was on his was out the game of baseball, and by 2010 he put up at 6+ fWAR season and helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series.

However, Andres Torres wasn't able to sustain that success.

Why not?

Because, in an effort to fix a flaw that they -- incorrectly -- believed was a Long Swing, the Giants got rid of Andres Torres' Hitch and reduced the efficiency of his swing.

And created a -- truly -- Long Swing.

I went through the same thing with Tommy Pham and the Cardinals in 2018; he became convinced that the thing I taught him -- what I call Loading UP but that some call a Hitch -- and that caused him to go off was a flaw.

Then, also in 2018, I went on record as -- and faced considerable ridicule for -- saying that Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna would likely be a bust if he didn't change anything because I saw him struggling to hit for average with his current swing.

The common thread that tied together those three hitters...

  • Andres Torres
  • Tommy Pham
  • Ronald Acuna.

...was a common flaw called Leaky Hands.

A flaw that, sadly, seems to be getting more prevalent, not less.

This piece discusses why Leaky Hands happen and what to do about it, and some related topics include...

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.

























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 Studies

Leaky Hands may be the biggest problem I see in hitters, and the one that tends to hold them back by creating problems with Warning Track Power, so I have though about it a lot and have put together a number of case studies.

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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