I am always collecting pictures of hitters for use with my clients and, in order to keep things as simple as possible, I am also constantly rank-ordering them.
Here are my ten favorite pictures of hitters.
Top 10 Pictures of Hitters
Each of these pictures stunned me; it made me rethink everything I (thought I) knew about hitting. If it doesn't do that same for you, then you're either a genius or you're not looking closely enough.
10. Megan Bush & Evan Longoria
A high-level fast-pitch softball swing and a high-level baseball swing are identical.
Megan Bush and Evan Longoria
Yes, females generally don't have as much upper body strength as males, but they swing lighter bats.
The same is true of children.
The ONLY reason I tend to use pictures of baseball players is because...
- They are easier to find.
- There's no risk of compromising an athlete's eligibility.
When working with players in person, or at clinics, I use fast-pitch and baseball pics and clips COMPLETELY interchangeably.
9. Albert Pujols
When my kids started getting older and playing baseball, I taught them what I had been taught. However, at the same time Albert Pujols was setting the world on fire, and was doing something VERY different than I was taught.
8. Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds was a cheater and, in my opinion, should be banned from the Hall Of Fame because of it.
But man, what a swing.
Remember, he was on a Hall Of Fame pace before all the nonsense.
So what was his secret?
People talk about keeping the hands inside the ball, and Barry Bonds' secret was that he did just that.
7. Matt Holliday
One thing that came up in my work with the hitters at HSSU was the Point Of Contact.
Where contact should be made relative to the front foot.
That then came up again during my work with my nephew's team.
I love this picture of Matt Holliday because, while his angles are great, you can also see where he makes contact with the ball relative to his front foot.
P.S. I have a number of pictures of Josh Donaldson's swing, at contact in particular, that I absolutely love.
My prime example for Rotation -- and my explanation for my use of the term Rotational Hitting -- is also a picture of Josh Donaldson.
The only reason Matt Holliday won out was because the picture of him was taken from a slightly higher elevation and you can see both Matt Holliday's front foot and the plate.
6. Mickey Mantle
Why did Mickey Mantle hit the ball as hard and as far as he did?
Because his swing was spectacularly efficient.
I love this picture because it encapsulates Mantle's efficiency.
That starts with how he powered his swing with his Hips and not his Hands.
5. Matt Carpenter
It took me a while to figure out why I found Matt Carpenter's swing so captivating.
I recently came to realize that it wasn't just that his swing was good, but it was very Consistent in its goodness.
Unfortunately, Matt Carpenter has gotten away from -- and most likely coached out of -- some of the things that made his swing so consistently good, and he's not having the impact he did and, in my opinion, could and should.
4. Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer's secret is a great example of a swing that is both simple and effective.
3. Joc Pederson
A good swing doesn't have to be a complicated swing, and this picture of Joc Pederson makes that clear.
The nice thing about this swing is there are multiple views available of it into contact, and they form the basis of my analysis of the Joc Pederson swing sequence.
2. Aaron Judge
Why does Aaron Judge hit the ball as hard and as far as he does.
It's not just because he's huge.
There are plenty of huge guys who can't hit the ball nearly as far.
Aaron Judge's secret is that his swing is so Efficient, and it's efficient because of his superb Alignment.
1. David Freese
My favorite hitting picture is very similar to many of the others, but there is one critical difference.
You can see the ball.
Not only is David Freese providing a great example of concepts like Rotation, Hips Not Hands, Alignment, Hands Inside the Ball, and Late Lag, but he's also showing how little a hitter's hands do on a great swing.