Here’s a nice video clip of Justin Upton’s swing from the 2011 postseason. He crushes a 3-1 fastball to deep left field and the clip shows a couple replays from the center field and side views for a good look at his hitting mechanics (and bat flipping style!):
One of the things I like about Upton’s swing is that he generates tons of power but doesn’t have a lot of “noise”. Specifically, he doesn’t get far away from a good swing plane. Here is an illustration of what I mean, just before Upton unloads his swing:
Justin Upton swing plane
Lots of bat speed + consistent swing path = power AND consistency!
I previously posted the “Home Run Drill” that Yankees hitting coach, Kevin Long, came up with and used with Robinson Cano, and now here is a look at Cano’s hitting mechanics that were recently on display in the 2011 Home Run Derby. At the :56 mark, there is a good side view in super slo- mo:
A few things that I really like:
1. The way he moves against his back leg
2. The position of his upper body
3. How his bat gets on and stays in a really great swing path
It’s not easy to have a short swing and create bat speed at the same time, but this is a pretty good example of what it looks like.
The Bratt Bat has been around for a long time and if you pay attention you can probably see one in the on-deck circle of most major league baseball teams. Although Bratt Bat’s are traditionally used as a warm-up device, I think they can also serve a purpose for learning specific areas of the swing, such as rotation and swing path. Even though these heavy weighted bats are out of the suggested range for use with standard overload-underload bat speed training, they still can be an effective tool for teaching mechanics that generate power and increased bat speed.
This video from Stack gives a look at off-season hitting training with Philadelphia Phillies’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins. It shows some cage drills and batting practice swings along with some insight from hitting coach, Milt Thompson. Rollins talks a bit about bat speed and his hitting approach, especially in the cage – a controlled environment where you should be working towards perfection. Deliberate practice instead of just mindless hacks.
Back in the summer of 2006 there was a college player I worked with a handfull of times after he played his freshman season at a very competitive Division 1 program (they won their conference this year and competed in the NCAA baseball tournament).
We mainly did some video review and worked on mechanics as I tried to give him the information I thought he needed to put things together and make the most of his talent. I received this text message at the end of this May:
This is P***** P***** from **U. Just played my last game and wanted to thank you for working with me. You turned my career around. This year I hit .365 with 11 HR and 51 RBI. Thanks.
Internet-vets have surely seen the overhead swing path video of Pete Rose, which shows a good depiction of the ‘circular’ type path of the hands. This is a game shot with Trot Nixon hitting, mirrored to show both sides of the overhead swing path from launch to contact.