Marking Launch angles in batting cages?

thanks to statcast we now know that Launch angles between +10 and +30 degrees are most productive. On twitter I have seen some guys marking those angles with lines to Train hitting at those angles.

basically like this

 

of course you can only do that at your own Cage but I think it would be a good idea. what do you think about that? couldn't that help hitters to become more productive? of course a hit Trax is nicer but also much more expensive than those ropes who will only cost like 15 bucks.

Original Post
nxt lvl posted:

Abunch of different ways to notate 10 Degrees. We dont have our own cage so the ropes are out of the question. 

maybe you could create removable ones with carbines. you could also mark only the back/top of the cage and not the whole sides. 

Generally, any such visuals are good.  As with most things, there are pros and cons.  For our HS players, we narrow the scope by lowering the higher end of that launch angle range.  We instruct straight line drives to slightly higher.  With a narrowed scope, when a hitter adjusts to pitches a bit up or down, they are more likely to stay within the desired optimal range.

We use, on occasion, makeshift target lines but I do like the rope in the net.  We have used sections of colored ribbon across the back net only.

One of the "cons" to using the range as you defined - when most young players have a visual that is more "upward" than "level" their mindset usually gravitates toward the most upward angle.  They think "hit it up" instead of "hit a level to slightly elevated line drive".  It can affect set-up and swing plane - they tend to exaggerate with a tilted set up and swing plane that is higher and not ideal for consistent barrel contact.  This can become counter-productive for many young players.  

Of course, player type should also be taken into consideration.   Optimal angle for a small speedster is different than that of a masher with a natural "lift" swing.

A question, Dominik - in the image, are all three rope lines supposed to be part of the launch angle visual?  

 

cabbagedad posted:

Generally, any such visuals are good.  As with most things, there are pros and cons.  For our HS players, we narrow the scope by lowering the higher end of that launch angle range.  We instruct straight line drives to slightly higher.  With a narrowed scope, when a hitter adjusts to pitches a bit up or down, they are more likely to stay within the desired optimal range.

We use, on occasion, makeshift target lines but I do like the rope in the net.  We have used sections of colored ribbon across the back net only.

One of the "cons" to using the range as you defined - when most young players have a visual that is more "upward" than "level" their mindset usually gravitates toward the most upward angle.  They think "hit it up" instead of "hit a level to slightly elevated line drive".  It can affect set-up and swing plane - they tend to exaggerate with a tilted set up and swing plane that is higher and not ideal for consistent barrel contact.  This can become counter-productive for many young players.  

Of course, player type should also be taken into consideration.   Optimal angle for a small speedster is different than that of a masher with a natural "lift" swing.

A question, Dominik - in the image, are all three rope lines supposed to be part of the launch angle visual?  

 

I think the very lowest line has no function. however I think that lower of the other lines is about 20 degrees, I would make it a little lower. 

Although I believe in Launch Angles and I have even seen Iowa block off their entire infield with box nets here is my one worry.  The launch angles that are discussed are, as far as I know, based off a pitcher throwing a pitch off an elevated mound.  If you mark these in a cage in which you are throwing off the flat ground my assumption is that this would change angles.  This is the problem I have with doing something like this.

The visual reference of the cage 2 posts above tells me that the old phrase "back of the cage son" pretty much takes care of the need to mark launch angles on sides of cages. A ball that makes its way to the back of the cage or at least beyond the L screen before contacting the top of cage has always been what I've asked my son for in the cage!....this thread kinda reinforces what I've told him since little league!lol....edit: before you take me to task for the exactness of the location described above vs the lines in blue, lighten up....just comparing old school "success" for me with my son  to new school lines on the cage!

2019Lefty21 posted:

The visual reference of the cage 2 posts above tells me that the old phrase "back of the cage son" pretty much takes care of the need to mark launch angles on sides of cages. A ball that makes its way to the back of the cage or at least beyond the L screen before contacting the top of cage has always been what I've asked my son for in the cage!....this thread kinda reinforces what I've told him since little league!lol....edit: before you take me to task for the exactness of the location described above vs the lines in blue, lighten up....just comparing old school "success" for me with my son  to new school lines on the cage!

yes but back of the Cage is just the BOTTOM of the desired Launch angle range (and only if you hit over the Screen, if you hit through the "L" hole it is lower).

don't Forget that a Level line drive (aimed against the Screen ) on the field will bounce roughly around the pitchers Mound due to gravity. even a plus 5 degree hit at 90 MPH will only travel like 130 feet, so it is essentially a hard one hopper to short or a shoelace line drive.

MLB statcast thus has liners from 10-25 degrees.

you don't want to hit the top of the Cage 10 feet in front of home plate obviously, but a batted ball that hits the top of the Cage about 20 feet away from home plate is pretty much an ideal Launch angle.

Actually a ball hit at a 30 degree angle at a height of 3 feet above the ground will hit the top of a 12 feet high batting Cage about 16 feet behind home plate although most coaches would discourage that Kind of result.

And if you don't want 30 degree balls: because you have a small guy:

if we assume the ideal line drive to be at 17.5 degrees (10+25/2), that ball would hit the top of the Cage 30 feet away from home plate which is still a couple feet before the L Screen (assuming the L Screen is about 45 feet from home plate).

That means only a small part of the ideal LA range will actually hit the (top part) of the back of the Cage, while the majority will hit the top of the Cage.

I don't even think you Need to mark the sides of the Screen all that much, just mark the part of the top of the Cage (about 15-20 feet from home) where the ideal lauch angle ends and use the top of the Screen as the bottom range.

if you hit the top before that it is too steep and behind that you are fine.

ideally of course you mark the sides and the back/top.

If you don't want to mark it you could maybe say hit the back half  of the top of the Cage (backstop to about middle of the Cage is front half and middle of the Cage to the back end behind the Screen is the back half)instead of hit the back of the Cage.

I made this Picture: the Cage is a Little shorter and higher than normal, so the Launch angle of the front part of the line is more like 40 degrees but you get the Picture.

cage

 

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I personally have been really focusing on hitting up on the ball.  I have naturally had a flat swing or slight up swing and this goes back to the days where I was told to HIT DOWN on the ball, even as a power hitter.  Never made sense and I struggled.  I fight with the zepp attack angle numbers because when my swing clearly shows up on video and zepp is telling me its -25' and the ball is going up I get frustrated.  So I try and change mechanics and swing plane and hands and shoulders and swing up.  I used to be a home run and power hitter but I dont have video of that far back so I have to assume my swing has changed over time.  

Here is why Im posting...  IEBSBL posted something interesting about pitches coming off a mound and launch angles.  This got quickly dismissed because launch angles dont really have to do with pitch angle in theory because the angle is off the bat compared to the ground.  BUT, when I hit in a 70-80mph cage off a machine or a live pitcher not on a mound, the ball is coming in at a much less angle vs off a mound.  That in return changes what we do with the bat and swing plane which in return changes the launch angle.  I never considered this but it makes sense.  Maybe I do swing on the proper angle but I dont realize it because in training the ball is coming in flat or very slightly downward bc of gravity.  So I swing flatter to match that path.  

If I look at the zepp app and look at mike trouts swing from the side, his launch angle is matching the pitch angle.  The pitcher is sitting a bit in front of the mound, behind a screen, tossing at a slow speed.  This is creating a very dramatic pitch angle so Mike has to swing up to match it.  Im sure his subconscious tells him to match the pitch angle.  But in my videos from cage work the ball is coming in basically flat and my swing gets on plane and matches that angle.  

Make sense?  It makes it VERY hard to swing up on a ball that is coming in flat.  You are cutting the impact area by a large percentage because now you have only a small spot on the ball and a perfect timing to hit that ball up.  Unless you get on plane of a flat pitch with a flat swing and catch if just under the equator.  But at that swing you arent hitting home runs but fly outs without any real force.  

This must all have a huge impact on hitting and training without knowing it.  

Well a Cage pitch is not coming in flat.

most of the downward angle of a pitch is not due to the Mound but due to gravity and the ball being released over shoulder height and arriving usually below waist height. the Mound might add some more angle but not much (maybe adding one more degree of downward angle or so).

if the BP in the Cage is thrown it probably is actually steeper than game pitching because it is slower and usually thrown from a shorter distance.

maybe if it is a machine that is firing balls from rather low at a high Velo the pitch will be flatter but I doubt that makes a big difference.

Dominik85 posted:

Well a Cage pitch is not coming in flat.

most of the downward angle of a pitch is not due to the Mound but due to gravity and the ball being released over shoulder height and arriving usually below waist height. the Mound might add some more angle but not much (maybe adding one more degree of downward angle or so).

if the BP in the Cage is thrown it probably is actually steeper than game pitching because it is slower and usually thrown from a shorter distance.

maybe if it is a machine that is firing balls from rather low at a high Velo the pitch will be flatter but I doubt that makes a big difference.

 

I moved this to another thread.  I dont want to hijack this one.  Sorry and thanks. 

 

http://community.hsbaseballweb...d-vs-flat-vs-machine

Dominik85 posted:

maybe it is not completely the same. but I'm pretty sure we are talking something like 6 degrees vs 8 degrees here. 

 

certainly nothing that would justify a launch angle that is 20 degrees  lower than in games. 

I started another thread:

http://community.hsbaseballweb...d-vs-flat-vs-machine

 

Lets work there.  But Im not saying launch angle differences, I am saying attack angle differences.  Remember we can still launch a ball at 30' with an uppercut, level, or down swing depending on where we make contact. 

I agree but don't forget that players are not really matching the plane anyway but swing up more (I think the average is around 15 degrees or so among elite sluggers). 

it is true that swinging up more makes squaring up harder and of course you can hit up while swinging level but a higher attack angle transfers more energy into higher launch angles. 

there is a tradeoff between consistency and optimal power output. 

 

I think regardless of whether a pitch Comes in at 5 or 9 degrees I think it does make sense to prime Players for hitting a lot of balls between 10 and 30 degrees. that way a Player just maximizes whatever batspeed he has.

maybe you can lower that range to 10-20 degrees for smaller hitters if you want because that is were the highest batting averages are.

I was in the cage today for the first time in two weeks and concentrated on the cue hit the back half of the top of the cage. I marked the top of the cage about 25 feet from home plate with a towel I put on top of it there and tried to hit the top of the cage behind it.

first it feels weird and you think you hit pop ups but then it feels really good. told another guy to hit it over the screen and he liked it after a while too. it just goes against the usual teaching so it first feels a little weird.

Dom you are young if I recall?  Please do the baseball community a huge favor and become a coach. We need more like you. You are beating your head against a brick wall a bit here but I admire your tenacity. Folks can we clear this up for the last time...  physics are physics and old school mentality doesn't change that. If you hit the back of the cage first off it might just be caught by the pitcher second it better be absolutely smoked or it may not even make it out of the infield. Second base is 127' 3 3/8" from home plate as we know. A good shortstop who can range behind the bag may be 150'? From the plate. Unless you hit the very top of the back of the cage that's a ground ball. Could it be a ground ball up the middle base hit?  Sure. But better have a pretty good exit velocity. And even so if a guy hits .300 with all singles up the middle...  that's called a useless hitter. Same BA as slugging pct.  not good.  We have to fight this mentality that home runs are 'mistakes'. Home runs and extra base hits are the goal. Pop ups and ground balls are the mistakes. Oh and by the way Dom I know you are meticulous in your research so you may be interested to know that a ball hit at the optimum launch angle if 25 degrees strikes the top of the cage - ready - 12 to 15 feet from the plate depending on how high your cage is and if pitch was high or low. Guarantee kid rips one and it hits top 15 feet down the tobacco spitters are all over him. Dom keep up the good work. Our organization just got hit trax for our brand new facility. Should be operational within the month. Can't wait. Little Johnny with the 65mph exit velocity hitting the back of the cage is officially out of business. Til you can get hit trax or similar the rope idea is great - combined with a gun of course, launch angle without exit velocity is an incomplete picture. Good luck!

P.S. Did some calculations...   assuming 50 feet from plate to back of cage (pretty common, most don't have 70 foot cages) if you have a 12ft high cage (giving my opponents every benefit of the doubt - that is a pretty high cage) the very top of the back of the cage, and I mean the very top it is 10.2 degrees of launch angle assuming a thigh high contact point about three feet off the ground.  So really it's pushing it to say the back of the cage is a goal. Again that back of cage represents only one third the distance you need for a hit. And again you will need an awful lot of exit velocity and a lot to go right to earn your single up the middle. No thanks. Chicks dig the long ball!  And so does every scout. And gappers can count in the long ball category for me. 

Before this was posted I was thinking about posting it. Now that I think about it , who can see the angle the ball comes off the bat in a cage  ?  In my opinion you might as well  figure out where on the back of the cage is a HR if it's even at the back of the cage. If you can't hit the ball  350' with some frequency you might as well  just try to hit line drives. Which isn't a bad thing . If you're 5'8" 150 pounds or an eleven year old should you be swinging for the fences ? Just make hard contact and go from there. 

2020dad posted:

... Folks can we clear this up for the last time...  physics are physics and old school mentality doesn't change that. If you hit the back of the cage first off it might just be caught by the pitcher second it better be absolutely smoked or it may not even make it out of the infield. Second base is 127' 3 3/8" from home plate as we know. A good shortstop who can range behind the bag may be 150'? From the plate. Unless you hit the very top of the back of the cage that's a ground ball. Could it be a ground ball up the middle base hit?  Sure. But better have a pretty good exit velocity. And even so if a guy hits .300 with all singles up the middle...  that's called a useless hitter. Same BA as slugging pct.  not good.  We have to fight this mentality that home runs are 'mistakes'. Home runs and extra base hits are the goal. Pop ups and ground balls are the mistakes. Oh and by the way Dom I know you are meticulous in your research so you may be interested to know that a ball hit at the optimum launch angle if 25 degrees strikes the top of the cage - ready - 12 to 15 feet from the plate depending on how high your cage is and if pitch was high or low. Guarantee kid rips one and it hits top 15 feet down the tobacco spitters are all over him. Dom keep up the good work. Our organization just got hit trax for our brand new facility. Should be operational within the month. Can't wait. Little Johnny with the 65mph exit velocity hitting the back of the cage is officially out of business. Til you can get hit trax or similar the rope idea is great - combined with a gun of course, launch angle without exit velocity is an incomplete picture. Good luck!

2020, so you are a proponent of teaching little Johnny  with 65mph exit velo to try to hit the ball at a launch angle of 25 degrees, correct?   And it sounds like you include the average HS player in the group that is little Johnny, correct?

Approximately what swing plane are you proposing to be taught to achieve that angle?  What level/s of play is the data from that tells us that this is the optimal angle?

cabbagedad posted:
2020dad posted:

... Folks can we clear this up for the last time...  physics are physics and old school mentality doesn't change that. If you hit the back of the cage first off it might just be caught by the pitcher second it better be absolutely smoked or it may not even make it out of the infield. Second base is 127' 3 3/8" from home plate as we know. A good shortstop who can range behind the bag may be 150'? From the plate. Unless you hit the very top of the back of the cage that's a ground ball. Could it be a ground ball up the middle base hit?  Sure. But better have a pretty good exit velocity. And even so if a guy hits .300 with all singles up the middle...  that's called a useless hitter. Same BA as slugging pct.  not good.  We have to fight this mentality that home runs are 'mistakes'. Home runs and extra base hits are the goal. Pop ups and ground balls are the mistakes. Oh and by the way Dom I know you are meticulous in your research so you may be interested to know that a ball hit at the optimum launch angle if 25 degrees strikes the top of the cage - ready - 12 to 15 feet from the plate depending on how high your cage is and if pitch was high or low. Guarantee kid rips one and it hits top 15 feet down the tobacco spitters are all over him. Dom keep up the good work. Our organization just got hit trax for our brand new facility. Should be operational within the month. Can't wait. Little Johnny with the 65mph exit velocity hitting the back of the cage is officially out of business. Til you can get hit trax or similar the rope idea is great - combined with a gun of course, launch angle without exit velocity is an incomplete picture. Good luck!

2020, so you are a proponent of teaching little Johnny  with 65mph exit velo to try to hit the ball at a launch angle of 25 degrees, correct?   And it sounds like you include the average HS player in the group that is little Johnny, correct?

Approximately what swing plane are you proposing to be taught to achieve that angle?  What level/s of play is the data from that tells us that this is the optimal angle?

25 degrees is not really that steep, it is listed as a high line drive by statcast. 

I would guess a ball hit at 65 degrees at 25 degrees lands behind the infield and in front of the of most of the time at least on the small field (most hs players will probably hit 70+ anyway). 

2020dad posted:

Dom you are young if I recall?  Please do the baseball community a huge favor and become a coach. We need more like you. You are beating your head against a brick wall a bit here but I admire your tenacity. Folks can we clear this up for the last time...  physics are physics and old school mentality doesn't change that. If you hit the back of the cage first off it might just be caught by the pitcher second it better be absolutely smoked or it may not even make it out of the infield. Second base is 127' 3 3/8" from home plate as we know. A good shortstop who can range behind the bag may be 150'? From the plate. Unless you hit the very top of the back of the cage that's a ground ball. Could it be a ground ball up the middle base hit?  Sure. But better have a pretty good exit velocity. And even so if a guy hits .300 with all singles up the middle...  that's called a useless hitter. Same BA as slugging pct.  not good.  We have to fight this mentality that home runs are 'mistakes'. Home runs and extra base hits are the goal. Pop ups and ground balls are the mistakes. Oh and by the way Dom I know you are meticulous in your research so you may be interested to know that a ball hit at the optimum launch angle if 25 degrees strikes the top of the cage - ready - 12 to 15 feet from the plate depending on how high your cage is and if pitch was high or low. Guarantee kid rips one and it hits top 15 feet down the tobacco spitters are all over him. Dom keep up the good work. Our organization just got hit trax for our brand new facility. Should be operational within the month. Can't wait. Little Johnny with the 65mph exit velocity hitting the back of the cage is officially out of business. Til you can get hit trax or similar the rope idea is great - combined with a gun of course, launch angle without exit velocity is an incomplete picture. Good luck!

thanks for the kind words. I will definitely consider coaching I already assist some hitting coaching. I'm definitely a student of the game but of course coaching is much more than just knowledge, it is also organization, didactics, motivation and much more. 

a good coach with dated knowledge who can teach that well is often better than a bad coach with state of the art knowledge. better a non perfect movement that you can really execute than a shaky movement, skill is more than correct knowledge. 

best is of course both, great teaching skills and state of the art knowledge. 

Dominik85 posted:
cabbagedad posted:
2020dad posted:

... Folks can we clear this up for the last time...  physics are physics and old school mentality doesn't change that. If you hit the back of the cage first off it might just be caught by the pitcher second it better be absolutely smoked or it may not even make it out of the infield. Second base is 127' 3 3/8" from home plate as we know. A good shortstop who can range behind the bag may be 150'? From the plate. Unless you hit the very top of the back of the cage that's a ground ball. Could it be a ground ball up the middle base hit?  Sure. But better have a pretty good exit velocity. And even so if a guy hits .300 with all singles up the middle...  that's called a useless hitter. Same BA as slugging pct.  not good.  We have to fight this mentality that home runs are 'mistakes'. Home runs and extra base hits are the goal. Pop ups and ground balls are the mistakes. Oh and by the way Dom I know you are meticulous in your research so you may be interested to know that a ball hit at the optimum launch angle if 25 degrees strikes the top of the cage - ready - 12 to 15 feet from the plate depending on how high your cage is and if pitch was high or low. Guarantee kid rips one and it hits top 15 feet down the tobacco spitters are all over him. Dom keep up the good work. Our organization just got hit trax for our brand new facility. Should be operational within the month. Can't wait. Little Johnny with the 65mph exit velocity hitting the back of the cage is officially out of business. Til you can get hit trax or similar the rope idea is great - combined with a gun of course, launch angle without exit velocity is an incomplete picture. Good luck!

2020, so you are a proponent of teaching little Johnny  with 65mph exit velo to try to hit the ball at a launch angle of 25 degrees, correct?   And it sounds like you include the average HS player in the group that is little Johnny, correct?

Approximately what swing plane are you proposing to be taught to achieve that angle?  What level/s of play is the data from that tells us that this is the optimal angle?

25 degrees is not really that steep, it is listed as a high line drive by statcast. 

I would guess a ball hit at 65 degrees at 25 degrees lands behind the infield and in front of the of most of the time at least on the small field (most hs players will probably hit 70+ anyway). 

OK, while I'm waiting for 2020's response, I'll ask you some similar questions...

So, you put most HS players at 70+ exit velo.  What would you say such a player should have as a target launch angle?  And what swing plane would you teach to the average HS player?  

Ok I am here!  I would teach the major league swing. This of course should be the same as a good college swing. That's the goal. I don't believe in cutting corners for expediency only to have to reprogram the kid later. While there is certainly some variance generally speaking an attack angle (what we can control mechanically and different than launch angle) of 10 to 15 degrees is what I would strive for.   Launch angle of anywhere from 15 to 25ish. Maybe a tad more as well. And swing as hard as you can within your mechanics. This would not change for me regardless of age. Truth is a more level swing promotes even less contact at young ages. The angle the slow pitching of youth comes in at is much steeper than the roughly 8 degrees in MLB. So let's just say it's coming in at 15 degrees. Then a 15 degree attack angle really would simply be level to the plane of the pitch. Nothing more damaging than teaching young kids to hit ground balls because they are often hits. Does nothing for their future. Turn and burn!!

P.s. I would hope to God the average HS player is above 65mph. So no little Johnny is not the average HS player. Little Johnny refers more to the batting cage hero who hits soft line drives to the back of the screen while daddyball coach tells him how great he is. Then the first time he has to try out for a team not coached by daddy he gets cut or fails. 

2020dad posted:

Ok I am here!  I would teach the major league swing. This of course should be the same as a good college swing. That's the goal. I don't believe in cutting corners for expediency only to have to reprogram the kid later. While there is certainly some variance generally speaking an attack angle (what we can control mechanically and different than launch angle) of 10 to 15 degrees is what I would strive for.   Launch angle of anywhere from 15 to 25ish. Maybe a tad more as well. And swing as hard as you can within your mechanics. This would not change for me regardless of age. Truth is a more level swing promotes even less contact at young ages. The angle the slow pitching of youth comes in at is much steeper than the roughly 8 degrees in MLB. So let's just say it's coming in at 15 degrees. Then a 15 degree attack angle really would simply be level to the plane of the pitch. Nothing more damaging than teaching young kids to hit ground balls because they are often hits. Does nothing for their future. Turn and burn!!

OK, thanks 2020.  So since your desired swing plane is 10-15 and your desired launch angle is 15-25, then math would say that your optimal swing would result in hitting slightly under center of the ball to create that launch angle, correct?  And, if so, what is your "teach" to connect the two (desired plane being slightly lower than desired launch angle)?

Oh, and it looks like you have figured out some calculating with this so help me out if you can... let's say my L screen is set up about 30' from the plate and top of net is 10' high and tee is set at about 2 1/2 feet high.  How far past or in front of the L screen would the ball hit the top of the net with a 25 degree launch angle?

cabbagedad posted:
Dominik85 posted:
cabbagedad posted:
2020dad posted:

... Folks can we clear this up for the last time...  physics are physics and old school mentality doesn't change that. If you hit the back of the cage first off it might just be caught by the pitcher second it better be absolutely smoked or it may not even make it out of the infield. Second base is 127' 3 3/8" from home plate as we know. A good shortstop who can range behind the bag may be 150'? From the plate. Unless you hit the very top of the back of the cage that's a ground ball. Could it be a ground ball up the middle base hit?  Sure. But better have a pretty good exit velocity. And even so if a guy hits .300 with all singles up the middle...  that's called a useless hitter. Same BA as slugging pct.  not good.  We have to fight this mentality that home runs are 'mistakes'. Home runs and extra base hits are the goal. Pop ups and ground balls are the mistakes. Oh and by the way Dom I know you are meticulous in your research so you may be interested to know that a ball hit at the optimum launch angle if 25 degrees strikes the top of the cage - ready - 12 to 15 feet from the plate depending on how high your cage is and if pitch was high or low. Guarantee kid rips one and it hits top 15 feet down the tobacco spitters are all over him. Dom keep up the good work. Our organization just got hit trax for our brand new facility. Should be operational within the month. Can't wait. Little Johnny with the 65mph exit velocity hitting the back of the cage is officially out of business. Til you can get hit trax or similar the rope idea is great - combined with a gun of course, launch angle without exit velocity is an incomplete picture. Good luck!

2020, so you are a proponent of teaching little Johnny  with 65mph exit velo to try to hit the ball at a launch angle of 25 degrees, correct?   And it sounds like you include the average HS player in the group that is little Johnny, correct?

Approximately what swing plane are you proposing to be taught to achieve that angle?  What level/s of play is the data from that tells us that this is the optimal angle?

25 degrees is not really that steep, it is listed as a high line drive by statcast. 

I would guess a ball hit at 65 degrees at 25 degrees lands behind the infield and in front of the of most of the time at least on the small field (most hs players will probably hit 70+ anyway). 

OK, while I'm waiting for 2020's response, I'll ask you some similar questions...

So, you put most HS players at 70+ exit velo.  What would you say such a player should have as a target launch angle?  And what swing plane would you teach to the average HS player?  

I think peak batting average disregarding of power is around 15 degrees. 

 

So, you put most HS players at 70+ exit velo.  What would you say such a player should have as a target launch angle?  And what swing plane would you teach to the average HS player?  

I think peak batting average disregarding of power is around 15 degrees. 

Are you talking launch angle, swing plane or both?  What is your "teach" with optimal launch angle and swing plane?  If plane is not same as desired launch angle, how do you address or "teach" the difference and how to accomplish the launch angle with a different swing plane (if different)?

cabbagedad posted:
2020dad posted:

Ok I am here!  I would teach the major league swing. This of course should be the same as a good college swing. That's the goal. I don't believe in cutting corners for expediency only to have to reprogram the kid later. While there is certainly some variance generally speaking an attack angle (what we can control mechanically and different than launch angle) of 10 to 15 degrees is what I would strive for.   Launch angle of anywhere from 15 to 25ish. Maybe a tad more as well. And swing as hard as you can within your mechanics. This would not change for me regardless of age. Truth is a more level swing promotes even less contact at young ages. The angle the slow pitching of youth comes in at is much steeper than the roughly 8 degrees in MLB. So let's just say it's coming in at 15 degrees. Then a 15 degree attack angle really would simply be level to the plane of the pitch. Nothing more damaging than teaching young kids to hit ground balls because they are often hits. Does nothing for their future. Turn and burn!!

OK, thanks 2020.  So since your desired swing plane is 10-15 and your desired launch angle is 15-25, then math would say that your optimal swing would result in hitting slightly under center of the ball to create that launch angle, correct?  And, if so, what is your "teach" to connect the two (desired plane being slightly lower than desired launch angle)?

Oh, and it looks like you have figured out some calculating with this so help me out if you can... let's say my L screen is set up about 30' from the plate and top of net is 10' high and tee is set at about 2 1/2 feet high.  How far past or in front of the L screen would the ball hit the top of the net with a 25 degree launch angle?

I did the math in a prior post. 

10 degrees is about top of the screen or where back and top of the cage meet. 

15 degrees is about 30 feet away from home (you can do the math were that is in relation to the screen)  and 25 degrees is about 20 feet from home. 

dominick, shhhh.  You're giving away the store here, man.

What will happen to those 99% of kids that would have never started their HS team if they suddenly stop hitting those 0 deg shots into the screen (for 50ft max distance)??  And what will happen to those old instructors/coaches/scouts???

boom

 

SultanofSwat posted:

dominick, shhhh.  You're giving away the store here, man.

What will happen to those 99% of kids that would have never started their HS team if they suddenly stop hitting those 0 deg shots into the screen (for 50ft max distance)??  And what will happen to those old instructors/coaches/scouts???

boom

 

I do not think this is a magic pill that makes everyone a high level athlete. you still need to learn proper mechanics, as you can hit up with a bad swing too. 

I just think training should be game specific and since statcast told us that 10-30 degrees is the best training should probably reflect that. 

I don't think you need to try undercutting the ball either. if you swing at plus 15 degrees which I think is around average for good hitters you will hit some balls lower and some balls higher if you square them up.  15 degrees is probably around average (zepp lists trout at 18, altuve at 15, rizzo at 9 and pence at 22). 

15 is also right in the middle of the statcast line drive range of 10-25 so i think that is probably the value players are shooting for. sometimes you get above the ball and sometimes below it. 

cabbagedad posted:

2020??  U still there?  Still interested in your answers.

Dominick, thanks.  Here's a question I asked 2020 that you could probably answer... are the stats that define optimal launch angle based on MLB results or other?

yes the only data we have is probably mlb data. high school or other amateur ball facilities just dont have tracking systems that track LA. 

Well launch angles aren't all that hard to calculate. Don't need fancy equipment. Markings on the cage like you started this post with dom.  And it doesn't really matter what level. From 12u to MLB the swing is the swing. The launch angle is the launch angle. As for the 'teach'...  well cabbage that is the $64000 question isn't it?  It's just not that easy. That's why I am a big believer in video and zepp etc. got to get the feel for where those angles are and then just repeat.   But one thing is for sure. We have to get Way from this antiquated view of hitting it back at the screen or hitting the back of the cage. 

Goblue33 posted:
2020dad posted:

  But one thing is for sure. We have to get Way from this antiquated view of hitting it back at the screen or hitting the back of the cage. 

Um...why?  What's wrong with line drives hard up the middle? 

Well hitting the screen is a ground ball if the pitcher doesn't catch it the shortstop certainly might.  But as stated before even if they do get through they are 100% singles. 100%. And that doesn't win games in reality. 

2020dad posted:
Goblue33 posted:
2020dad posted:

  But one thing is for sure. We have to get Way from this antiquated view of hitting it back at the screen or hitting the back of the cage. 

Um...why?  What's wrong with line drives hard up the middle? 

Well hitting the screen is a ground ball if the pitcher doesn't catch it the shortstop certainly might.  But as stated before even if they do get through they are 100% singles. 100%. And that doesn't win games in reality. 

I can understand lower level coaches though. at lower levels the value of extra base hits goes down and the value of getting on base goes up because defenses and batteries are not good at keeping runners where they are. we all have seen the little league games were a walk is basically a double. 

at the lowest levels strategies like putting the ball on the ground or hit low liners or taking pitches/wait out the pitcher actually often work so they are used by coaches who want to win. 

of course for development it is not good when Tiny number 9 hitter gets primed to look for walks but for him that might be the only chance to get on base even though it won't scale at the next level. 

what is best for development and what is best for winning is not always the same at lower levels. 

Goblue33 posted:
 

What's wrong with line drives hard up the middle? 

Let's look at the odds.  5 players in the infield, and only 3 in the OF covering 2-3X more ground.  Wouldn't it make more sense to practice hitting the ball just over the infielder's head (approx. 10 deg launch angle)?  Then you could hit hard line drives in any direction, not just in that narrow gap up the middle while missing the pitcher?

Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
Goblue33 posted:
2020dad posted:

  But one thing is for sure. We have to get Way from this antiquated view of hitting it back at the screen or hitting the back of the cage. 

Um...why?  What's wrong with line drives hard up the middle? 

Well hitting the screen is a ground ball if the pitcher doesn't catch it the shortstop certainly might.  But as stated before even if they do get through they are 100% singles. 100%. And that doesn't win games in reality. 

I can understand lower level coaches though. at lower levels the value of extra base hits goes down and the value of getting on base goes up because defenses and batteries are not good at keeping runners where they are. we all have seen the little league games were a walk is basically a double. 

at the lowest levels strategies like putting the ball on the ground or hit low liners or taking pitches/wait out the pitcher actually often work so they are used by coaches who want to win. 

of course for development it is not good when Tiny number 9 hitter gets primed to look for walks but for him that might be the only chance to get on base even though it won't scale at the next level. 

what is best for development and what is best for winning is not always the same at lower levels. 

100% correct again dom. I got roped into coaching my sons team just once - when he was 10. I refused to do any of the crazy 1st and 3rd stuff or any other crap that isn't done on upper levels.  As stewards of the game we have a responsibility to teach the game the right way. Not the way to win a 10 year old baseball game. Same with the swing. Groove the correct swing. Don't develop a swing geared to youth baseball that will have to be changed later. 

http://fivethirtyeight.com/fea...-science-of-hitting/

I encourage all to study this in depth. This is indisputable evidence that launch angles need to be above 10 degrees. In fact that 10 degree mark we keep talking about doesn't become productive at all til at least 90mph exit velocity. With today's technology there is no longer room for difference of opinion. There really is a right and wrong. We need young people like dom to get involved with coaching and push the lazy old coaches out who don't want to study the game and learn these things. Hitting the back of the cage = bad A lot of the time. At best it is an incomplete picture. Hitting the very upper left corner in the back of the cage at 105mph exit velocity = really good!  Hitting the back of the cage 4 feet off the ground = ground ball.   If you really are serious about setting a launch angle goal 10 degrees is not the answer.   You want that to be your 'mistake' on the low end that might just squeak through the infield. Anything below 10 as you can see is almost purely bad unless there is tremendous exit velocity. Interestingly enough notice there is a lot more production from Texas leaguers with low exit velocity and high launch angle than from under 10 degrees. That would be a dangerous and unproductive line to hang your hat on. 

http://www.hittraxbaseball.com...y_Elite_Baseball.pdf

another good one. See that increasing launch angle also increases line drives and significantly increases slugging pct. what amazes me is the plethora of scientific and statistical information out there and yet some cling to old myths. I have many times changes my teachings when proven incorrect. It's no big deal to be wrong and make a change. In fact it's the right thing to do. But stubbornness in hanging on to your own beliefs in the face of overwhelevidence to the contrary...  well we need to get away from that. 

BTW the batting average in play on those  0-5 degree grounders in MLB is not bad (around .400) but the Overall production is much lower because you don't get extra base hits except the rare down the line ground ball double. for example for 0-4 degrees the BA was 419 and SLG just 465, meaning the ISO was just 0.05 (MLB average is around 0.15). with a 5-9 degree angle BA was .570 but again ISO only .076. the first time ISO gets above league average is 10-14 degrees (.19). it is very hard to be an average or better hitter with a below average ISO because that not only lowers your SLG but often also means you don't walk at higher Levels even if you are Patient because pitchers will not be afraid to attack you because the worst that can happen is a single. to be above average with the bat with a below average ISO you basically have to contend for batting titles (see Ichiro).

above 14 degrees BA starts to go down but ISO goes up. for example at 15-19 degrees BA is down to .619 but ISO is up to .343. Slugging at both angles is about similar (around 960).

 That means above 15 degrees is probably were no power guys start to lose. maybe low power guys with Speed should aim for 10-15 degrees instead of 15-20 but that still means that the back of the Cage is still the very lower end of the Launch angle range for those guys.

Data is statcast data from 2015

http://diamondkinetics.com/hig...g-vs-home-run-swing/

I think an analogy you could use is that tennis players don't practice hitting into the net. baseball seems to be the only sport were coaches preach practicing something different than what you do in games (swing down, hit low line drives).

It can work for some. there are guys who hit 35 bombs despite saying they swing down or try to hit it low the other way. however there are also many prospects and even mlb hitters were the reports read "swing is lacking loft". there are cases of no power hitters hitting too many fly balls (Billy hamilton) but it doesn't happen often. way more often a strong hitter is not reaching  his potential because he can't hit productive launch angles.

Recently quite a few average pro players turned into stars by raising their launch angle (Murphy, dozier,lamb) but many don't make that jump.

Maybe it would be good to learn that skill early, because few can learn that at 29 like Murphy. I'm not saying you need to learn that right away, for a 10 year old low liners are probably OK but no reason to not start that at 12 to 13.

2020dad posted:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/fea...-science-of-hitting/

I encourage all to study this in depth. This is indisputable evidence that launch angles need to be above 10 degrees. In fact that 10 degree mark we keep talking about doesn't become productive at all til at least 90mph exit velocity. With today's technology there is no longer room for difference of opinion. There really is a right and wrong. We need young people like dom to get involved with coaching and push the lazy old coaches out who don't want to study the game and learn these things. Hitting the back of the cage = bad A lot of the time. At best it is an incomplete picture. Hitting the very upper left corner in the back of the cage at 105mph exit velocity = really good!  Hitting the back of the cage 4 feet off the ground = ground ball.   If you really are serious about setting a launch angle goal 10 degrees is not the answer.   You want that to be your 'mistake' on the low end that might just squeak through the infield. Anything below 10 as you can see is almost purely bad unless there is tremendous exit velocity. Interestingly enough notice there is a lot more production from Texas leaguers with low exit velocity and high launch angle than from under 10 degrees. That would be a dangerous and unproductive line to hang your hat on. 

Well, 2020, I'm sure this will come as no surprise to you but I don't completely agree....  call me a lazy old coach I guess.  I believe there is definitely room for difference of opinion and that is fully taking into consideration today's technology and data.

The data is from MLB.  My line of questioning has been how that may relate to the average HS player.  I think it is important to use ALL the data and also take into account all the different factors that come into play when comparing the MLB game to the HS game.  Here is an excerpt from the article that you encourage everyone to study in depth...

"...the success of a ball struck at a more intermediate angle is extremely sensitive to its exit velocity. For instance, at a launch angle of about 25 degrees,3Specifically, I selected all balls with launch angles of between 22 and 28 degrees, somewhere between a line drive and fly ball. run values can vary sharply depending on how fast the ball leaves the bat. Low exit velocities tend to result in short-hoppers to the infielders, which are easy outs. But as batters hit the ball slightly harder, those liners get progressively stronger, eventually sailing over infielders’ heads for bloop singles. Then the run value drops again, as those line drives begin to travel within reach of the outfielders."

Translation - a hitter with exit velo that is not above average (most average HS hitters) will not garner the same positive results from that 25 degree launch angle like a MLB power hitter will. 

I'll combine that point with some other facts.  HS infielders are not nearly as consistent with fielding and throwing, nor are they nearly as agile and athletic as MLB infielders.  Also, HS infield surfaces are never as well groomed as MLB fields.  I'm not saying that most HS infielders won't make the routine plays.  But I am saying that hard ground balls (any GB's for that matter) are much more likely to result in hits or errors and tilt the scales as compared to the results you get from your MLB data.  I am NOT proposing to teach hitting ground balls or hit down on the ball (more on this later).

Regarding exit velo, obviously, hitting the ball hard matters.  Average HS hitters are not nearly as strong as MLB players.  They also don't have the timing or swing mechanics that help maximize swing speed.  Nor do they have the ability to consistently get the sweet spot of the barrel on the ball.  So, we work with them to improve strength and mechanics.  But we also try to teach them a swing path that is roughly on plane with the pitch.  This maximizes their ability to barrel the ball more consistently and, thus, hit the ball hard with more frequency.  It is effective and, guess what?  The desired positive result for many players with that in mind is a hard line drive to the back of the cage!  When the average HS player has an upward swing plane, the result is often inconsistent contact because the barrel is on plane with the ball for a shorter period of time.  Now, by all means, if I have a more advanced player with power, we will work with that player with an elevated launch angle in mind. 

Other excerpts from the article in your link even reference specific speedsters in the MLB who benefit from a much lower (even negative) launch angle. 

I am NOT proposing to teach hitting ground balls.  But I am pointing out that the scale shifts considerably when you consider the skill set of the average HS player and the nature of the average HS game.  Often, it is most beneficial for the player and team that the "hard line drive" is the optimal objective. 

We have plenty of players who move on to the next level with no issues succeeding with that approach as their base.  One of the more recent power hitters went to a JC that tried to get him to shift from a fairly level swing to an uppercut.  He struggled.  He transferred to another school, went back to his original swing and became one of the top hitters and leading HR hitters in the league.  Others have encountered successful college coaches who have asked them to maximize their speed and get the ball on the ground. 

Even so, many HS players will never have a high exit velo.  The idea of teaching them to work toward a higher launch angle for the future power that will never come doesn't ring true with me.  If HS will be the end of the line, shouldn't we help them maximize their performance?

So, to summarize, I actually agree that the launch angle should be 10 degrees plus.  I just don't buy the blanket statement that hitting the back of the cage is bad and that any coach teaching this should be put out to pasture.

 

BTW, I do also agree that Dominick will be a good addition to the coaching ranks.

 Cabbage here is what I like about debating you - we always keep it civil and if you notice we pretty much always come to at least some sort of consensus at the end. I don't think this will be any different!  First you agree 10 degrees should be a minimum - but remember 10 degrees is at the very tip top of the back of the cage. And if your cage is a bit smaller than 12 ft high then 10 degree already puts you to the top net not the back net. Also as you mention exit velocity is the key. But just as 25 degrees with poor exit velocity is bad the back of the cage with poor exit velocity is a ground ball!  Now I know when these posts get technical and long we don't want to read everything again before we post (I sure don't). But if you did scroll back I think I suggested launch angles from 15-25. Recognizing not everyone is a power hitter. I do think though 10 is too low and the back of the cage is bad. As a former high school coach I can testify with 100% accuracy that you are absolutely correct - hard ground balls and low line drives are much more effective at that level than they would be at the MLB level. But I am just a big believer in training kids for the next level even if it harms my success some in the present. And kids are getting bigger and stronger. Those that care at least. Don't underestimate them!  My son is a marginal baseball talent and is creeping up on 90 off the tee. Wouldn't surprise me if he got there next time we measured. Some of these kids can hit and they need to be taught the MLB/D1 swing. Frankly I am not as concerned about the underachievers. Just like the good lord I want to help those that help themselves!  I think there is too much coddling of the underachievers in this country and not enough encouraging of the hardest workers. The fact you are in this conversation tells me you are open to new knowledge and new ways of thinking. So let's not put you out to pasture just yet!

A lot of really good dialogue in this thread, and as I'm reading it I had some thoughts about development.

First an observation.  My son is 5 and played t-ball this fall.  Not long after Josh Donaldson was on MLB Network talking about his swing, a teammate came to the next game sporting a huge leg kick and drastically different swing.  Very obvious that someone watched Donaldson, and went in the backyard with his son to teach his kid to be a big leaguer.  But it was entirely too complicated of a swing - way too much motion and coordination for a 5-year old to handle, when they should be taught nothing more than making contact (after the "having fun" requirement is satisfied, but that's a tangent...).  

My point is, and I know that a 5 year old and a MLB player are on extreme ends of the spectrum, but what MLB players do shouldn't always be emulated by younger players.  What works for a major leaguer doesn't necessarily make it optimal for a college/high school/little leaguer.  Different levels of athleticism, development, hand-eye coordination, strength, etc.  Cabbagedad has made that point about exit velos of HS vs MLB.

USA Weightlifting has a 3 phase technique development model.  Forgive me for not remembering the specifics, but the idea is that early in technique development is when you get your engrained motor patterns that will last forever.  Make technical tweaks early on, because it is easier to get out of old habits and train the new pattern.  In the later two phases, it takes much more work to correct an incorrect movement.  So - as a counter to what I said earlier about not emulating MLB players - do you train younger kids to emulate an MLB swing since it may be difficult to reprogram the movement pattern after years of a slightly different pattern?

cabbagedad posted:

So, to summarize, I actually agree that the launch angle should be 10 degrees plus.  I just don't buy the blanket statement that hitting the back of the cage is bad and that any coach teaching this should be put out to pasture.

The back of the cage is less than 10 degrees.

pasture

 

SultanofSwat posted:
cabbagedad posted:

So, to summarize, I actually agree that the launch angle should be 10 degrees plus.  I just don't buy the blanket statement that hitting the back of the cage is bad and that any coach teaching this should be put out to pasture.

The back of the cage is less than 10 degrees.

pasture

 

I wanted to give every benefit of doubt to my worthy adversaries in this debate. So I assumed batter being only 50 feet from back of cage and cage 12 feet high. So yes if cage is longer or not as high even the very top of the back of the cage would be less than 10 degrees. But we are still not ready to put cabbage out to pasture!!

I don't ever see me really ever discussing a actual launch angle in degrees with a HS kid. We talk ball flight, and what we want it to look like, and we have marks in the cage to aim for, but my kids already lock up from thinking too much at times. If I start using numbers God knows what will happen.

I got into baseball to avoid science and math!!!

 

2020dad posted:

 ... As a former high school coach I can testify with 100% accuracy that you are absolutely correct - hard ground balls and low line drives are much more effective at that level than they would be at the MLB level. But I am just a big believer in training kids for the next level even if it harms my success some in the present. And kids are getting bigger and stronger. Those that care at least. Don't underestimate them!  My son is a marginal baseball talent and is creeping up on 90 off the tee. Wouldn't surprise me if he got there next time we measured. Some of these kids can hit and they need to be taught the MLB/D1 swing. Frankly I am not as concerned about the underachievers. Just like the good lord I want to help those that help themselves!  I think there is too much coddling of the underachievers in this country and not enough encouraging of the hardest workers. The fact you are in this conversation tells me you are open to new knowledge and new ways of thinking. So let's not put you out to pasture just yet!

Yup, there is certainly some common ground.  I keep referencing "the average HS player" as my point of reference for discussion.  I coach a HS program.  I directly coach V but responsible for the coaches and players at JV as well.  At the present time, we haven't yet split squads and have everyone together.  We are not a big school so I don't have an abundance of high level players in the system.  This is more the norm (or "average") for HS as opposed to those programs loaded mostly with college bound players.  2020, I know your son is fairly big and you and he put a lot of work into his swing and use some of the current tools.  All of those points are slightly outside of the norm so I think your thought process may be influenced accordingly.  

I cannot afford to be unconcerned about the underachievers (or just the typical average HS players).  I need to help them become achievers.  I need to do so within the realistic scope of their abilities and optimal future development within the game.  Remember the numbers.  For most, this is as far as it goes.  We teach for each to maximize his own level of skill, strength, abilities and level of commitment.  For some, that means high level goals and corresponding techniques.  For many others, it's something different.

FWIW, we have the full size 75' tunnels.  A hard line drive to the back of the cage would usually translate into something other than a routine GB. 

Matt Reiland - Yes, I cringed when I saw the Donaldson interview and some of our players were sharing it.  There are things some MLB players do that can be detrimental to most HS players, particularly as it relates to balance and timing.  "Learn the MLB swing" is another dangerous blanket statement, IMO.  Many parts of the mechanics are fundamental necessities and some are not.

Ironhorse -  I totally agree and almost never use numerical degrees when discussing this with the players.  Depending on the individual and the purpose of the drill or focus, we too will use various visual targets.  I only used numbers here as it related to the discussion.

"Yes, I cringed when I saw the Donaldson interview and some of our players were sharing it.  There are things some MLB players do that can be detrimental to most HS players, particularly as it relates to balance and timing.  "Learn the MLB swing" is another dangerous blanket statement, IMO.  Many parts of the mechanics are fundamental necessities and some are not.'

I'm 54 and I still throw batting practice either as Luis Tiant or Juan Marichal.  And hit like Mark Belanger.

Go44dad posted:

"Yes, I cringed when I saw the Donaldson interview and some of our players were sharing it.  There are things some MLB players do that can be detrimental to most HS players, particularly as it relates to balance and timing.  "Learn the MLB swing" is another dangerous blanket statement, IMO.  Many parts of the mechanics are fundamental necessities and some are not.'

I'm 54 and I still throw batting practice either as Luis Tiant or Juan Marichal.  And hit like Mark Belanger.

Haha... you shoulda picked a better hitter.  And, watch out for those muscle pulls, Juan.

As kids, in the winter, my brother and I used to play a foam ball basement baseball game where we would emulate each player from a given team with each different AB.   The 70's Reds and Pirates made for a great assortment.  Morgan, Rose, Geronimo, Perez, Bench, Concepcion, Griffey Sr, Stargell, Parker, Madlock, Sanguillen, ...  

Don't tell my players.

ironhorse posted:

Someone tell Andrew he's doing it wrong!!! (first video)

 

https://twitter.com/TheCUTCH22...serp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

I have no idea what he is working on there. Could be anything. But I can guarantee you he is not working in learning to hit the ball back at the pitcher for game conditions. Could there be a reason he is aiming for the screen?  I suppose. But those aren't well hit balls in a game situation I can tell you that. Seeing as though he is a power hitter this is not really how he hits a baseball. If we were actually speaking to him he may have. Reason he is doing what he is doing. I would love to hear it. 

2020dad posted:
ironhorse posted:

Someone tell Andrew he's doing it wrong!!! (first video)

 

https://twitter.com/TheCUTCH22...serp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

I have no idea what he is working on there. Could be anything. But I can guarantee you he is not working in learning to hit the ball back at the pitcher for game conditions. Could there be a reason he is aiming for the screen?  I suppose. But those aren't well hit balls in a game situation I can tell you that. Seeing as though he is a power hitter this is not really how he hits a baseball. If we were actually speaking to him he may have. Reason he is doing what he is doing. I would love to hear it. 

Actually many mlb hitters work on swinging down, hitting low liners and so on. works for them but for many it doesn't . 

Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
ironhorse posted:

Someone tell Andrew he's doing it wrong!!! (first video)

 

https://twitter.com/TheCUTCH22...serp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

I have no idea what he is working on there. Could be anything. But I can guarantee you he is not working in learning to hit the ball back at the pitcher for game conditions. Could there be a reason he is aiming for the screen?  I suppose. But those aren't well hit balls in a game situation I can tell you that. Seeing as though he is a power hitter this is not really how he hits a baseball. If we were actually speaking to him he may have. Reason he is doing what he is doing. I would love to hear it. 

Actually many mlb hitters work on swinging down, hitting low liners and so on. works for them but for many it doesn't . 

Dom they may work on that for some strange reason but. One of them actually swing like that. Fan graphs did a hand path study. Look it up. All hand paths and barrel paths are positive not negative

2020dad posted:
Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
ironhorse posted:

Someone tell Andrew he's doing it wrong!!! (first video)

 

https://twitter.com/TheCUTCH22...serp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

I have no idea what he is working on there. Could be anything. But I can guarantee you he is not working in learning to hit the ball back at the pitcher for game conditions. Could there be a reason he is aiming for the screen?  I suppose. But those aren't well hit balls in a game situation I can tell you that. Seeing as though he is a power hitter this is not really how he hits a baseball. If we were actually speaking to him he may have. Reason he is doing what he is doing. I would love to hear it. 

Actually many mlb hitters work on swinging down, hitting low liners and so on. works for them but for many it doesn't . 

Dom they may work on that for some strange reason but. One of them actually swing like that. Fan graphs did a hand path study. Look it up. All hand paths and barrel paths are positive not negative

I know. but for some reason many mlb players actually think they swing down. I feel that many pro coaches  know what a good swing looks like, they can spot an elite swing but they don't know what happens physically. They know the desired end result so the process is basically a try and error process trying a lot of cues that don't have anything to do with the problem. sometimes it works by coincidence but often it doesn't. that might be the reason why many think it cannot be taught.

Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
ironhorse posted:

Someone tell Andrew he's doing it wrong!!! (first video)

 

https://twitter.com/TheCUTCH22...serp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

I have no idea what he is working on there. Could be anything. But I can guarantee you he is not working in learning to hit the ball back at the pitcher for game conditions. Could there be a reason he is aiming for the screen?  I suppose. But those aren't well hit balls in a game situation I can tell you that. Seeing as though he is a power hitter this is not really how he hits a baseball. If we were actually speaking to him he may have. Reason he is doing what he is doing. I would love to hear it. 

Actually many mlb hitters work on swinging down, hitting low liners and so on. works for them but for many it doesn't . 

Dom they may work on that for some strange reason but. One of them actually swing like that. Fan graphs did a hand path study. Look it up. All hand paths and barrel paths are positive not negative

I know. but for some reason many mlb players actually think they swing down. I feel that many pro coaches  know what a good swing looks like, they can spot an elite swing but they don't know what happens physically. They know the desired end result so the process is basically a try and error process trying a lot of cues that don't have anything to do with the problem. sometimes it works by coincidence but often it doesn't. that might be the reason why many think it cannot be taught.

The work on that to counter act the forces in the swing.  The swing forces are pulling the bat head under the ball. In order to get the angles you guys are talking about you need to counteract those forces.  In other words. If your lauch angle is too high resulting in pop ups working on overemphasing a shallower angle helps correct the problem.  

I'll also add that for most high school players the shallower angle is prefered.  If they have higher angles, many times the have just enough strength to make it a catchable out.  My kids team last year was this.  The kids had nice swings that resulted in a ton of outs.  Everything hit in the air was an out. 

Golfman25 posted:
Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
Dominik85 posted:
2020dad posted:
ironhorse posted:

Someone tell Andrew he's doing it wrong!!! (first video)

 

https://twitter.com/TheCUTCH22...serp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

I have no idea what he is working on there. Could be anything. But I can guarantee you he is not working in learning to hit the ball back at the pitcher for game conditions. Could there be a reason he is aiming for the screen?  I suppose. But those aren't well hit balls in a game situation I can tell you that. Seeing as though he is a power hitter this is not really how he hits a baseball. If we were actually speaking to him he may have. Reason he is doing what he is doing. I would love to hear it. 

Actually many mlb hitters work on swinging down, hitting low liners and so on. works for them but for many it doesn't . 

Dom they may work on that for some strange reason but. One of them actually swing like that. Fan graphs did a hand path study. Look it up. All hand paths and barrel paths are positive not negative

I know. but for some reason many mlb players actually think they swing down. I feel that many pro coaches  know what a good swing looks like, they can spot an elite swing but they don't know what happens physically. They know the desired end result so the process is basically a try and error process trying a lot of cues that don't have anything to do with the problem. sometimes it works by coincidence but often it doesn't. that might be the reason why many think it cannot be taught.

The work on that to counter act the forces in the swing.  The swing forces are pulling the bat head under the ball. In order to get the angles you guys are talking about you need to counteract those forces.  In other words. If your lauch angle is too high resulting in pop ups working on overemphasing a shallower angle helps correct the problem.  

I'll also add that for most high school players the shallower angle is prefered.  If they have higher angles, many times the have just enough strength to make it a catchable out.  My kids team last year was this.  The kids had nice swings that resulted in a ton of outs.  Everything hit in the air was an out. 

I agree it can make sense for pros because the high level pitches are flatter and almost seem to rise compared to the stuff you face in amateur ball. sometimes it makes sense to work to stay on top.

Problem is that many kids take swing down literally (same can happen with swing up too). thus I would prefer to say swing almost level but slightly up. If he then swings up too much you can tell him to swing a little more level and if he doesn't swing  up enough you can tell him to swing up a little more.

Last two posts... Golf and Dom, now we're coming full circle as this all relates to most HS level players.  Thanks for connecting the dots more eloquently than I have.

Additionally, at the HS level, if you "teach" level, most often the hitter's eyes tracking the ball will cause an automatic physical response that results in the desired slightly elevated path.  

And yes, some are swinging down and they think they are swinging level.  Some are swinging up and they think they are swinging level.  So a quick video clip of themselves and some reverse instruction usually gets them going in the right direction.   

Cabbage let me put the question back to you on this.  What attack angle do you want to teach at the HS level?  I might be able to agree to knock off the high end of attack angle for HS for most players.  But I could never be persuaded to the point of 'level swing' which i believe leads to failure at just about any level.

My intented teach for most is "on plane with the pitch" which results in just slightly above "level".  I do not teach to adjust that angle based on the pitch speed (off speed vs FB, for example) but find that the eye and brain automatically make that adjustment.  I understand that the actual pitch plane will be slightly steeper than perceived and I think that works out OK.  

In drills, we want hitters hitting hard line drives.  Depending on the adjustments a given hitter needs to make, or their strengths/weaknesses, we may adjust the sights slightly up or down.  We have a line drive contest that we utilize frequently in the cages.  A player "scores" when the ball is hit hard and the Hi/low marks are bottom of the L-screen and top of the net beyond the L-screen (so probably about 25-30 degrees).  Ideally, the bottom would be raised to middle of L-screen but we do this, in part, to make for easily delineated parameters.  When I work individually with hitters, I will adjust specifically to the hitter's capabilities, natural swing and other factors.

One area you and I disagree on - I do think an HR should be a mistake as opposed to an objective for most HS hitters.  As Golfman pointed out, attempt to lift and/or hitting fly balls almost always results in outs.  A more successful/appropriate plane thought I will use is "dent the fences".  "Drive it hard".  "Where it's pitched" (which, BTW, has not been a factor in this conversation in regards to launch angle and it needs to be).  "Drive the gaps".  When you combine these swing thoughts with teaching to be on plane with the pitch (keeping the barrel in the hitting zone longer) and seeing on-field results, you end up with hitters who hit hard line drives and tend to miss ever so slightly under the ball (eventually becoming subconsciously purposeful backspin) with low line drives and gap shots as the objective.  A squarely hit line drive, albeit not always over the IF, is usually a good result.  A very slight miss under is usually a good result.  A very slight miss hard one/two hopper is usually a good result.

You said..   But I could never be persuaded to the point of 'level swing' which i believe leads to failure at just about any level.  There is a difference between "level swing" and "level" teach.  As I mentioned in previous post, often, if your "teach" is level swing, the hitter's eye adjusts to pitch plane and result is a swing that is on or very nearly on pitch plane.  Whereas, if you "teach" an upward swing or a swing on pitch plane, the result is most often something more upward than pitch plane and undesirable, IMO - the results I see are excessive rollovers, popups and otherwise inconsistent contact.

As others have pointed out, just "see ball, hit ball hard" has a lot of merit.  This should be the objective once mechanics are in reasonable order.  We also do drills that focus solely on getting the sweet spot to the ball.  This is, I think, maybe even more important than launch angle at this level - becomes more of a given at levels beyond HS. 

This year, I probably have two players who are strong enough to benefit from trying to drive with lift.  I have another who is strong enough but currently overly exaggerates staying inside to the extent that he gives up too much of his potential power so that needs fixed before we go toward lift.

I do my best to keep up on all new information, data, mechanic teaches, game strategies, etc.  But I also realize that most originates from the top (MLB).  So, I am careful to examine what applies and to what extent to the HS game that I coach.

ok cabbage...  I think we have done it again.  We have come to a concensus for the most part.  I am ok with about everything you said there.  sometimes its just about boiling down to terminology.  I will still stick with home run as the objective believing even if you fall short you will find enough extra base hits to make up for the fly outs.  But I think that a relatively minor disagreement.  I think given your open mind and willingness to talk things out we can officially say you are not ready to be put out to pasture!!

Some more to consider....

This weekend, I was watching highlights of a few of son's current college team from LY games when they won 40  (= successful).  Both games were similar.  One, a 9-3 victory - lot's of scoring.  Every RBI was a single, most of the GB/low line drive variety.  I don't recall a ball in the air that wasn't caught, except for one double over the top - didn't factor in to scoring.  The only other XBH hits I saw were low line drive to the gap that SS, 2B lept for.  2nd game was similar.  While a few examples is certainly anecdotal, I did attend a LOT of college games the last several years and there is a heck of a lot of offense being generated in this same manner (and, yes, of course I saw deep balls as well).    I am also in tune with what approaches are being taught at several other successful colleges. Many are teaching approaches that result in what I am describing.  There is a place for both.  Different approaches for different types of hitters.

MLB - while the spray chart indicates the most effective range may be in that 10-25 degree area, the total MLB average (I believe for the 2016 season) is actually under 10.  What do we attribute that to?  I think pitch location, pitch movement and the reality that there are still different types of hitters at the MLB level all factor in.  Other??

Sorry for reaching the "beating dead horse" level.

cabbagedad posted:

Some more to consider....

This weekend, I was watching highlights of a few of son's current college team from LY games when they won 40  (= successful).  Both games were similar.  One, a 9-3 victory - lot's of scoring.  Every RBI was a single, most of the GB/low line drive variety.  I don't recall a ball in the air that wasn't caught, except for one double over the top - didn't factor in to scoring.  The only other XBH hits I saw were low line drive to the gap that SS, 2B lept for.  2nd game was similar.  While a few examples is certainly anecdotal, I did attend a LOT of college games the last several years and there is a heck of a lot of offense being generated in this same manner (and, yes, of course I saw deep balls as well).    I am also in tune with what approaches are being taught at several other successful colleges. Many are teaching approaches that result in what I am describing.  There is a place for both.  Different approaches for different types of hitters.

MLB - while the spray chart indicates the most effective range may be in that 10-25 degree area, the total MLB average (I believe for the 2016 season) is actually under 10.  What do we attribute that to?  I think pitch location, pitch movement and the reality that there are still different types of hitters at the MLB level all factor in.  Other??

Sorry for reaching the "beating dead horse" level.

Right, mlb average is 9 degrees. but of course pitchers try to get you to roll over and hit the ground  so that doesn't mean that is the ideal angle. you will also have some pop ups at 60 plus degrees and too high fly balls but at that level there are probadly more misses towards the ground.

Don't get me wrong 9 degrees is probably a hit 60 plus percent of the time in mlb but the best result is probably a higher liner over the infield that has a chance to go for extra base hits.

 

I would agree that a home run is a slight mistake under the ball but I think the ideal target is not a low liner but a high liner at around 15 to 20 or so. in college or hs ball that might be different.

Statcast just published those data.

Average velocity/launch angle for different hit types.

1b 91 mph/7 degrees
2b 97 mph/17 degrees
3b 98/20
HR 103/28

Average out according to them was 86 mph on non bunts (and obviously big range of launch angles).

Not sure how significant for amateur ball but interesting.

I think what we see here is that for simply getting on base exit velocity is king. 91-103 is really a pretty small span compared to 7-28 degrees of launch angle.  However I still can't agree that singles are productive enough for us to teach toward them. Certainly when my kid drops a single into the outfield I am happy. Just happy he got on. But that's not really the goal. So to the original purpose of this thread my opinion is unchanged - launch angle plus exit velocity is what it's about. Mark the cage or do whatever but coach to launch angle AND exit velocity. Neither matters without the other. A nice 25 degree launch Andre at 75mph is probably a fly out. A smoked 100mph ground ball has a pretty decent chance to get through the infield for a hit. But the holy grail is the 100mph+ exit velocity and 25 degree launch angle. 

2020 I can agree that teaching and practice for 15-25 launch angle is great, that being said I feel your total commitment to these numbers is extreme. 

Imo the metrics you are using are based on MLB data, at least I assume as much, that data doesn't translate to HS or 90 plus percent of college. The games and talent are different, the fielders are different it is just apples and oranges. A 100mph short hop gets booted or finds a hole a hell of a lot of times....

I don't mean to be a know it all but my gut tells me that for 90 plus percent of kids plus 5 to plus 25 launch angle is gold if you want to win. I will also tell you that bunting for a kid with plus speed but average swing is plus EV, sac bunting effectively in the bottom of the line up wins and I would be comfortable saying that at least 50% of the line up should be committed to sac bunting. 

these are truths are based on success on the field at all levels below being paid to play!! I believe using MLB data in the amature game as the sole basis for decision making is a flawed strategy. 

But old school we are having two different conversations here. You are talking about what it might take to win a high school game. I am talking about developing a player. And yes there are many high school players with no desire or ability to play beyond. Let them be the grinders. If you want to play at a higher level you have to develop a swing that will succeed on the higher level.   And MLB hitters distinguish themselves far more with their ability to read pitches and square the ball up. The ability to have an in game exit velocity of 100 is really not all that rare. That's comparable to upper 80's off the tee. And that is pretty common for good travel organizations for sure.   My interest at the moment is developing my son to the best of his ability. Not concerned with a high school game result. Yes I care more about my sons development than his high school teams record. But there is room for both. If we get him hitting gappers and dingers I am pretty sure he will also help his high school team win!

I get it, I have a lefty power hitter...I get it way way more then you can imagine. I get it in ways that you may agree with in a few years. 

Work on the right things, it is about levels and the journey, never say you don't care about today... your perspective and what you think is indesputable will evolve over the coming years. 

2020dad posted:

But old school we are having two different conversations here. You are talking about what it might take to win a high school game. I am talking about developing a player. And yes there are many high school players with no desire or ability to play beyond. Let them be the grinders. If you want to play at a higher level you have to develop a swing that will succeed on the higher level.   And MLB hitters distinguish themselves far more with their ability to read pitches and square the ball up. The ability to have an in game exit velocity of 100 is really not all that rare. That's comparable to upper 80's off the tee. And that is pretty common for good travel organizations for sure.   My interest at the moment is developing my son to the best of his ability. Not concerned with a high school game result. Yes I care more about my sons development than his high school teams record. But there is room for both. If we get him hitting gappers and dingers I am pretty sure he will also help his high school team win!

Kind of an important point.  Develop to the kids ultimate potential. If he's got high D1 and pro potential then definately go for MLB exit velocities and launch angles.  But for the other 90+%, work on making them an effective player and a major contributor to their HS team.  

Edit: post was messed up and hidden in citation.

 

There also is a difference between being a hs coach and a private hitting coach. In a team setting you generally gain more when you focus your energy more or the average to below average kids. The bottom ones are usually hopeless and the top ones have less potential to improve. So if you are a hs coach with a 25 roster and you want to win focus to improve the 6th to 15th best player. Those are not the worst but also not college material.

Team coaches tend to leave the studs alone and focus on the middle pack because that gives you the biggest bang for the buck and you don't want to risk ruining the stud players (happens even in pro ball). And for those middle pack players a focus on power production is probably not the primary focus.

With a private coach that is different because you have more time for the player (why would a hs coach waste half an hour to improve his best players swing by 3%...) and the player likely is good and aspiring to play the next level, in that case it might make very much sense to improve a D2 talent to D1 or a 6th rounder to third round.

To clarify I certainly am not saying the here and now is unimportant. And I really hate the expression because I find it really condescending depending how it's used but I am enjoying the ride. But when your kid is 6'4" 225 and still growing/maturing...  even the high school team needs him to pound the ball. I also want to be clear there is a low chance of him being a hitter at a high level college. Although I am starting to hedge on that. With a now 87mph exit velocity (off tee) and hasn't played a high school game yet...  there are very, very few kids who end up with upper 90's to 100 exit velocity that don't get scooped up by someone. Would be an interesting question for PG. wonder if there has ever been a kid who showcased at a 100+ exit velocity who has not played college ball as a hitter?  My son may be a first lol!  I have always assumed he would be a PO in college but he has me wondering now. So bottom line as long as there is even a remote chance he owes it to himself to do what could possibly help get him there. 

BTW here is a nice article about "barreled" balls.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/t...s-of-barreled-balls/

the Chart Shows that the number of hard hit balls Peak around 10 degrees (which probably is about the average upward attack angle of the bat).  that means Players are not really trying to hit the balls above that by hitting below Center. there are just as many below 10 degrees than above.

that probably means that you should aim for the top of the Screen or top Corner of the back of the Screen trying to square up the ball at around 10-15 degrees. some will cut under it and some will cut over it.

you just shouldn't aim for Zero degrees and have the cut under mistakes hitting the top of the Screen.

Dominik85 posted:

BTW here is a nice article about "barreled" balls.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/t...s-of-barreled-balls/

the Chart Shows that the number of hard hit balls Peak around 10 degrees (which probably is about the average upward attack angle of the bat).  that means Players are not really trying to hit the balls above that by hitting below Center. there are just as many below 10 degrees than above.

that probably means that you should aim for the top of the Screen or top Corner of the back of the Screen trying to square up the ball at around 10-15 degrees. some will cut under it and some will cut over it.

you just shouldn't aim for Zero degrees and have the cut under mistakes hitting the top of the Screen.

Thanks for posting!  But the whole point of the article - the 'barreled' balls shows almost none under 10 degrees.  I would stick to a goal of about 15 degree uppercut and hitting just below center of the ball.  True many of those hard hit ground balls get you on base in a high school game but i guess its all about what are your long term goals.

2020dad posted:
Go44dad posted:

just saw this on ABCA coaches feed.

diamond kinetics

And I guarantee you hit the top of the cage 14' in front of you and the tobacco spitters are gonna bust a gut screaming at you that its a pop up!

that is because with 90% of the HS kids swinging a BBcor it is a pop up - actually I would be willing to bet it is for more then 90% of HS kids.

You have to use logic while evaluating stats...

old_school posted:
2020dad posted:
Go44dad posted:

just saw this on ABCA coaches feed.

diamond kinetics

And I guarantee you hit the top of the cage 14' in front of you and the tobacco spitters are gonna bust a gut screaming at you that its a pop up!

that is because with 90% of the HS kids swinging a BBcor it is a pop up - actually I would be willing to bet it is for more then 90% of HS kids.

You have to use logic while evaluating stats...

You only need 80 mph of exit velocity for that ball to go 300 feet. Certainly not a pop out and maybe a double in the gap. A fly out if hit at a fielder. 90mph gets you 350 feet.  A home run in a lot of high school fields except for the deepest part of the field. Still probably an extra base hit unless hit to absolute straight away cf and he can get back to it.  For it to be a pop up it would have to be like 50mph or something.  If you can't deliver 90mph exit velocity in game (equal to high 70's off the tee) then you should not be a varsity high school player. Come on old school be honest - high 70's off the tee - don't tell me every high school varsity player should not be able to do that!

2020dad posted:
old_school posted:
2020dad posted:
Go44dad posted:

just saw this on ABCA coaches feed.

diamond kinetics

And I guarantee you hit the top of the cage 14' in front of you and the tobacco spitters are gonna bust a gut screaming at you that its a pop up!

that is because with 90% of the HS kids swinging a BBcor it is a pop up - actually I would be willing to bet it is for more then 90% of HS kids.

You have to use logic while evaluating stats...

You only need 80 mph of exit velocity for that ball to go 300 feet. Certainly not a pop out and maybe a double in the gap. A fly out if hit at a fielder. 90mph gets you 350 feet.  A home run in a lot of high school fields except for the deepest part of the field. Still probably an extra base hit unless hit to absolute straight away cf and he can get back to it.  For it to be a pop up it would have to be like 50mph or something.  If you can't deliver 90mph exit velocity in game (equal to high 70's off the tee) then you should not be a varsity high school player. Come on old school be honest - high 70's off the tee - don't tell me every high school varsity player should not be able to do that!

you will learn...I was you a few years ago.

I have to leave for a meeting but

300' at a 30 degree launch is pop up - maybe a major league one but still a pop up. we will call it a major league fly if it helps.

350' from gap to gap gets caught more often then doesn't again at 30 degree launch.

wind is a huge wild card, I will grant you that.

again we are not talking about power hitting kids, we are talking about the lineup as a group. there exceptions

I will learn??  I am 54 years old!!  Not exactly wet behind the ears.  If you read back 15-25 is what I prefer.  This illustration of a batting cage has a marking at 30 degrees.  So I am willing to stick with the 30.  At 90mph exit velo and 30 degrees from my early research that is approx. 4.75 seconds hang time.  4.5 is a very good home to first time.  When running a home to first you are in a total ready to go position and knowing EXACTLY where you are going.  In the outfield you have to react and judge the ball.  Major league reaction time is about .4.  So to get 90 feet would take 4.9 seconds.  Longer than the hang time.  So what is realistic?  80 feet maybe?  Now you have to count on the high school outfielder (you have very little faith in the high school hitter) to take the exact correct path to the ball.  Not to mention not all angles are equal.  Going back is no doubt the hardest.  It is hightly doubtful he gets to a ball hit directly over his head.  Getting to or further than 80 feet in 4.75 seconds is highly unlikely.  But to give your position every benefit of the doubt lets say you can get the 80 feet.  The outfielder is playing about how deep?  250 feet? 275 tops?  Lets say 275.  MLB avrerage is about 300.  A little over in CF and a little less on the corners.  Personally I doubt high schoolers are playing 275 feet deep but again giving you all factors in your favor.   Ball hit 350 feet is bare minimum 75 feet away (over head) if hit directly at the outfielder.  By the way that is the toughest acceleration route so may not even get to 80 feet.  Now as we angle out a little...  The arc of the outfield at fielders depth is 275x1.571= 432.  So if you take 432/4 (representing the four gaps, foul line to rf, rf to cf, cf to lf, and lf to foul line) = 108 feet between outfielders.  So now we get our coverage areas...  Do I really have to finish all this math?  I think we can pretty easily see that a 350 foot fly ball at a 30 degree launch angle in a high school game has a very high probability of being an extra base hit.  The 300 footer is in the air less time but obviously closer to the fielders, still a hit in cases where it really hits the gap but much less chance.  I present you with facts and numbers and science.  You present me with anectdotal evidence at best and a "you will learn".  I am just gonna have to go out on a limb and say my case is just a bit stronger.  Now if we get to the 15-25 degree launch angles I actually advocate its not even worth arguing.  Its not that high school kids can't deliver the needed exit velocity, its that they have been taught to beat it into the ground for far too long.  So thats what they do.   

 

15-20 is awesome, no doubt! 20 plus better be strong swing...

You obviously haven't seen a ton of HS varsity baseball but it appears you will. it is a different game, I have been watching it for 3 years now, this will be my 4th. I have watched kids going to every level of college including pro draft picks...you will learn.

2020dad posted:
old_school posted:
2020dad posted:
Go44dad posted:

just saw this on ABCA coaches feed.

diamond kinetics

And I guarantee you hit the top of the cage 14' in front of you and the tobacco spitters are gonna bust a gut screaming at you that its a pop up!

that is because with 90% of the HS kids swinging a BBcor it is a pop up - actually I would be willing to bet it is for more then 90% of HS kids.

You have to use logic while evaluating stats...

You only need 80 mph of exit velocity for that ball to go 300 feet. Certainly not a pop out and maybe a double in the gap. A fly out if hit at a fielder. 90mph gets you 350 feet.  A home run in a lot of high school fields except for the deepest part of the field. Still probably an extra base hit unless hit to absolute straight away cf and he can get back to it.  For it to be a pop up it would have to be like 50mph or something.  If you can't deliver 90mph exit velocity in game (equal to high 70's off the tee) then you should not be a varsity high school player. Come on old school be honest - high 70's off the tee - don't tell me every high school varsity player should not be able to do that!

OK, I guess I'll crawl in and take another stab...

There are plenty of other data points that would question some of your numbers.  Per below, in 2013 at Jupiter, where the level of play was VERY high, the ten longest HR's came with an average exit speed of 95-96 MPH - this was off of pitched balls, not a tee.  To say that you don't belong in varsity HS if you can't deliver 90, I would say is quite a stretch.  I would love to see a broader set of numbers with average HS players as opposed to only those at the high profile events or from training camps where the cross-section is certainly above the average HS player.

http://www.efastball.com/artic...t-speeds-at-jupiter/

Additionally, there are other charts that state you need something closer to 95 -100 MPH to achieve any consistency of 350' distance...  and of course, there are other factors involved in the equation.

http://www.efastball.com/hitti...-speed-by-age-group/

Also, spin rate is a BIG factor.  You need backspin for max carry.  This means that your actual swing plane must be lesser than the resulting launch angle.  So, to teach a swing that matches the desired launch angle is counter-productive from a distance standpoint.  Also, when you try to teach an average HS player to specifically try and impart backspin (thus, implying "hit slightly below the center of the ball"), there will be far more misses under the ball and far more undesirable pop-ups.

Look, we know you have a big kid and that approach may turn out to work great for him but I will continue to argue strongly that it won't for the majority of HS players...  while I spit my seeds.

We had one of our first days of on-field hitting this past weekend and we have a few more big kids with pop than usual.  And, as with every year, the first time out on the field, the kids tend to reach for a little extra distance and tip it up.  Once again, there were countless oohs and ahhs at contact, only to see most of the balls tracked down without too much effort by OF shaggers.  A few days later, we got serious about our line drive approach and saw FAR more hits that would result in hits.  This plays out year after year after year.

With the three decent pop guys I have, I know that one will be fine with some intent to lift, while the other two will lose productivity if they don't take more of a "barrel level thru the zone" approach (and, again, the desired result to this approach is a barrel plane that is actually very close to the plane of the pitch).   Almost every contact at all levels is a slight to very slight miss.  Using "solid thru the center of the ball" mentality provides the most reward.

JMO.  Spit.  Spit.  

 

Ok cabbage a lot there...  but we always seem to find common ground!  First let me say this my preference is 15-25 degrees not 30. But that was the number on that photo and I gave old school everynpossible advantage on the debate. Optimum launch angle is in the 25 degree area. We were dealing with very very specific parameters. 30 degrees, 350 feet which would lead to approximately 4.75 hangtime. And yes you are correct that exit velocity needed for a given distance varies based on launch angle. I have not surprisingly seen those things you attached. So for the sake of our conversation cabbage let's try to confine it to the main point...  should a varsity player be able to deliver 90mph. Let's isolate on that. First off the 95-96mph avg home run. Sounds like you have done some research cabbage so you probably know that home runs are NOT representative of the highest exit velocity. Line drives and even sometimes one hop ground balls are of higher exit velocity. So those PG kids are certainly capable of 100+ exit velocity in game situations. So when you look at it that way we are now asking if a high school player should be able to produce 90% of that. I don't think there is a shadow of a doubt they should. None of this has anything to do with my son by the way. This is all pure baseball debate. Do you take exit velocities?  

And old school...  I am starting to think you are yanking my chain just to get a rise out of me...  I assure you I have seen hundreds of varsity high school baseball games. Have coaches at two state championship programs and one poor program. And scouted my share of games as well. Not to mention just watching some as a fan. And I have coached many many kids who went on to college and professional careers. 

By the way if you do a lot of perusing of statcast the biggest difference between the MLB guys and the wanna bes is consistency. These guys AVERAGE 90+ mph.  Pretty much any decent player 'can' get to 90 but how often?

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