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Reply to "The Wall of Ground Ball Prevention"

Smitty28 posted:
Stats4Gnats posted:

No doubt that “drill” would help most college and pro players, but what percentage of HS players would benefit?

I would bet that if exit velo is much below 90mph (i.e., typical HS player), there will be a lot of fly ball outs.  I think this is why a lot of HS coaches prefer sharply hit ground balls to a well hit fly ball.

Yes, this, among other things.  There have been some in-depth discussions here regarding launch angle (in general and as it pertains to different levels).  For most HS players, trying to lift will result in more fly ball outs AND a lower average in general AND a higher K rate AND less hard hit balls.  I don't promote ground balls.  I promote an aggressive swing that is on plane with the pitch and reacts efficiently to pitch location.  This will provide the best results for the majority of HS players.  Hit hard line drives and keep the barrel on plane with the pitch longer.  Slight misses will result in hard ground balls and possibly over the top/gap doubles.  Slight misses when trying to lift will usually result in topped grounders and lazy high fly outs.

I don't argue the numbers at all with regards to major league players.  It just doesn't translate to most HS players under normal circumstances.

I like the visual of the screens in the OP article.  We use visual speak but the sights are adjusted and take a little more effort on the hitter's part.  For example, depending on the situation and/or the hitter, we may talk about line drives through the MIF's heads or in the case of hit & run, hard one hopper thru the 3-4 hole, skipping at the cut of the infield grass. Or, when trying to get a hitter to swing more aggressively without trying to lift, we may talk about driving a hard one-hopper thru the OF fence.

Pitch height plays a role here as well.  If a HS hitter has a line drive intent, a pitch up will most often create a bit of lift in the swing plane in a good way.  If that hitter has a lift intent, then that pitch up is going to result in a plane that is upward to the extent that is is non-productive (more likely to be a swing-and-miss, skied or rolled over).

Last edited by cabbagedad