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Since this thread isn’t going anywhere I want to add another name in case someone does a search later.

Ronnie Ortegon is an excellent instructor ( former milb hitting coach) and btw neither he or Barry Hoffpauir (former college HC) teach launch angle. They teach sound hitting mechanics that will hold up as the level of play gets steeper over time. 

@used2lurk posted:

Planning to visit family sometime this summer...anyone come highly recommended in Fort Worth, west of DFW, or up north to Denton? Might try to set up a lesson or two while in the area.

 

Better off to drive a little farther for better instruction. Hoffpauir is in north Dallas (near Brookhaven College). Ortegon is farther north in Allen/McKinney area 

Adbono;

Since the "student" is outside the Dallas area. The hitting coach should provide info on "self teaching". The "mirror" and the "shadow" are tools.

Of course the "high tee" drill.

At a Area Code tryout in Notre Dame, the White Sox scouts and Scouting Director made a "joke" when the stated that I could tell bat speed over the phone.

Yes, I said. Place the phone next to a tee, use a wood bat and I listen to the impact.

"True Story"

Bob

 

Bob, there is no doubt that the ball makes a different sound coming off a wood bat when the bat is in the hands of a special kind of hitter. It’s one of the subtle things that gets lost with the use of metal bats.  How many prospects can you think of that weren’t the same player when they were required to swing a wood bat?!? 

Adbono;

There was one player projected for a 1st round SS. It was obvious from the AC games at Blair Field, that he was not familiar with wood. He had "warning track" power. Many pro scouts will deduct 40' on a hitter fly ball with a metal bat. "warning track" power.

I mentioned to a Scouting Director to ask the SS, if he would learn to hit left. His right eye was his dominate eye.

His answer to the Scout was NO. Currently a Pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

Bob

@Consultant posted:

Adbono;

There was one player projected for a 1st round SS. It was obvious from the AC games at Blair Field, that he was not familiar with wood. He had "warning track" power. Many pro scouts will deduct 40' on a hitter fly ball with a metal bat. "warning track" power.

I mentioned to a Scouting Director to ask the SS, if he would learn to hit left. His right eye was his dominate eye.

His answer to the Scout was NO. Currently a Pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

Bob

Matt Bush? 

Tom Chandler was one of my advisors for the Area Code games in the early years. We met at the American College Coach's Convention each year.

When Josh Beckett pitched at the AC games. Tom was at the games. We pitched Josh on a Friday night for the Rangers team and 3,000 watched the games, including Tommy Lasorda.

Bob

@Consultant posted:

Adbono;

There was one player projected for a 1st round SS. It was obvious from the AC games at Blair Field, that he was not familiar with wood. He had "warning track" power. Many pro scouts will deduct 40' on a hitter fly ball with a metal bat. "warning track" power.

I mentioned to a Scouting Director to ask the SS, if he would learn to hit left. His right eye was his dominate eye.

His answer to the Scout was NO. Currently a Pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

Bob

Bbcor has leveled that though. It is still not the same as wood especially if hit not in the sweetspot (bat doesnt break and you can get more jam hits but the top exit velos when squared up are not all that different, maybe 1 or 2 mph higher with bbcor than wood.

I have worked with a kid from this site and he was like 92 with bbcor and like 91 with an overload wood bat last week.

Still of course hitting with wood is still tougher as you need to barrel it up better but I think the days  when one hit absolute bombs with metal and not even warning track with wood are over. 

@adbono posted:

Since this thread isn’t going anywhere I want to add another name in case someone does a search later.

Ronnie Ortegon is an excellent instructor ( former milb hitting coach) and btw neither he or Barry Hoffpauir (former college HC) teach launch angle. They teach sound hitting mechanics that will hold up as the level of play gets steeper over time. 

What does "teaching launch angle" mean?  

@$tinky posted:

What does "teaching launch angle" mean?  

Teaching an uphill swing that promotes hitting the ball in the air. Hitting coaches that are purists (like the 2 mentioned) don’t subscribe to that method as it results in way too many pop ups, fly outs, and swing and miss. The bat doesn’t stay in the hitting zone long enough. It is especially ridiculous for scrawny young kids to be taught this way as they will never hit the ball out of the ballpark. My son had an uphill swing for years and is big & strong enough to hit the ball out of any ballpark. But in HS I can’t tell you how many times he hit a high fly ball that an OF caught with his back against the fence. It was only after working for a year with the Chicago Cubs AA hitting instructor in preparation for college that his swing flattened out and he was consistently back spinning the baseball. He is now driving the baseball and more than a few went out of the park during his first two years of college ball. 

@adbono posted:

Teaching an uphill swing that promotes hitting the ball in the air. Hitting coaches that are purists (like the 2 mentioned) don’t subscribe to that method as it results in way too many pop ups, fly outs, and swing and miss. The bat doesn’t stay in the hitting zone long enough. It is especially ridiculous for scrawny young kids to be taught this way as they will never hit the ball out of the ballpark. My son had an uphill swing for years and is big & strong enough to hit the ball out of any ballpark. But in HS I can’t tell you how many times he hit a high fly ball that an OF caught with his back against the fence. It was only after working for a year with the Chicago Cubs AA hitting instructor in preparation for college that his swing flattened out and he was consistently back spinning the baseball. He is now driving the baseball and more than a few went out of the park during his first two years of college ball. 

Just my opinion but I'd prefer my swing to be uphill so that it matches the plane of the pitch.  I'd also prefer a swing plane that promotes hitting the ball in the air.  Ground balls = outs.  

 

adono;

do you use the "high tee" drill to develop "backspin"? Backspin creates an extra 30' carry on the ball. Whether you start with the hands "high" or low does not make a different.

The hands can be elevated to be on top and drive thru and then up. Use the full BP cage for best learning. Concentrate on the "red seams" when hitting. Always practice with wood and listen for the sound of impact "bat to ball",

Bob

PS: last night watched Clint Eastwood "Trouble with the Curve" [Classic baseball movie]

@$tinky posted:

Just my opinion but I'd prefer my swing to be uphill so that it matches the plane of the pitch.  I'd also prefer a swing plane that promotes hitting the ball in the air.  Ground balls = outs.  

 

At risk of shifting this thread to a topic where the horse has definitely been beaten on this site...

I totally agree with Adbono... I was a HS coach for many years and one of my sons is a college coach.  We both have experienced the same phenomena on this from youth through varsity HS and well into college.  If your teach is a "slightly up" swing and/or "on plane with the pitch" swing, 99 times out of 100, you get a swing that is more up than the plane.  If you use teaches like "level" or "level thru the ball" (as much as many "hitting gurus" will say that is wrong), the hitter's eye will automatically track the ball and lift the swing plane slightly from level to on-plane.  The result is also much more likely to produce the desired backspin.

Once a hitter reaches a certain level of competence, understanding and feel for his swing, it's OK to explain what is happening with the eyes and the brain.  Good video capabilities can make a difference but even then, many hitters tend to see what they want to see instead of what is actually happening and when.

I also agree with him about teaching lifting the ball at the youth level.  It is even more important not to teach lift to a player who doesn't have the strength to get the ball over the top of the defense.  If you do so, you screw him twice... building a  fly-out swing and not swinging on plane, thus less consistent contact and more swing-and-miss.  A hard line drive approach is far more likely to be successful.  No one is saying "try for ground balls" (although, when considering typical youth field conditions and player ability levels, that wouldn't be as totally wrong as most claim).

Yes, there are advanced power hitters who, rightfully, have a lift approach.  But those players typically have more awareness of their swing, are stronger, see pitches really well and have better timing than most.  If a player reaches a certain level of strength and the other mechanic and timing elements are there, it is not a big adjustment to slightly raise the swing plane at that point - not before.

Lord knows there are different camps on this and more than one way to skin a cat.  This is the practical application I have found works best for hitters I have worked with.

And, yes, Bob, high tee in a full cage is great for a few different things.  Not so sure about the low hands though... I know... see Ted... 

Last edited by cabbagedad
@cabbagedad posted:

At risk of shifting this thread to a topic where the horse has definitely been beaten on this site...

I totally agree with Adbono... I was a HS coach for many years and one of my sons is a college coach.  We both have experienced the same phenomena on this from youth through varsity HS and well into college.  If your teach is a "slightly up" swing and/or "on plane with the pitch" swing, 99 times out of 100, you get a swing that is more up than the plane.  If you use teaches like "level" or "level thru the ball" (as much as many "hitting gurus" will say that is wrong), the hitter's eye will automatically track the ball and lift the swing plane slightly from level to on-plane.  The result is also much more likely to produce the desired backspin.

Once a hitter reaches a certain level of competence, understanding and feel for his swing, it's OK to explain what is happening with the eyes and the brain.  Good video capabilities can make a difference but even then, many hitters tend to see what they want to see instead of what is actually happening and when.

I also agree with him about teaching lifting the ball at the youth level.  It is even more important not to teach lift to a player who doesn't have the strength to get the ball over the top of the defense.  If you do so, you screw him twice... building a  fly-out swing and not swinging on plane, thus less consistent contact and more swing-and-miss.  A hard line drive approach is far more likely to be successful.  No one is saying "try for ground balls" (although, when considering typical youth field conditions and player ability levels, that wouldn't be as totally wrong as most claim).

Yes, there are advanced power hitters who, rightfully, have a lift approach.  But those players typically have more awareness of their swing, are stronger, see pitches really well and have better timing than most.  If a player reaches a certain level of strength and the other mechanic and timing elements are there, it is not a big adjustment to slightly raise the swing plane at that point - not before.

Lord knows there are different camps on this and more than one way to skin a cat.  This is the practical application I have found works best for hitters I have worked with.

And, yes, Bob, high tee in a full cage is great for a few different things.  Not so sure about the low hands though... I know... see Ted... 

Well done Pete! Couldn’t have said it better myself and you are far more patient than I am, 

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