Looking at the number and using common sense would tend to conclude  just how "impossible" it is.  Body movement and its coordination is so complex it's hard to understand just how such things are possible possible.   But if it were really impossible, it wouldn't happen.     

The link you had there didn't work for me.  But today someone posted something similar on my Facebook:

The science of hitting a Major League fastball

Bob, kinda like "aim small miss small" huh?     

I think no doubt that "simple focus" is a key ingredient.  A lot of people have great focus, yet can't even touch Bob Gibson's pitches.   

Practice and the skill of anticipation seems to be big factors too.   Fast balls with no movement tend to get hammered a lot more that those with a lot of movement, which I attribute to the anticipation factor.  The anticipation factor with regard to body control is an amazing study in science.  Fore example: 

Understanding the mind of the elite athlete

 

And if you're really geeky on such, there are articles like this:

Behavior of College Baseball Players in a Virtual Batting Task   

Consultant posted:

Yes, hitting is the most difficult thing to do in sports.

Question: can a young hitter, age 14-19 teach himself to hit?

Bob

generally not. there are some talented Kids who can learn a lot with Emulation but most are going to Need some Kind of instruction. some Need to be only told once to make a Change and some take months.

Chances are if a kid is athletic enough to learn to hit at fourteen there's another sport he's athletic enough to advance far more quickly. If relating to spring lacrosse comes to mind. I've seen athletic studs learn lacrosse at fourteen and develop into college prospects in two, three years.

This does not mean the game is easy. It's just easier for an athletic stud than baseball at a later age.

A very athletic kid could learn to be a stud wide receiver or defensive back in a couple of years. That is if he can handle the contact.

Hockey, not a chance due to skating. A kid could become a shooter or rebounder in basketball. He's not going to pick up dribbling quickly. With quick feet he can be taught adequate defense.

its also very hard to pick up ball handling in soccer. My son played football and middle school while continuing to play goal in travel soccer. He said those two years off the field not handling the ball killed his ball handling skills for high level high school soccer. The coach had him pegged as a goalie since he was a preteen anyway. 

From experience, I can tell you most hockey players, forwards in particular, could absolutely learn to hit a baseball at 14, albeit, speaking of a tier 1 type player, top in the country. When you see them bat and tip pucks out of the air at speeds that range in the upper 80's, low 90's , from less than 60' with angles and a stick with a curved blade.

Many hockey players would be fantastic baseball players as they learn hip shoulder separation from performing slap shots at a very early age, couple that with peripheral  vision that is developed from ages 4-5 yrs old (a typical beginners age) and the "hands" it takes to play the game to begin with.

RJM posted:

Chances are if a kid is athletic enough to learn to hit at fourteen there's another sport he's athletic enough to advance far more quickly. If relating to spring lacrosse comes to mind. I've seen athletic studs learn lacrosse at fourteen and develop into college prospects in two, three years.

This does not mean the game is easy. It's just easier for an athletic stud than baseball at a later age.

A very athletic kid could learn to be a stud wide receiver or defensive back in a couple of years. That is if he can handle the contact.

Hockey, not a chance due to skating. A kid could become a shooter or rebounder in basketball. He's not going to pick up dribbling quickly. With quick feet he can be taught adequate defense.

its also very hard to pick up ball handling in soccer. My son played football and middle school while continuing to play goal in travel soccer. He said those two years off the field not handling the ball killed his ball handling skills for high level high school soccer. The coach had him pegged as a goalie since he was a preteen anyway. 

Interesting observation, RJM. I have a (very, very athletic) cousin who started playing lacrosse in 10th grade -- by senior year he was named an All-American and got a full scholarship to a Top 10 program. Would be hard to do that in baseball (though, yes, I know about Lorenzo Cain).

2019Dad posted:
RJM posted:

Chances are if a kid is athletic enough to learn to hit at fourteen there's another sport he's athletic enough to advance far more quickly. If relating to spring lacrosse comes to mind. I've seen athletic studs learn lacrosse at fourteen and develop into college prospects in two, three years.

This does not mean the game is easy. It's just easier for an athletic stud than baseball at a later age.

A very athletic kid could learn to be a stud wide receiver or defensive back in a couple of years. That is if he can handle the contact.

Hockey, not a chance due to skating. A kid could become a shooter or rebounder in basketball. He's not going to pick up dribbling quickly. With quick feet he can be taught adequate defense.

its also very hard to pick up ball handling in soccer. My son played football and middle school while continuing to play goal in travel soccer. He said those two years off the field not handling the ball killed his ball handling skills for high level high school soccer. The coach had him pegged as a goalie since he was a preteen anyway. 

Interesting observation, RJM. I have a (very, very athletic) cousin who started playing lacrosse in 10th grade -- by senior year he was named an All-American and got a full scholarship to a Top 10 program. Would be hard to do that in baseball (though, yes, I know about Lorenzo Cain).

I remember in the eighth grade I had a friend who was amazingly athletic - excellent at any sport he tried except baseball. We took him out once water skiing. He had never been before. He wanted to try it slalom. He fell the first time, but was up and skiing like he had been doing it for years on the second try.

roothog66 posted:
2019Dad posted:
RJM posted:

Chances are if a kid is athletic enough to learn to hit at fourteen there's another sport he's athletic enough to advance far more quickly. If relating to spring lacrosse comes to mind. I've seen athletic studs learn lacrosse at fourteen and develop into college prospects in two, three years.

This does not mean the game is easy. It's just easier for an athletic stud than baseball at a later age.

A very athletic kid could learn to be a stud wide receiver or defensive back in a couple of years. That is if he can handle the contact.

Hockey, not a chance due to skating. A kid could become a shooter or rebounder in basketball. He's not going to pick up dribbling quickly. With quick feet he can be taught adequate defense.

its also very hard to pick up ball handling in soccer. My son played football and middle school while continuing to play goal in travel soccer. He said those two years off the field not handling the ball killed his ball handling skills for high level high school soccer. The coach had him pegged as a goalie since he was a preteen anyway. 

Interesting observation, RJM. I have a (very, very athletic) cousin who started playing lacrosse in 10th grade -- by senior year he was named an All-American and got a full scholarship to a Top 10 program. Would be hard to do that in baseball (though, yes, I know about Lorenzo Cain).

I remember in the eighth grade I had a friend who was amazingly athletic - excellent at any sport he tried except baseball. We took him out once water skiing. He had never been before. He wanted to try it slalom. He fell the first time, but was up and skiing like he had been doing it for years on the second try.

Reminds me of my son when he was 10 yrs old or so and took in out for ice skating for the first time.  He got out on the ice and it didn't take long at all before he was skating round just fine.  His mom asked him "how do you do that so well."   And his reply was "I just see it, then I do it."  His mom's face still had a puzzled look.  Whatever it is, son did well in any athletic activity he did.  It's an amazing talent to have.

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