vLog - Video Blog

Special Tribute To Babe Ruth - Click Pictures for my take on his genius approach to power and the movements that created it also scroll down to read more on the videos.

 

Video is the most powerful teaching tool available  because information is presented for all learning types.  Visual feedback for visual learners, audio voiceover for auditory learners, text and drawings for literal learners and descriptions of how drills should feel for tactical or feel learners.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then one second of video is worth 30,000 words. 

Author – Perry is the author of the Downright Filthy Pitching Series and also  the Hitting Is A Guess DVD series.  

Public Speaker – With the Downright Filthy Pitching Series, Perry has presented at the ABCA Coach's Convention - the National Pitching Association's Coach Certifications for 4 years - Ron Wolforth Coach's Bootcamp - many European Clinics for the International Sports Group as well as many testing and training clinics nationwide. 

Sport Science – Perry recently appeared as a Baseball Scientist on the popular series, Sport Science on Fox Sports Network.  This is a great new series that explores the myths of sports through science.  

Time Training
Effective Velocity
Hitting Is A Guess

Time Training is the study of timing as it relates to the hitter/pitcher confrontation.   This is a brand new way to look at the art of hitting instruction.

Effective Velocity is the study of speed and what effect location has on actual reaction time of the hitter.  The first real scientific approach to pitch sequencing with major league data and over 8,000 amateur at bats to prove the validity.

Hitting Is A Guess is the mechanical study of the baseball and softball swing.  By the use of objective measurement, hitters can test their swings to see where they stand, pinpoint the trouble areas and make the adjustments needed to improve their performance.

The vLog will focus on the newest discoveries with each of these unique studies. 

 

Latest Vlog

 

BP Pitch Angles

When coaches throw batting practice, there probably is not much thought given to things like trajectory angle of the pitch or exact reactionary timing of the pitch and the like. But isn\'t the point of BP to recreate the game atmosphere as much as possible? We can never be exact with BP simulations until we are in an actual game at actual speed, which is one reason MLB teams play so many spring training games. In the Time Training series, one of the aspects of learning to time pitches better is to simulate the timing better. The closer to the real pitch speed, trajectory, angles (both the angle of descent and the angle of approach) and release points we can get, the more likely the hitter is to actually practicing his ability to time pitches.

In reviewing thousands of hours of game video from a side view of the hitter, I began to use my video analysis software to measure the angles that pitches enter the hitting zone. I noticed that the same velocity pitch has different angles as it enters the hitting area at different heights. A low fastball in the low to mid 90\'s velocity range will enter the zone at about 7 degrees downward or so. While the same speed fastball at the top of the zone is closer to 3 or 4 degrees downward. The \'Aha\' moment was in noticing that most BP simulations are thrown standing up from a shortened distance. While the shorter distance helps us simulate game speeds better, we rarely take into account the angle that type of set up creates for the ball entering the zone.

Move on Blog Page

 

 

Does swinging down on the ball create backspin?
&
Does backspin actually make the ball travel farther?

Swing Down To Produce Backspin

I got a great question last week regarding the idea of swinging down to get backspin on the ball. I love this question because to answer it, we have introduce the idea of what you "teach" rather than what you actually think is happening in the swing.

"My son's baseball coach teaches a downward hitting stroke that is supposed to lead to backspin, which he claims makes a baseball travel further. Is there any evidence that this is true? And isn't the downward stroke on a different plane than the pitch, making it harder to make contact?"

This is a tricky subject matter but a great question. Some things that coaches describe are what I call "Teaches", I borrowed that from Tom House. A Teach is what you say to a player to get them to feel something or make a certain movement you are looking for. It may not be a truth, just a way to over exaggerate a movement etc.... As opposed to a fact or what is actually happening in the swing. With regard to your question, I believe most coaches preach the idea that the player should swing down as a "Teach" because most players often swing too upward and thinking about swinging down may bring the desired swing path; so in other words, tricking the hitter into the right swing path. Now some coaches actually believe this concept of swinging downward = backspin -- and backspin = farther bombs. There is some science involved because we can measure parts of the equation.

The bat does go down at the beginning of the swing to get to the line of the pitch, then it levels off, hopefully about 7-10 degrees upward, and then it goes upward on the follow through (the finish is a matter of what you believe, I teach to keep the finish low to keep the bat in line longer so the bat goes down to the line and then stays on the line the rest of the way). So in essence, coaches are right in saying the bat goes down but not during the part of the swing that is meant to make contact, the middle portion. Hitters want that middle portion of the swing to be in the same line as the primary fastball they are facing most of the time. For example, with a fastball at the top of the strike zone at 92 MPH, the angle on the pitch is going to be downward about 2-6 degrees, depending on the pitcher's release point height. Middle of the strike zone, the angle downward will be more like 5-10 degrees downward (again depending) and this is the line you want to make your swing follow. I teach upward about 7-10 degrees but call it level, not level to the ground but in the same line as the pitch. Although as a teach, I have used a hundred different terms to get players to swing in the right line and only some of them were actual truths. Most of them were intended to trick them into the right movement.

 

Body Timing & Pitch Timing

There are two very distinct sets of timing when it comes to hitting. There is the body timing which is the inner timing of the body parts to make the most efficient swing possible. Then there is the pitch timing. The extreme difficulty in hitting a baseball is that you have to coordinate them both at the same time at up to 100 MPH. It is not an easy task to get both timings close to 100% on time. Most instructors focus their attention on the body timing, the idea of finding that perfect set of swing mechanics. Elite hitters have to master both sets of timing to hit for power and average. The video below describes this in a bit more detail.

Youtube Link to Body Pitch Timing Video

Deception & Timing

The predominant thinking from the hitting world is that if you keep the bat in the zone longer, it will allow hitters to be off-timing and still hit the ball hard.  I am one of these guys, just for the record.  However, the amount of timing that a great swing path can make up for is limited.  The video below shows two swings that are geared for a 92 MPH fastball.  One the hitter is on time (relatively close) and the other is a swing and miss.  Both pitches look the same for the first 1/3 of the flight, then one stays on the original line and the other moves off the line (mostly down), like a cut fastball.  As you might guess, the hitter swings and misses at the cutter, but why?  His swing line is virtually identical to the first swing and it is in line with the initial flight of the pitch, as we can see with the overlay of one swing onto the other.  So what is the issue?  Most hitting guys will tell us that as long as you are in line with the pitch, you can adjust to pitches that are off speed which is only partially true.  Timing, it seems is a bit more important than we may have previously thought.  The truth is that being in line with the pitch, as crucial as it is, is only going to buy the hitter 3-7 MPH.  If the hitter does not recognize the difference in the pitch speed, he is doomed to swing and miss more, even when it seems he is on the pitch line.  On the one hand, this is a great way to illustrate why the Downright Filthy Pitching concepts are so solid.  On the other hand, it is a lesson to hitting instructors that there is far more to training than simply getting the mechanics down to produce a swing that is in line with the pitch.  Even though that is mportant, very important even, but only one aspect of the art.  The video features a training ball and not a baseball. Please watch the video below.

Deception

Deception Video Link on Youtube

Understanding The EV Zone

The EV Zone is a difficult thing to wrap your mind around at first because it is a very 3 dimensional concept that we are trying to show with 2 dimensional graphics. The hitter swings the bat in an arc. So when a pitch location moves over just 6" inches further inside, for example, the hitter has to hit the ball 18" inches further out front. Therefore, the pitch effectively gains speed due to the hitter losing the reaction time. If he is to maintain his most efficient mechanics, he has to get the bathead out in front sooner by however long it takes the ball to travel 18" inches. At 90 MPH, this is equivalent to just under 3 MPH faster. The picture below is illustrating extreme changes in possible contact points along the swing arc. The deepest contact point, where the bat is stopped, is about 44" inches, or almost 4 feet, from the actual contact point out front of home plate. The back contact point is likely to produce a foul ball, but is used just for the sake of showing this big reach differential for contact points along the swing arc. The video below will describe this in greater detail.

EV Zone

 

EV Pitch Angles

Every pitcher's delivery style; including posture, arm angle, postion on the pitching rubber and various other factors, help to determine their basic release point of a given pitch. For argument sake, let's assume the RH Pitcher we are using as an example has the same release point with both a cut fastball and his normal fastball. The release point, in turn, then helps to determine the angle of the pitch from the view of the hitter. In the case of the video below, we are using a RHPitcher and a RHBatter. The pitch angle is very important in determining how deceptive pitches can be from the perspective of having the flights be in the same plane. In other words, when the fastball middle up to up and inside establishes a flight line, if the cut fastball is on the same flight line for a certain distance, at least 20 feet, there is a tremendous amount of deception because the hitter sees the initial flight of both pitches as the same and the EV of each is vastly different. Since the hitter uses the first 20 feet of flight to establish most of the data he will use to determine if he will swing or not, this is a crucial element of deceiving the hitter.

One way pitch angle helps deception is described in the video below.

EV Pitch Angle

 

The Cut Fastball

The World has fallen in love with the "Cutter" or the cut fastball and for very good reason. From the EV perspective, it is one of the most effective ways to take speed off your fastball while maintaining your maximum deception. To "hide" pitches, they have to share the same tunnel for the first 20 feet out of the hand. The cutter movement allows you to start it in the same line as your elevated fastball and keep it in the strike zone. The elevated fastball is faster than it seems and the cutter is much slower than the eyes are reading (assuming a RHPitcher vs RHBatter).

Another reason the cutter has become popular is due to how fast you can master it. In just a few minutes of playing with the Cutter Dial described in the video, virtually any pitcher can develop a fastball that has less velocity with maximum deception. The first video will show Matt in a college game throwing an up/in fastball and a cutter. Below that is a video on how to understand creating the movement.

 

Cut Fastball Video 1

Matt CutFB


Cut Fastball Dial Video

Cut FB

 

Penn State Hitting Program - Drills

Penn State University hitters saw their exit speeds off the bat (tee, live, live reactionary and Game Exit Speeds) all go up dramatically last season as well as their offensive production. Will Hoover, hitting coach, implemented some very focused Time Training drills to help his players work toward making their swings as efficient as possible without making their focus all about mechanics. Mechanics are important but thinking about them can get in the way of building an efficient swing, explosive, fluid and free of thought. So how can you train mechanics without thinking about mechanics?

The Time Training methodology is to identify the swing movement that is inefficient and then spend extra time and focus on that area. So what's new right? Well, in the past, coaches tended to see an issue in the swing and then ask the player to think about that movement during BP and try to fix the inefficieny. This can work with certain players (especially in their BP swing but does not always translate into their game swing) but there are those that simply cannot make physical changes in the swing by simply trying to focus on the movement in BP.

The new methodology involves the idea of the hitter making the swing movement in an efficient manner to the point of forcing the body to feel the right movements. In many cases, there is no bat involved in the drill at all, but yet the player is feeling the same type of movement we know is most efficient. After training a few weeks with "Efficient Swing Movements", these movements just sort of, "showed up" in players' swings. It isn't magic, just simply that with the increased focused on correct movements, the movements get better. When they get better, the player finds the movement showing up in their swing.

Thanks to Will Hoover, Penn State Hitting Coach and Pete Hissey, future hitting star of the Red Sox for sending us a couple of the drills that Penn State used in 2011, the campaign described in the last issue of the eView Newsletter.

Keep in mind that the drill is not always pretty. Sometimes the swing has to suffer to work on the actual movement that needs the work. Mechanics have to take off certain parts that aren't broken to get to the part in need of repair or replacing.

Stretch Drill - Pete - Upper Body Video Link

Stretch Pete
Leverage Drill - Pete - Wedge

Leverage Pete
Babe Ruth Drill - Jonathon

Babe Ruth drill 2

 

EV In The News

Article Link

Source: Sports Illustrated | Published: August 2011
By Lee Jenkins - Trevor Bauer Will Not Be Babied
SI Cover

TB Grid

Trevor Bauer EV Grid

The first round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the former UCLA star pitcher has a little different twist on how to implement Effective Velocity into his game. After reading about the tunnel concept in the Downright Filthy Pitching Books, Trevor and his father, an engineer, created a grid to help Trevor fine tune his deceptive skills. The grid was designed to show the ball flight at a point 20 feet out of the hand, the critical first 1/3 of the flight of the pitch. The grid is fantastic for pinpointing both the x and y coordinates of the pitch in flight to measure the tunnel location of one pitch versus another. By videotaping different pitch types and noting the coordinates as they pass through the grid, Trevor could determine if his pitches would look the same out of the hand. So if the fastball middle up strike going through the grid was at the same x/y coordinate as a curveball in the dirt, the hitter would have a very difficult time determining the difference so he is more likely to be fooled into chasing a pitch out of the zone.

 

Video Link



Different Deliveries Can Cause Different Pitch Angles

Different Pitch Angles Create Different Tunnels
This post is highlighting two young pitchers and how their different deliveries cause them to have very different pitch angles.  We filmed with both of these right handed pitchers starting from the very extreme 1st base side of the pitching rubber.  Logic would mandate that with them starting from the same place, being about the same size and ability that their release points and pitch angles would be similar.  What we found was a bit of a surprise.   
Josh, has a delivery that is a bit like Fausto Carmona of the Indians.  They both stride slightly left of straight ahead and then throw away from their body a bit.  Carmona throws a heavy sinker that runs away from the lefty and into the righty.  His delivery enhances that movement due to the severe angle that he can create because of his ‘fall away’ type delivery.  His ball will appear to be coming from either 1:00 or even beyond at times,  as in the clock picture below right.  So in our video example, Josh is also releasing from somewhere around 1:00 while Will is more traditional at 10:00 or 11:00.  You can see how this will dramatically change the angle of the delivery. 

Pitcher Release Points With Clock

These two distinctly different delivery styles will create two distinctly different pitch angles when throwing a pitch to the same location. 

 

Pitch Angles Pic

Video 2

Video 3

To Read More

Instant Replay For Baseball - Absolutely

Instant Replay In Baseball – Absolutely -(Article Only - No Video Link)
I cannot be alone in the notion that there must be a better way to handle the idea of umpires getting calls right.  The human element is important and umpires have a very tough job, but the right call is at least, equally as important.  There have been far too many at bats, games, series and even seasons tipped in a direction due strictly to a bad call and the negative swing in momentum that surely follows. 

Everyone is talking about the ‘purity’ of the game and taking the human element out of the picture would ruin the game.  I’m on board with that, to a certain degree.  I’m in agreement that calls have to be made by people and sometimes they are going to be wrong.  But what’s wrong with holding umpires a bit more accountable?  Players are scrutinized every time they turn around in this game, as are coaches, scouts, announcers and owners are all held accountable for their actions.  Can’t we keep the best of both worlds?  I think we can keep the human element but in a more accountable way.

Zone Pic

 

This is obviously a walk right?  Not so fast, pitch number 2 was a slider that the umpire called a strike.  This was followed with fastballs up and in,  pitches 3 and 4, both called balls.  Now it’s three balls and a strike and pitch 5 is another fastball out of the zone, but called a strike.   

Now granted these are close calls but how do you feel as a coach, having trained your players to take pitches out of the zone only to have them perform perfectly just to get cheated out of a well earned base on balls?  This flips the momentum from the offense getting a lead-off walk to an out and a loss of momentum.  Now this at bat ended in a swinging strikeout but it is very difficult to take pitch 6 after the other strike calls on balls so clearly out of the zone.  Obviously, these are examples of smaller, less significant calls that are not usually a game changer, but then again, aren’t they all potential game changers.  If you are that hitter who just went 1 for 4 instead of 1 for 3 with a walk (.250 vs .333 BA and not to mention the famous on base percentage being tilted the wrong way), you may look at it as a game changer and sometimes a career changer.  It is very difficult to get cheated and have to sit back and do nothing about it.  What’s pure about that?    

Article only - no video link

To Read More

 

Heavy Bat Training - Jack It Weight - 2-28-11

Heavy Bat Training is one of the important elements to building an efficient swing. Training with a heavy bat helps build strength - explosiveness - body control - enhances body timing greatly - helps players extend through impact and is one way to help players maintain their bat lag angle. There are a couple of negative factors with heavy bat training that should be mentioned. The first is that swinging a heavy bat causes you to swing slower if you trained only with a heavy bat. Hitters also tend to "Cast" the heavy bat or release the bat lag angle early but there is a very good by-product of that. The wrists in trying to maintain a good angle with a heavier bat, will work harder to keep the angle. Then when the hitter swings their regular bat, the lag angle is now easier to control.

This new product, Jack It - Bat Weights for the middle of the bat - help reduce the casting as well as allow you to use your game bat to train with the heavier benefits.

The overload or heavy bat training should be countered with underload training to help train the hitting muscles to go faster to offset the slower overload training. Then the regular bat weight should finish off the workout.

(8 Mins 29 secs long)

Jack It

 

 

Pressure Pitch Change Up - 2-20-11

Last week we talked about the Pressure Pitch using the cut fastball, this week we're looking at the Change Up as a Pressure Pitch.  The definition of a Pressure Pitch is that it goes through the tunnel that Strike Pitches go through but they end up in the Pressure Zone.

Offensive production goes down dramatically when you get hitters to swing at pitches out of the strike zone, so this Pressure Zone is crucial if you wish to make the leap to 'Filthy'.

The video shows Matt, our minor league pitcher throwing a sinking fastball that stays up a bit and inside to a RHBatter and a Change Up moving in also to a RHBatter but coming from the same basic tunnel.

Pressure CH

 

 

Swing Plane Drill - 2-11-11


"Bar" Hug Drill - This is a great drill for teaching players to be more aware of their swingline by becoming aware of their shoulder line. The bat plane follows the plane of the body lines, the shoulder line and the hip line are the body lines. Controlling the shoulder line is, in essence, controlling the swing line. The Bar Hug Drill is a simple way to work on mechanics of the shoulder line without swinging a bat.

Bar Hug

The TorsoBurner is the more dynamic version of this drill that we use to help players become aware of their swing plane and build explosiveness at the same time. This is one of the drills from the Time Training Swing Efficiency program.

TorsoBurner

 

 

Pressure Pitches - Deception Tools - 2-10-11

MLB hitters are 50-80% less productive when they swing at pitches in the Pressure Zone. This begs the question, "how do you get them to swing at pitches outside the strike zone?" This requires some baiting for certain. First, you have to prove that you will throw strikes before hitters will bite on pitches outside the zone. Even then, pitches have to look like strikes to get hitters chasing. Here is a minor league pitcher that understands the idea of deception. Matt is working on throwing a cutter for a strike and one that isn't but could be mistaken for a twin brother. This video highlights a very good example of a Pressure Pitch cut fastball. At the point of this picture, about 1/3 of the way to the plate, there is very little difference in the tunnel of both cutters. One will end up a strike, the other a Pressure Pitch.

Matt

 

Matt - Minor League Pitcher (Not Shown)
Cole (Catcher)


 

hittingisaguess@roadrunner.com

 

February 9, 2009  International Power Showcase Tropicana Field

Power Quiz --Results– Thanks to all of you for participating in the quiz it could be a bit surprising to some of you to see the final results.  Winners to be listed Tuesday. 
 
Quiz # 1 Results -- B - A - C
Dante Bichette -- 101 MPH Player B (2011 Grad)
Nelfi Zapata -- 96 MPH Player A
Cody Geyer -- 95 MPH Player C
 
Quiz # 2 Results -- B - A - C
Vincent Giron -- 101 MPH Player B
Jake Schrader -- 96 MPH Player A
Cole Frenzel -- 95 MPH Player C
 
Quiz # 3 Results -- B - A - C
Stetson Allie -- 101 MPH Player B (2010 Grad)
Bryce Harper -- 96 MPH (Wood Bat 2011 Grad) Player A
Austen Smith -- 95 MPH (Wood Bat 2010 Grad)
 
Quiz # 4 Results -- B - A - C
Matisse VerDuyn -- 101 MPH Player B
Cole Wassner -- 96 MPH Player A
Josh Sheffert -- 95 MPH Player C
 
  

February 6, 2009  International Power Showcase Tropicana Field

Power Quiz -- Can you identify the movements that create the most power?– Click on the pictures on the right to play each power quiz and send us your picks of the players with the highest exit velocities off the tee.  The first one to identify the players of each quiz will win a free Web Book of your choice.  You have until February 10th to submit your answers. 
 
The first one to identify the exit velocity highest to lowest of all 12 players will win a book or DVD of their choice.   After the quizzes are answered, we will look into the most powerful swings and identify the movements responsible for the top exit speeds.
 
The top picture has a brief description of what to look for in the swing to help you pick the highest exit speeds.    

December 11, 2008     USC High School Prospect Camp
Video Analysis Now Available For December 27-29th

USC -- Video Analysis With Bat Speeds & Exit Speeds– Players registered for the USC High School Prospect Camp December 27-29th at USC's Dedeaux Field can now sign up for video analysis to see how their power and contact consistency numbers measure up.  With a detailed analysis players will see their swing strengths and weaknesses and shown the key swing movements that can make their output improve.  

December 20, 2008    Boys & Girls Clubs Of Antelope Valley
&
The Lancaster Jethawks Are Hosting The 1st Annual

 Boys & Girls Club Baseball Fair & HR Derby
Instructional Clinics - Skills Contests - Free Video Highlight
(Must Pre-Register) - Vendors
Home Run Derby details.

November 6, 2008     Junior College Experiment Results

Pierce Junior College - Woodland Hills, CA – I recently conducted a "Before & After" testing and training program with Pierce Junior College, special thanks to Joe Arnold and the coaching staff and players.  We tested their swings the first day of fall for bat speed, ball exit speed both live and off the tee as well as a myriad of tests to get a starting point for each player.  I did a video analysis of each player's swing and placed it in their video locker along with the drills that we would implement in the station work.  We then put them through our 7 Station Training Program to work on the functional skills that were identified in the analysis that were at less than maximum efficiency.       

 "7 Stations" – There were two very unique stations that are part of this program that made a significant impact.  The first was a functional strength station using the BatSpeedChain and TorsoBurner to help players work on the correct swing specific movements at game speeds and get a variable resistance workout at the same time.  This type of training has seen huge speed gains in tennis serve speeds, as much as 30%.  Check below for some of the results we saw in hitting a baseball.

The second new station was the Small Balls and the NOS Timing Trainer.   This station used the NOS Timing Trainer to work on bat lag, one of the key functional skills involved in creating speed.  The XLR8 timing balls and the NOS together also increased players "Sweet Spot Awareness" by having hitters working to hit a golf ball sized foam ball with a golf ball on the end of the NOS. 

"Test Results"Tee Test Results --The beginning cumulative average bat speed of the team was 85 MPH with an exit velocity off the tee of 87.4 MPH.  After the workouts and the analysis, the average bat speed increased to 89.7 MPH with the average ball exit speed jumping up to 91.9 MPH for an average increase of 105% for both bat speed and ball exit speed off the tee.

Live Test Results --  The beginning Top Live Exit Speed was 91.83 MPH (average of all hitters’ Top Speeds) and an Average Live Exit Speed of 71.76 MPH (cumulative average of live exit speeds).  After the detailed video analysis and three weeks of workouts, the average Top Live Exit Speed went to 94.7 MPH and the Average Live Exit Speed went to 86.9 MPH.  The Top Speed increased 103% overall with some players increasing exit velocity as high as 112%, while the Average Speed increased an amazing 121% across the board with some totals increasing as high as 140-155%. 

"100 MPH Club" We started with two guys with live exit velocity of 100 MPH.  After the three week training session however, the two existing members of the 100 MPH Club went to 103 MPH and 104 MPH and there were seven new members added to this exclusive class with some players reaching Top Speed increases as high as 12%.  Unlike pitching velocity which takes time to develop, hitters can experience these types of increases virtually overnight. 

"Fall Game Statistics" – Making speeds go up off the tee is great and even in BP with live pitching but the real proof of whether something works is in game statistics.  Check out this Extra Base Hit Study.  Keep in mind this is not meant to directly compare professional season statistics or Division I collegiate seasons with a fall Junior College season, this merely indicates that Pierce is on the right track implementing these swing concepts into game at bats.

EBH = Extra Base Hits (2B - 3B - HRs)
EBHA = EBH/Hits
EBHAN = EBH/At Bats

The Pierce team EBH totals are much improved even though their team batting average is down a bit when you compare to last season’s total but in the fall there are players getting at bats that will not likely see a lot of playing time in the regular season.  So we also took a look at their top 9 fall performers to get a better idea as to what the up coming season stats might look like.  What we see is very impressive, again it’s just the fall but nonetheless, a very impressive sign that things are heading in the direction planned; more EBHs without sacrificing batting average.  In fact, the batting average of the top 9 hitters is well above the JC average, 18% higher.

The Pierce 9 had an EBHAB of .167 which means 17% of their total at bats resulted in Extra Base Hits and a .441 EBHA which means that 44% of their hits were Extra Base Hits.  This is double that of many Division I programs that were hovering around .085 EBHAB.

October 21, 2008     Babe Ruth Video Analysis

Special Babe Ruth Video Analysis – A very special thanks going out to the granddaughter of Babe Ruth, Linda Ruth Tosetti who has given permission to post some great vintage footage on the vLog to help people understand the innovative genius of her grandfather.  I will use the old footage and some new video technology to help point out some of the techniques he used to generate one of the greatest swings in baseball history.  Please take the time to visit her site in her efforts to retire the Babe's number at: www.retirebabesnumber.com .  

 "Babe Ruth's 7 Perfect Flaws" – If Babe Ruth played in today's game, hitting instructors would most likely point out many issues in his swing that they felt would prohibit power and consistent contact. Their likely criticisms, too much head movement, too long of a stride, a hitch in the swing and a few more that had he listened, would have cut down both his power and .342 lifetime batting average.

"Babe Ruth Stride Length" – Babe Ruth was a tremendous power hitter that took advantage of all of the forces at his disposal to create enough power to hit home runs in an era when that just wasn't done very often. One of the main forces used is weight shift. He had possibly the most pronounced weight shift of all time. This clip shows his stride length and some description as to why it was a very good thing.

"Babe Ruth Stride Length" – Weight shift is one of the major forces at work in the swing and Babe Ruth took this to new heights. This video will show a sample of one of the most pronounced weight shifts of all time.

"Anatomy Of A Babe Ruth Home Run" – This analysis uses video measurements to help explain some of the innovative techniques that Babe Ruth used to generate so much power.  Understanding the science of optimal ball flight will help us see how Babe's swing produced so many home runs.

"Babe Ruth Rotational vs Linear Mechanics" – Babe Ruth hit invented home run hitting as we know it.  In an era when there was no one doing that, he hit more home runs than entire team totals.  To do this, he optimized the use of forces and mechanical movements.  This clip shows him working on a batting practice swing that exaggerates both rotational and linear swing mechanics.

"Babe Ruth Had A Hitch In His Swing?" – Yes, by all definitions, Babe Ruth had a big hitch.  This clip shows why this is a very good thing.  Using a 54 oz. bat in a "Dead Ball" era forced him to have to get inventive.  The "Hitch" was his way of creating power, enhancing his body timing as well as his timing of the pitch.

"The Forces At Work In Babe Ruth's Swing" – Babe Ruth had serious "Pop" and this analysis helps uncover some of the mechanical forces at work.  

 

September 25, 2008    RHPitcher vs RHBatter Change Up Usage

RHP vs RHB – Throwing change up to like handed batters has long been thought of as Taboo.  This has set back pitching for years because it limits the pitcher's ability to throw "Soft Inside" as well as "Hard Inside".  

Visual Effects – The speed difference of the fastball inside and change up inside is a major factor in the success of the pitcher to keep hitters off balance but the often overlooked element of this attack is the visual deception that is created.  Depending on the movement of each pitch of course, the change up if located inside, tends to share the same line of flight as the fastball inside for the first 1/3 of the way to the plate.  This makes it very difficult to identify and react to.  Even when change up is "Hung" inside, hitters at the Major League level do not have a great average against this pitch.  Why?  In 2004, hitters hit .050 on this pitch due to the fact it didn't happen very often for one and also due to the fact that the "Hung" change up was hit hard foul.  When in play, it is rarely hit hard.  When you look at all the factors, the change up inside to like handed batters is a very "Filthy" habit that hitters will not react well to.  

September 12, 2008     vPlanning - Video Lesson Plans

vPlanning – Video is the one tool that allows students of all learning types get the information delivered in a way that suits their learning style.  For this reason, the vPlan is a great way to show students in advance how and what you want them to do in your practice, lesson or class. 

"Frontloading" – This is a term from the education world that refers to giving students key terms, concepts, definitions and directions for some type of curriculum in advance.  This gives students a head start on learning.  This vLog shows an example of a day's practice schedule done in this format.  The drills are described as to why, where, how many reps and the key focus points of each drill.  This is all done on non-practice time so practice time is used more efficiently.  For you private instructors, this saves valuable time in short lessons as well. 

August 12, 2008     Visual Focus

Visual Focus – To be a great hitter, you must see the ball, identify the pitch traits and react within a finite time frame.  This requires great vision or does it?

Sport Science – On the peripheral vision piece on a recent Sport Science episode, they talked about what part of the eye is used for tracking movement (the outside portion) and which focuses on color and details (the inside portion).  When a hitter focuses too finely, the portion of the eye that detects motion and speed is not engaged as needed.  This does not allow the hitter to "drink in" the  pitch information correctly to help their timing judgment.  This video describes the contrast between "camera mode or still shot mode" and "video mode". 

July, 2008     Bat Lag

Bat Lag – Sawyer is a long time student and at times has shown a nearly flawless swing.  In fact, I would say that there is one significant flaw that has hurt his exit speeds; casting.  Casting is simply releasing the elastic energy stored in the wrists, too soon.  This takes the hands out of "hammer mode" and makes them more passive at contact. 

Solution – Bat lag is a tough skill to master because it is hard to describe and harder to think about during the swing.  The answer in this case is a device with a few drills that actually make the casting worse momentarily.  Hold on, I know that sounds crazy, but muscles tend to oppose the force used against them.  A physical therapist when working with a person that has lost use of a muscle and is in re-hab, will push against the muscle to get it to push back.  This opposing tendency is alive and well with the use of a new product on the market.  The NOS Timing Training Device is end loaded and tends to make the hitter cast the bat head early.  The wrists however, when this happens begin to fight back and the effect is much the same as the physical therapist sees.  When the hitter gets a bat in hand, the casting tendency is lessened.  This is exactly what happened to Sawyer. 

July, 2006     Bat Speed Makeover

Before – Danny, a student from Austria, tested in Atlanta in 2006 with a ball exit speed of 71 MPH.  The night before the official testing, Danny did a pre-test and had exit speed of 65 MPH.  He worked with Rob Keller, a Time Training instructor for a few minutes and his exit speed on test day was at 71 MPH, an increase of 6 MPH overnight.  He was not using the body's rubber bands to get his maximum elastic energy release at max but was slightly better. 

After –We did some very uncomfortable drills to help him stretch some rubber bands and to firm up at impact.  Although he felt stiff and rigid, there was a significant increase in the first day.  His exit speed was at 79 MPH before we left Atlanta.  In the following couple of weeks, his exit speed was as high as 86 MPH.  About a 21 MPH increase in a very short period of 3 weeks. 

November 5, 2008
Babe Ruth Stride Length

Babe Ruth Stride Length

November 5, 2008
Babe Ruth
7 Perfect Flaws

Babe Ruth Barred arm

November 5, 2008
Babe Ruth
Weight Shift

Babe Ruth Weight Shift

October 21, 2008
Babe Ruth Swing Analysis

Anatomy Of A Babe Ruth HR
Babe Ruth Launch Angle

Forces At Work In Babe Ruth's Swing

Babe Ruth Forces

Rotational vs Linear Mechanics Babe Ruth Style
Babe Ruth Momentum

Did Babe Ruth Have A
"Hitch" In His Swing?
Babe Ruth Hitch

Josh R
Click For Sample Analysis

 

100 MPH Club

November 6, 2008
Pierce JC Hitting Experiment

James
Swing Adjustments

Carlos G
Carlos Gonzalez 102 MPH

Cole
Cole McCune 101 MPH

DJ
DJ Thomas 101 MPH

James W
James Wharton 103 MPH

Jason
Jason Barmasse 101 MPH

Josh
Josh Reece 104 MPH

Nick
Nick Devian 100 MPH

Sean
Sean Spear 104 MPH

Sean RH
Sean Spear 100 MPH

Will
Will Myrick 100 MPH

The Power Showcase
International
High School
HR Derby
Power Quiz

quiz
Quiz Explanation
Mac Version Click Here

Quiz #1

Bichette
Mac Version Click Here
Quiz 1 Results Click Here

Quiz #2
Frenzel

Mac Version Click Here
Quiz 2 Results Click Here

Quiz #3
Allie

Mac Version Click Here
Quiz 3 Results Click Here

Quiz #4
Verduyn

Mac Version Click Here
Quiz 4 Results Click Here

 

vTips - vAnswers

vTips

September 25, 2008
RHPitcher vs RHBatter
Change Up Usage

Change Up Use

September 12, 2008
vPlanning
Using Video For Practice
Plans

Video Planner

August 12, 2008
Visual Focus
Matt Hutchison
Camera Mode vs Video Mode
Matt

July, 2008

Bat Lag
Sawyer

July, 2006
Danny Meltzer
Bat Speed Makeover
Danny

NOS