As a hitting instructor, I frequently get asked to comment on the swings of big league hitters.
“Aren’t so-and-so’s hands too low?”
“Is that guy’s leg kick too big?”
“Why can’t that dude hit a slider?”
Generally speaking, it’s a personal policy of mine to not openly critique guys who get paid millions of dollars to exercise a skill that I do not possess. Yet, does this mean that I don’t sit at home, hunched over my bowl of Captain Crunch, and quietly judge each hitter that pops up on my TV? No. It does not.
A couple weeks ago I posted an article discussing the advantages/disadvantages of hitting with a closed front side in response to an MLB Network segment where Josh Donaldson explained his philosophy on hitting and swing mechanics. In this second article on the difference between hitting instruction and intent, I would like to tackle one of Donaldson’s other points in the video – that a “downhill” swing plane should never be taught to young hitters and that young players, when told to hit down through the baseball, should ignore their coaches.
A couple of months ago, there was some internet hullabaloo over an MLB Network segment where Josh Donaldson explained his philosophy on hitting and his swing mechanics, touting that he never thinks about his hands when he swings and that the key to his power is his “open” front foot. As a professional hitting instructor, I was intrigued yet, at the same time, I found myself cringing throughout the video. Why? Well, as I watched, a couple things became apparent to me: