Launch angle and my thoughts on it and hitting.
I was watching Mlb network one night and heard Jim Thome say this about his thoughts on hitting. The “old” hitters had it in their mind to be short and swing down on the ball, but in reality they weren’t. the swings were level if not slightly up. Look at a guy like Pujols who thinks knob to ball, his swing is still slightly up. This and the fact that strikeouts especially on pitches up are occurring at a very high rate got me thinking.
Is Launch angle bad? Not necessarily, in fact there are many guys that have benefited greatly from the rise of it (JD Martinez, Donaldson and so on). However too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
Is the thought of swing down or hit the top of the ball bad, not completely, yes for young hitters especially it may be, but for some hitters the result is still a slightly up swing(Mike Trout). For my own swing for example I understand that I naturally swing up (almost too much) so concerning myself with launch angle actually hurts me from a hard contact standpoint as I get under balls too much. To counter this and achieve a swing that is slightly up and that allows me to hit the ball hard I need to think line drives to the top back of the cage when hitting off a tee or front toss. In BP and games my mindset then becomes hit the ball hard somewhere.
Big take away, and my view, for hitters find what mindset produces a slightly up swing just like Ted Williams preached (launch angle will come). And when you are in the box just think about doing damage and let your practice play for you.
Side note: Both Donaldson and Miguel Cabrera agree that to hit a high pitch you need to have a flatter bat path but one that is still up. Refer to Cabrera and Donaldson’s MLB network demo’s to see what I mean. #hitting #baseball #tedwilliams #hittheballhard #mlbnetwork #homeruns #foodforthought #middleground