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Hitch in the SwingThe idea that a Hitch in the Swing is bad — in both baseball and fast pitch softball — is one of the big ideas in hitting. Something everybody knows. An idea that is put forth on pretty much every baseball broadcast, especially on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Which is weird given that, if you watch some games, and look at what the best hitters' hands do — actually — during their best swings, you will see a Hitch in the swings of many of the best hitters.

Hitch in the Swing

A Hitch in the Swing is bad. It's one of the leading causes of a Long Swing. And a big reason why hitters can't hit the fastball.

Everybody knows that.

Or do they?

Albert Pujols' Hitch

I knew a Hitch in the Swing was bad.

Or, at least, I thought I did.

Hitch in the Swing

Albert Pujols 2009

And then I decided to start studying Albert Pujols' swing in detail.

Hitch as Loading

Everybody talks about Loading when it comes to the swing.

But what do they mean?

And what does that have to do with a Hitch in the Swing?

As it turns out, a Hitch in the Swing is how the best hitters Load.

Actually.

And, while I started off studying Albert Pujols' swing, I've found the same pattern in the swings of many of the best hitters.

Hitch, Power, & Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer was a great hitter and, in his prime, hit for a very high average.

But he didn't hit for as much power as Albert Pujols or Mike Trout.

Why not?

I suspect that the main answer to that question has to do with the ABSENCE of a Hitch from Joe Mauer's swing.

Tommy Pham's Hitch

I worked with Tommy Pham from 2010-2015, and helped him get back to form in 2017 and 2018.

In each case, Tommy Pham's Hitch was a key to perfecting, or fixing, his swing.

Hitch in Tommy Pham's Swing

Tommy Pham 2015

In 2015, I suggested Tommy put a small Hitch in his swing, and that helped him go on a tear.

However, in 2016, Pham let his Hitch get too big, something I explained to him at the end of Spring Training in 2017.

Hitch in Tommy Pham's Swing

Tommy Pham Spring Training 2017

In 2018, the Cardinals — I assume believing the conventional wisdom and ignoring Pham's swing and performance in 2017 — decided that Pham needed to remove the Hitch in his swing, leading to his struggles in the first half of 2018. It wasn't until Tommy was traded to the Rays that he was able to swing as he did during his break-out periods in 2015 and 2017.

Making it Work

I've learned, from studying Albert Pujols' swing, the Hitch in Albert Pujols' Swing, and my work with the hitters at HSSU, that the key to making a Hitch in the Swing work is to time it very precisely. I discuss that in my Clients-Only pieces on...

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