Get/Stay on Top of the Ball
One day, early on in the 2013 season, I was watching the
Giants play the Dodgers. During that game, Pablo Sandoval hit a
home run to right field. When discussing the pitch and the
swing, the color commentator remarked on how good a job Sandoval
did of getting on top of the pitch despite its location at the
top of the strike zone.
As I discuss in my pieces on the
A to C Swing and
Barrel Above the Ball, many people, including major league
hitting instructors, teach a swing that you will not see in the
clips of the swings of the best hitters.
This is a problem because it is systematically ruining the
swings of players who otherwise show great talent.
Getting and Staying on Top of the Ball
The clips above show Joe Mather working on getting and
staying on top of the ball. The result is a hard ground ball
into the netting just in front of him.
Why does anyone think that practicing hitting balls into the
ground will yield anything other than ground balls during a
game? Do they think that, during the game, those ground balls
will be magically transformed into home runs?
I discuss what the best hitters actually do at length in