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Breaking down Holliday’s swing


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4 minutes ago, RZNJ said:

So, all hitting coaches would teach this and I would assume most  ML hitters do this.

Yea, but some don’t do it well.  One of the main reasons why baseball players have to be limber/pliable.  You won’t see it much in the “beef cakes”.  Griffey was probably the best ever.  Just one of the reasons why people are so high on him.  

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An example of someone who doesn’t do “the stretch” move very well is our very own Mateo.  He is very “handsy” with his swing.  His hands go too early, doesn’t stretch, kinetic chain breaks down, and as a result his bat doesn’t stay in the hitting zone very long.  

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On 1/4/2024 at 12:48 PM, emmett16 said:

An example of someone who doesn’t do “the stretch” move very well is our very own Mateo.  He is very “handsy” with his swing.  His hands go too early, doesn’t stretch, kinetic chain breaks down, and as a result his bat doesn’t stay in the hitting zone very long.  

You sound like you know a lot about the technical aspects of hitting and probably a lot more than me.  However, I’d say Mateo’s main problem is his front side leaking out too soon.  In April last year his bat stayed in the zone long and he showed really good power and stayed on breaking pitches as well as laying off chase pitches away.   That might have left him in danger of inner half heat eventually but he’s never going to be a great hitter.   For whatever reason, May came and the front side went and along with it, his power/bat speed, plate coverage, and ability to lay off the chase pitches.

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17 hours ago, RZNJ said:

You sound like you know a lot about the technical aspects of hitting and probably a lot more than me.  However, I’d say Mateo’s main problem is his front side leaking out too soon.  In April last year his bat stayed in the zone long and he showed really good power and stayed on breaking pitches as well as laying off chase pitches away.   That might have left him in danger of inner half heat eventually but he’s never going to be a great hitter.   For whatever reason, May came and the front side went and along with it, his power/bat speed, plate coverage, and ability to lay off the chase pitches.

This is why you preach working away.  When hitters are going well, their approach is to drive the ball into the opposite power gap; ex. when Mountcastle is hot he gets a lot of hits to right center.  Guys slumping often look pull happy.  The barrel needs to stay in the zone as long as possible to be most effective, especially against the huge speed variations and massive movement MLB pitchers generate. 

Jackson doesn't step in the bucket.  The swing is beautiful.  If I'm picking a nit, I do see a bit more forward head movement than I'd teach but he's going to be a total stud.

Jackson's head position:  

 

Freeman's head position: 

 

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14 minutes ago, Ripken said:

This is why you preach working away.  When hitters are going well, their approach is to drive the ball into the opposite power gap; ex. when Mountcastle is hot he gets a lot of hits to right center.  Guys slumping often look pull happy.  The barrel needs to stay in the zone as long as possible to be most effective, especially against the huge speed variations and massive movement MLB pitchers generate. 

Jackson doesn't step in the bucket.  The swing is beautiful.  If I'm picking a nit, I do see a bit more forward head movement than I'd teach but he's going to be a total stud.

Jackson's head position:  

 

Freeman's head position: 

 

I guess it depends on your definition of “step in the bucket”.  His stride foot definitely doesn’t go straight.  Pretty easy to see where his foot is in relation to the batters box and how much further away it is when it lands.  It doesn’t seem to affect him negatively though.  Interestingly enough, Freeman’s stride foot goes perfectly straight.

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20 hours ago, RZNJ said:

You sound like you know a lot about the technical aspects of hitting and probably a lot more than me.  However, I’d say Mateo’s main problem is his front side leaking out too soon.  In April last year his bat stayed in the zone long and he showed really good power and stayed on breaking pitches as well as laying off chase pitches away.   That might have left him in danger of inner half heat eventually but he’s never going to be a great hitter.   For whatever reason, May came and the front side went and along with it, his power/bat speed, plate coverage, and ability to lay off the chase pitches.

The two things are related (the stretch move & leaking out).  When you say leaking out you are talking about the front shoulder, not feet/hips.   If your front shoulder leaks out, it pulls the hands with it.  When you do that your bat gets into the hitting zone later and leaves the hitting zone earlier, there’s nowhere else for the bat to go.  When you stretch (look at Holliday front shoulder location and the jersey stretching as he gets separation) and front shoulder stays solid longer, the bat enters the zone earlier and as the kinetic chain uncoils the bat stays in the zone (going towards the pitcher) longer.  Front shoulder will actually go up as hips and bottom half clears more so than twisting open.  Mateos front shoulder and hip open almost simultaneously pulling with it the hands/bat.  He has no room for error, the bat doesnt stay in the hitting zone very long. 
 

https://www.mlb.com/video/a-deep-dive-into-jorge-mateo-s-home-run
 


The above is a good visual of Mateo’s swing .  If we could see Hollidays(we should be able to this year) you’d see the bat staying on that line to the pitcher longer.  You can only do that if front shoulder/side doesn’t leak.  Mind you, the above was when he was going well.  We are talking about inches and fractions of an inch here.  “Distance in the zone” avg. for majors is ~32” (that’s how long bat is effectively on the hitting zone).  I imagine Mateo is right around there or slightly below.  I bet Holliday is 36”+.  Distance in zone info comes from Diamond kinetics.  

Edited by emmett16
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2 hours ago, RZNJ said:

I guess it depends on your definition of “step in the bucket”.  His stride foot definitely doesn’t go straight.  Pretty easy to see where his foot is in relation to the batters box and how much further away it is when it lands.  It doesn’t seem to affect him negatively though.  Interestingly enough, Freeman’s stride foot goes perfectly straight.

Everyone’s body works completely differently, that’s the down side of a one prescription approach to hitting.  You first have to figure out your motor preference before you can build an efficient swing for your body typ.  An aerial mover’s body will work complete different than a terrestrial mover.  Neither of their swings/mechanics are “wrong” they are simply doing the movement profile that is most efficient for their body type. 

Edited by emmett16
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2 hours ago, Ripken said:

This is why you preach working away.  When hitters are going well, their approach is to drive the ball into the opposite power gap; ex. when Mountcastle is hot he gets a lot of hits to right center.  Guys slumping often look pull happy.  The barrel needs to stay in the zone as long as possible to be most effective, especially against the huge speed variations and massive movement MLB pitchers generate. 

Jackson doesn't step in the bucket.  The swing is beautiful.  If I'm picking a nit, I do see a bit more forward head movement than I'd teach but he's going to be a total stud.

Jackson's head position:  

 

Freeman's head position: 

 

That’s correct and the whole “go away” is really just an over adjustment cue to keep the front side (shoulder) closed longer.  Again, it’s really all just about keeping the bat on the zone longer with maximum bat speed. Hitting a ball is friggin hard so you have to give yourself as much of a chance as possible.  It’s just playing the percentages….if your bat is in the zone for 30” vs. 38” who do you think is gonna hit a 100mph fastball more often.  The guy with a 30” distance in zone with 20/10 vision is going to fail more often than the guy with normal vision who keeps the bat in the zone 38”.  The over adjustment/approach of going the other way will help you keep your front side closed longer, which creates a longer distance in zone, which results in more contact.  Those times Mounty had that approach he also hit some monster HRs those were a result of staying closed and stretching his “power coil” to the max.  More stretch you get = more bat speed.  Every 1mph in increased bat speed is ~1.5mph in EV. So as crazy as it sounds the “go away” approach will also increase your EVs & wOBACON. 

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https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2AlH5zOOLX/?igsh=MTc2NHNoeTdsa2UwNQ==
 

Underload reps (game bat -20%) vs. high velo.  

Guys work overload/underload training to increase bat speed & bat path.  
 

Overload is a bat 20% more than game bat, weight can be at barrel or on hands depending on what you’re workin on.  
 

Underload is bat 20% less than game bat.  Sometimes a short bat to increase challenge. 
 

He’s hitting “smash balls”.  They fly like baseballs but have to be squared up or they don’t fly.  They save your bats (and hands) when hitting vs. velocity in practice.   
 

Love the dude ribbing him on the rollover on 100mph from 50’ lol

Edited by emmett16
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  • 2 weeks later...

Aram Leighton from Just Baseball on Holliday

“He has the tendency to pull off of the ball a bit with his front side, which can minimize his ability to use the ground and his lower half to generate more power, especially on pitches on the outer half. The move does not impede his ability to consistently make contact thanks to his adjustability and feel for the barrel. Holliday projects as an easy plus hitter with more juice to tap into.“

https://www.justbaseball.com/prospects/baltimore-orioles-top-15-prospects-for-2024/

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Must see video.  On some of these highlights there’s a leg lift but it doesn’t seem as pronounced as it is now.  On many it’s more of a toe tap and hardly any foot/leg movement at all.  Interesting.

 

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I plan on bumping this thread about 1x per week to track how Holliday is progressing back in AAA.

Hopefully he will impress quickly and force his way back up here.

In his last week at AAA (6 games)  he hit .227 / .433 / .364.       No homers, 8 BB : 8 K.

Glad to see the BB:K ratio is getting back to where we expect it to be for him.  Guess that's progress.

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