Back in the day when fantasy baseball was in its infancy, the standard 5×5 categories many leagues still use today seemed like a good thing. Well times they are a changing. Stats have evolved over the years, especially with the introduction and advanced use of sabermetrics throughout our real and fake teams. So if things have come this far, then why are we still using the same archaic scoring methods that were instituted by our founding fathers?
All joking aside, "hitting for contact" is a much better way to describe the "hit" tool. When scouts talk about players with the hit tool they aren't saying, "this is a guy who could really get a few ground balls through the infield and survive off an inflated BABIP", they are saying something far more basic and important: "this guy can hit a baseball." If a player makes it to the major leagues as a position player they probably have some kind of knack for hitting baseballs, but some players are definitely better than others. More importantly, for the purposes of this series, there is one player who is the worst. The first name that probably comes to mind for many readers is Adam Dunn. However, there is a new king when it comes to the whiff, and that man is Chris Carter of the Astros.
First compare the names on the left to the ones on the right. Notice anything? With the exception of Buster Posey, did you draft any player from the left side before any player on the right? OK there is Dexter Fowler, but there are always a few exceptions with any example. The players on the right are the superior players, Matt Carpenter included. While he didn’t live up to expectations, Carpenter did score 99 runs. The only players to score more runs from either list all come from the right side, Bautista and Trout. Denard Span was 10th in the league in scoring runs (like I said, an exception to every rule) but the next highest player from the left side is Howie Kendrick down at #30. Everyone else on the left had 81 or fewer runs scored where everyone on the right scored more than 81 times except Hanley and Fowler (who both had under 450 at bats due to injuries).
Doug you’ve done a great job putting this all together. I’m a former minor leaguer and now a hitting instructor at the Hudson Baseball Center in NJ and couldn’t agree with you more on your hitting technique. It’s tough to find people that haven’t played at a high level to understand that swinging down doesn’t mean ground balls all the time and that it does create backspin on the baseball. Even when I demo it for them its hard for them to believe but having you share the same info really helps. I’ve shared your page with some of my friends that have played in the minors and they also agree. Thanks, I’ll be following your page.
These are just a few examples of the many critical factors that come into play regarding your hitting power that go outside the scope of what I can control on the gym floor. Essentially, you can do everything I tell you to do in this article to improve hitting power, but if you don’t have the proper technique to execute and express that power then your first priority is to learn proper batting technique.
These types of movements encourage poor technique and motor patterns. I have talked about the central nervous systems relationship with movement patterns in the past with speed development and in baseball youth athletes, the same rules apply here. This type of training negatively affects your body’s motor/muscle recruitment patterns during a game setting.
Lanky build and weak muscles are not going to cut it if you dream of hitting home runs in a baseball game. You need to build your upper body and muscles, so the most basic thing to do is regularly bring these muscles into action, exercise and toughen them up. Try to do such exercises on a daily basis which involve your entire upper body. This will give you the requisite strength to hit a baseball farther.
The Hitters Power Drive teaches proper weight distribution and transfer of weight from the hitters load position with backside hip and leg drive referred to as positive move position. The training aid teaches by multisensory “CLICK” feedback with a combination of auditory sound and kinetic feel. The timing of hearing this “CLICK” trains hitters to initiate power with their back hip, leg and foot with their transfer which creates a power drive moving forward vs. spinning out, leaking, drifting or floating out front and not hearing the click at all or to late after ball contact. The metallic “CLICK” sound of the standing plate striking the ground plate allows this immediate real time feedback.
On an individual level, I'm partial to OPS+ because it's a clear upgrade over traditional measures and, unlike oWAR (which I think is more accurate in a vacuum), it's not quite as off-putting to the uninitiated. I'll happily lean on oWAR when appropriate, though, as it contains a base-running component. On a team level, I tend to stick to runs scored and OPS with on-the-fly adjustments made for ballpark effects.
The best way I can explain “Hitting for Average” is that this tool is not just solely focused on a person’s batting average. This tool is more about having the ability to have a consistent swing, the ability to keep the bat on-plane for a long period of time, and the ability to square up baseballs on a regular basis. I wrote another article about having the ability to “Repeat Your Best Swing.”