Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics
Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Medium
Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1-2 athletes and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners
Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes
Equipment Required: Bat, two tees, baseballs, net or screen to hit into
Goal: Keep the bat on the plane of the baseball, and drive the baseball up the middle
Description of the Drill:
• Tee set up in front of the middle of the plate, roughly 6 inches out front of the plate
• Another tee set up about 6 inches in front of the first tee
• Hitter sets up even with the plate, while other partner puts balls on the tees
• Hitter hits the ball, trying to hit a low line drive back up the middle, keeping the bat on the plane
of the ball and the barrel behind the hands and extends their swing path to hit the second ball off
the second tee with a smooth swing
• Partners switch after 5 swings
• To add a degree of difficulty, the hitter can move the tee to different contact points (inside, middle, outside) as shown for a right handed hitter below, but still make sure to place the tee roughly 6 inches in front of where the contact point would be for each location.
• Outside pitches should be hit to the opposite field, or opposite side of the screen or cage
• Inside pitches should be hit up the middle or slightly to the pull side of the middle
Using Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker Sensor and mobile App - the following metrics and tools can help you measure your swing and see improvement when doing this drill:
Overview: Using the Approach Angle metric, hitters clearly know the direction of their swing plane at the moment of impact. While the optimal Approach Angle is dependent on the type of pitch, it typically needs to be between +5° degrees and +15° degrees in order to hit a line drive and between +20° and +35° degrees in order to hit a home run.
Optimal Ranges by Type of Batter:
• For U10-14 players learning to hit line- drives: +6 to +10
• For U15-18 player who want to hit line-drives: +11 to +19
• For U15-18 power hitters who have strength & ability to hit deep: +20 to +35
• Consider that a pitch is coming “downhill” from the mound at a -6° degree to -8° degree angle. To counter that, a batter should be making contact at an upward angle to “match the plane of the pitch” at a minimum.
• If you have a kid who is hitting a lot of ground balls – look at the approach angle and work drills to get the point of contact happening at a positive angle.
• When you marry Approach Angle with Distance in the Zone, you might see why a kid is popping up too much or fouling off.
• When hitting off a tee or even soft toss, you’d hope to see fairly consistent Approach Angles swing- by-swing, but when doing BP or facing live pitching, you will see a bigger range because the hitter has to “go get” the pitch (and that’s OK).
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