Tech in Baseball
Presented with Diamond Kinetics
Skill Set: Hitting
Difficulty Level: Easy
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, tee, baseballs, net or screen to hit into
Goal: Focus on hitting the ball up the middle by hitting the inside of the ball off of the tee
Description of the Drill:
• Tee set up one ball-width inside the plate at the front hip
• Hitter sets up with their front hip even with the tee, while partner places a ball on the tee
• Hitter hits the ball back up the middle by getting their hands inside the ball
• Hitter should overemphasize the act of loading, getting behind the ball, and keeping their hands inside the ball
• If the hitter is pulling the ball to the pull side, they are casting their hands
• Focus should be on hitting the ball back up the middle by hitting the inside of the ball
• Partners switch after 10 swings
• To add a degree of difficulty, the hitter can also move the tee to different contact point heights (low, middle, high)
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:
Hand Cast Distance
Overview: Hand Cast Distance measure starts when the hitter gets to the load position. From that point when the bat starts forward acceleration, it measures how far the knob of the bat travels away from that point…measured in inches. This control metric is important because it shows a hitter’s ability to stay inside the ball instead of swinging around the ball.
Optimal Ranges by Age:
• U10-14 – expect double digit numbers in the teens.
• U15-18 – the batter should try to be a 10 or lower. A good swing
• Hand Cast Distance allows coaches to quantify if a player is staying inside the ball, swinging with his ‘hands back’ and keeping the bat in the best possible position – over the back shoulder – before uncoiling the hands and bat toward the pitched ball.
• Having a large Hand Cast Distance makes it difficult for a batter to hit the fastball, and/or adjust to hitting balls that occupy the middle or inside part of the plate.
• In an ideal swing that results in a minimal amount of hand cast, the hands stay close to the shoulder, with the hands and barrel staying inside the baseball before the barrel gets on plane with the path of the pitch.
Overview: Impact Momentum is a combination of barrel speed and the size of the bat the hitter is swinging. The higher the impact momentum, the better chance a hitter has to do damage with greater exit velocities. Impact Momentum is a great measure of the power potential of a given hitter.
Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 13 KG/M +
• U12 Players: 15 KG/M +
• U14 Players: 19 KG/M +
• U16 Players: 24 KG/M +
• U18 Players: 27 KG/M +
• D1 College: 28 KG/M +
• Impact Momentum is a “smarter version” of barrel speed because it takes into account the size of the bat. If a kid swings a bigger bat at the same speed, when contact happens, the ball goes further.
• If you want to understand how improving Impact Momentum translates to the game – for every +1 a hitter adds to their Impact Momentum, it equates to roughly a 1.5 MPH increase in exit velocity. And every 1.5 MPH of exit velo translates to roughly 6-10 more feet of carry, depending on launch angle.
• If you have a high-school kid playing on a full-size field, the magic Impact Momentum number to hit dingers is 27 + (with the right launch angle, of course). A well hit ball with an “IM” of 24 is caught well inside the warning track. Hit it with an IM of 27+ and it is out of the park.
Overview: This is the maximum acceleration the bat experiences during a swing. To be clear, acceleration is not how fast the bat is moving; that’s barrel speed. Acceleration determines how quickly a hitter can reach that top speed. Great bat acceleration is in the DNA of elite hitters.
Top 10% of Age Groups:
• U10 Players: 25 G’s +
• U12 Players: 32 G’s +
• U14 Players: 35 G’s +
• U16 Players: 38 G’s +
• U18 Players: 42 G’s +
• D1 College: 49 G’s +
• Max Acceleration tells coaches & scouts if a player can get the bat up to speed in a shorter time, allowing them to… 1) wait longer to recognize the pitch 2) decide what to do 3) And still have the ability to achieve their goal.
• This is a high-level metric that can sometimes stand apart from Max Barrel Speed and Impact Momentum. Max Acceleration requires all parts of the swing to sequence together, achieving that ‘snap’ of the bat that indicates great acceleration.
• You’ll often hear people say, ‘when that kid hits, it sounds different.” This metric is the science behind that old adage.
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