Are you a smaller guy who’s looking for power?
You’re in the right place!
Alright if you a hitter ABOVE 5’9 please stop reading this. Just take your 6 foot frame somewhere else(better yet just( watch this) and mind your business because this doesn’t concern you!!
Frankly, I’m simply looking out for my boys 5’9 and below:)
Yes I still have a chip on my shoulder for you bigger guys;)
Alright, so if your considered a smaller guy, its probably safe to say that you have been told to hit “line drives” or if you have speed, to “hit the ball on the ground”.
In most cases they are right. As a player it really is your responsibility to know what your capabilities are and what your role is on the team.
But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least have the “ability” to hit a bomb here and there. And to some extent, I do believe showing a little bit of pop as a little guy does bring some attention from scouts because it will show that a player can display:
- Bat control (correct angles)
- Understanding the game’s situation
- Knowing the capabilities of the opposing pitcher
- Bat speed
- Having an idea of getting your hands back
Another important reason why a smaller player should be able to hit with some power is to be a threat of scoring runners that aren’t necessarily in scoring position.
So how can a smaller player hit for power? Well lets look at some examples of some smaller players with pop, and what they all do the same mechanically.
They have developed there forearms.
Yes I would say every player in the BIGS (with the exception of Ichiro) has developed their forearms to the point where it sets them apart from the average player.
The great thing is that there is a lot of things you can do to develop your forearms to this level.
You can start here…..
They get into their “slot position”
Take a look at every single Professional hitter, and one thing that they have in common is their ability to get their hands back before their hips rotate. It’s as simple as this…..in order to drive the ball, your hands have to be loaded before your hips pull your hands through the zone.
In order to drive the off-speed…your hands have to stay back.
They hit the ball out in front
Hitting the ball out in front( pulling it) means your being aggressive and ready to hit the fastball. Being aggressive is a necessary part of hitting good fastballs, so once your able to establish this, power simply comes with the territory.
Yes it’s a given fact that to be a true hitter you have to be able to hit to all fields. Unless your role is simply to drive in runs, pulling the ball is something you do deepening on the situation. But when the situation arises, you need to learn how to take advantage of this. Here are a few examples.
- Up by a larger amount of runs and late in the game
- Ahead of the count
- Your coach says, “Let it Fly”
- Avoiding a double play (meaning absolutely no balls on the ground!)
If you have been told that your not a power hitter, and you’re below 5″10 then they are probably right……….But Don’t Listen!!!!!!
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Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything.
~Toby Harrah, 1983
How to set yourself apart
Repeat after me, “Playing baseball is hard.” Allow that phrase to sit in your head for a second, and let it sink in. You and I both know this is true, but there is one thing that I can assure you of. In every single thing that we do in life, we will always get what we deserve. In the end , what you put in, you will in equal measure receive. For a lot of players, I see that either because of their natural talent, or willingness to work hard, they feel entitled to a successful career. The truth is, there are a handful of guys who are more talented than them, and another hand full of guys who work just as hard.For some even, hitting has become a way of life.
So what sets these players apart? Specifically, what gives one player an edge over another? How can a player become a better hitter?
Is whatever it is “God given?” Or, is it within their control to develop and cultivate potential, to get the most out of what their capabilities are as baseball players?
I was guilty of this.
I felt entitled to receive playing time. To hit .400 and steal 40 bases. Hell, I worked hard. Why shouldn’t I deserve these accomplishments? But what I was giving in hard work, I was lacking in self-knowledge.
What if being talented or being an extraordinarily hard worker is simply not enough. Sure talent is essential, and sure hard work can make an average player better than the talent around him. But what if all the hard work and all the promising potential was simply a distraction? You might be wondering what I’m talking about, and before I tell you I ask that you keep a completely open mind.
What I’m talking about is knowing.
Knowing that you will succeed. Knowing that you are talented. Not believing. Not having faith. But knowing.
If I told you that you were breathing air, you would agree, right? But not because you have faith that you are breathing air, but because you can feel the air filling your lungs and you have been probably doing it for some years.
This knowing is what allows you to summon the courage to face terrifying pitchers with ungodly secondary pitches. This knowing is what gets the beat up and tired minor leaguer through a season after 150 plus games. He’s chasing his dream, and he either knows he’s going to make it one day, or die trying.
When Ted Williams hit .400, he knew no one could stop him. When Hank Aaron hit a home-run, he knew he could square up the pitch and drop the hammer. He was noted as saying that visualization was the most important part of his approach to hitting. He knew he could hit because he saw it in his head before every at-bat for over 20 years. Derek Jeter knew he was destined to play for the Yankees, and now he’s Captain. Domingo Ayala KNOWS that he is no semi- pro…..and he isn’t:)
5 Quick Baseball Tips
So how do we get to the point as baseball players where we know? Where no matter what happens, between the lines, or outside it, we know we can and will create a successful career.
1. Shed the belief of our entitlement to the sport. The fact is, baseball owes you nothing, and everything that you will ever achieve out of the sport, you will have to learn through understanding what your basic responsibilities are as an athlete.
2. Understand the concept of working smart as opposed to working hard. A lot of players expect good results simply from spending an extra few hours in the cage. The truth is, your probably better off spending less time actually practicing and more time understanding the importance of quality practice. Rod Carew would spend no less than 15 minutes in the cage, but he knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish in those 15 minutes.
3. Remember what it was like playing baseball as a kid. Except for the very “unfortunate” minority of you, you probably had very little pressure put on you by yourself and others to perform well. You just woke up everyday to play the game for the sake of playing. You had no attachments to results, and that was probably why you were so successful.
4. Play with a purpose. A lot of times a player’s main motivation is to be successful. I’m not saying that isn’t an effective medium for achievement, but it’s also important that players get specific with why they want to be successful as a baseball player. Is it to please someone else? Make their family proud? Or is it to make a positive difference in the world? Does the world become a better place by you becoming an MLB player?
Does your development in hitting also help your development as a man?
5. Forget everything you learned and simply play. To make it to the next level, it’s a given that you will have to be an expert at the basic fundamentals of the sport. But we have to come to understand these movements at the level of instinct. The more we are able to correctly react, the quicker and more efficient we will be. And if you don’t know by now, baseball is all about consistency.
I feel that the sooner a player is able to implement these 5 principles, the better off a player will be in facing the enviable challenges that baseball brings. This is something that no baseball drill, coach, university, instructor, or teammate could ever give you. You have to give it yourself.
Photo by ryan gibson