“Looking for a pitch you can drive” and “Launch Angle and Exit Velocity”

Looking for a pitch to drive vs launch angle

Food for thought.

I was listening to a MLB game and one of the analysts was talking about the modern hitting coach. He went on to talk about launch angle and exit velocity.

That made me think about what my former hitting coaches taught and what I teach (which I’m assuming we are not modern by the comment).

I learned and teach that as a hitter you look for a pitch you can hit hard and drive , not just hit it (Sad, but learned this later in my career). Looking to drive the ball into the gaps while competing. The sayings “hit it hard like you live” or “Show’em where you live” we’re constantly echoed by hitting coaches. What was so unusual about this approach? There was no mention of hitting the top of the ball or hitting it in the ground. It was only to look to hit lineas (line drives) to drive the ball in the gaps to create run scoring opportunities.

If that was the non modern way then let’s look at what launch angle and exit look to accomplish.

Launch angle and exit velocity measures all balls. “Launch angles of between 22 and 28 degrees, somewhere between a line drive and fly ball while run values can vary sharply depending on how fast the ball leaves the bat.”

Sounds pretty similar in what both are trying to accomplish.

Let’s look at the strategy of both.

In looking to drive a ball in the gaps you will need a good pitch to do it with. Similarly, in order to get a good launch angle and exit velocity you need to get a good pitch to do it with as well.

So, having a disciplined understanding of strengths and weaknesses in your hit zone is crucial for both.

Usually, height and location, play a big part in driving the baseball. It is very hard to drive a ball if it’s not in your strength, so all pitches aren’t good pitches to drive. This is the same for both concepts.The hitter’s understanding of his hit zone plays a huge part in whether he will drive the ball consistently.

Non-modern or modern, the hitting approach of looking to drive the ball hasn’t changed. Only the name has changed and how its measured.

Just a thought.


Posted in: baseball

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