Bryce Harper Why hitting better
Originally posted August 11, 2015
In August of 2012 I wrote a blog Mike Trout and Bryce Harper the real hitting difference. I talked about them both being great athletes but they were swinging the bat completely different. Harper's batting average was almost 100 points lower and he had half the home runs and RBIs as Trout. Trout was hitting better because he was swinging mainly with his body not his arms. The difference is by using his body Trout's bat stays in the hitting zone three to four feet, with much more power, giving him better timing and he looks effortless. Harper was using his body like Trout but he was trying to add extra power by pulling hard with his hands and arms. This made his swing look fast but he was really pulling the bat out of the hitting zone way to soon. His bat was only staying in the hitting zone up to one foot causing inconsistent power and timing.
This year Bryce Harper is hitting so much better for average and power. His average this year is 50 points higher than his career average. He has already hit more home runs than any year in his career. He is now a more powerful and consistent hitter. Why such a big change?
I have seen many people give their opinion on how he has changed so much. Some say he is now staying back more and others say he is going forward more. These aren't the reasons for him being a better hitter. He is using the body the same, he isn't trying to add as much power with his arms. This is letting his bat stay in the hitting zone longer. It is simple as that. I watched a game early in the season and noticed he had slowed his swing down by not pulling the arms so hard to the right. Now his bat is in the way of the ball much longer than before giving him more power and consistency. If Harper learns how to have the bat go out through the ball even more he would just continue to get better. If he goes back to pulling harder he will get worse.
Its simple, if the bat stays in the hitting zone longer you have a much better chance to hit the ball hard consistently. This is true for both baseball and fastpitch softball. Almost every hitter that comes into our cages swings mainly with their hands and arms. When they get their timing they can hit the ball in the middle more often than not but with little power. The parents wonder why the lack of power and tell them to swing faster. This makes it even worse because they now pull the bat faster out of the hitting zone causing them to miss the ball or hit weaker pop ups and grounders. They then slow the swing down to hit the ball more in the middle but again with little power. Then they swing faster for more power but again start missing the ball or hitting weaker pop ups and grounders. Most will go back and forth like this the entire time hitting. They are making hitting the ball hard consistently much tougher than it needs to be.
We teach our students in baseball and fastpitch softball how to use the body correctly so they can have the bat go out through the ball as far as possible with tremendous force so they can hit with much more power and consistency. Anyone wanting more information can call Mike Sedberry at 304-722-6393. Good luck to everyone and have fun.