Hitting Evaluation & Progress Report 


Summary of Evaluation sheet


Setup


Step into the batters box; put the bat in your left hand.  Touch the middle of the plate – slight lean in.  We touch the middle of the plate to check and make sure we are balanced, and the proper distance away from the plate.  If the hitter is too close to the plate or too far from the plate the young hitter may not have good plate coverage when in the “contact” position. 


1 -  Dynamic Setup (motion)


Rhythm – All hitters must have rhythm in their stance -  Wiggling hips, swaying the body, to increase reaction time.  An object in motion tends to stay in motion.


Two eyes on pitcher – Hitters need to have two eyes on the pitcher.


Shoulders square – Hitter's front shoulder must be square to the pitcher and there should be chin and shoulder separation to reduce tension.


Knob of bat to catcher’s knee – The knob of the bat should be pointed towards the catcher’s shin guards to promote the loading action of the wrist that creates backspin upon contact.


Back elbow relaxed – The back elbow needs to be in a relaxed position to reduce tension and to prevent the initial collapsing of the back shoulder.


2 - Lower body setup 


Spread, square, body lean in – Hitters feet should be spread into an athletic position, the feet should be square (avoid duck feet) and should have a slight lean.


Weight on balls of feet – slight lean in allows majority of weight to be on balls of the feet.


3 – Loads -  All Hitters need to load 3 moving parts during pitchers delivery


Eyes – Hitter loads eyes by focusing on pitcher.


Upper body/hands – Is the on line load – hands go back.


Lower body/Hip – Lower body loads the back hip during the stride.  Note:  THE IN FLIGHT LOADS CAN TAKE PLACE AT THE SAME TIME THE HITTER STRIDES.  Hands and feet – opposite direction


Stride type – Hitters can use four different types of stride footwork.  Glide step, Two step, High Leg kick, No Stride.


Toe Touch – Hitter's stride foot lands with the toe first, followed by a heel plant.


CSA – Closed Stride Angle – Hitter’s Heel Plant should result in a ‘no more than 45 degree angle position.


Heel plant –  Hitter’s heel should plant by lowering heel in a square position and not by pulling heel to his center.  Max of a 45 degree angle.


4 - Read, React, Rotate


Head movement (lack thereof) – is a crucial component of pitch recognition.  Once the stride foot lands, forward linear movement slows, (should cease) and rotational velocity becomes the dominant movement.  Stopping forward movement (build a wall) will keep the head still and allow a more efficient rotation.


Linear movement – Forward movement – momentum – towards pitcher.


Bracing Front Leg – The bracing action of the front leg - a hitters energy needs to come up from the front leg and transfer throughout the body for maximum bat speed.


Pelvic Snap – A tighter description than hip rotation.  A shorter and quicker rotational movement.  Rotation begins in the pelvic joint and works up the body.


Momentum Flow – A hitter’s rotation begins (just) prior to the stride foot landing (“rotate into foot plant”).  The back heel should begin to rise as the stride foot lands to promote transfer of momentum throughout swing.


5 – Swing Planes/Hand Path


Connection – Hitters hands and elbow should enter slot at same time.


Bat Lag position –  One or two frames after Connection, (barrel should follow knob) (bat should follow hands) Bat will look to be in a level position.  A hitter who gets their arm into the Power “L” will keep the barrel flat longer and cover more of the strike zone (Long in the strike zone) thus increasing the chance for solid contact.


Power “L” – The strength position of a hitters back arm.  This position promotes more strength and quickness along with a cleaner bat path.


Shoulder “V” – A position created by the arms just after contact on the way to extension.  The closer shoulder rotation is to the pelvic snap the more “connected” the hitter will be.


Palm up, palm down – Full extension of the arms should not take place till after contact and the hands need to be in a “palm up/palm down” position on contact.


Swing plane slightly up – Hitters need to swing level to plane of the ball.  For example, on a low pitch the hitter should change swing plane to slightly up to match the trajectory of the ball.


Extension –   Proper extension will show the bat pointing towards the pitcher and on its way to a high finish.


6 – Swing Flow/ Transfer weight


Leverage points “connected” – Hitter’s leverage points must be connected and flow from the beginning to contact.

 

Flow/Continuous Transfer - Momentum must be transferred throughout the entire swing otherwise the moving parts will have to stop and then have to restart.  (TOM  - Transfer Of Momentum)


Level 7 – Contact Zones


Inside pitch – Hitter should make contact with the ball in front of the body while arms remain flexed.  It is important that a hitter’s hands stay close to their body not casting away during swing in order to create the proper contact angle.  Keeping hands in close is important to new students for balance as well.


Middle pitch – Hitter wants to drive this pitch from gap to gap.  To do so, contact should be made with hands lined up with the front leg.


Outside pitch – Contact should be made with the hands lined up with the back leg.  Try to keep “same swing” not moving upper torso or head too much.


MH