Here I go again, making people say, "Who are you to be telling one of the greats what to do?" Oh well, the life of a blogger. Here goes, can someone send this on to Giancarlo Stanton? I have learned that there are two things one should not mess with Mother Nature and the fundamentals of hitting a baseball.
I know it's early in the MLB season and there is only a small sample size of at-bats to date. However, having observed some at-bats by the awesome Giancarlo Stanton, I have some questions. First, are you trying to break the all-time season strikeout record in just half the season? Actually, that is not my question.
I work with youth ballplayers and when they show an unusual movement or setup that directly contradicts the hitting fundamentals, and they are unwilling to change, I only have one request. "Would you go home and look online for videos or pictures of a couple of great hitters that are doing what you are and bring that copy back to me?" I say a couple because they may find one, but rarely is there more batters who can get away from the correct hitting mechanics.
So my question for Giancarlo is to look up the all-time great home run hitters and show me any of them that begin with an exaggerated closed stance that you currently employ. You won't see Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron, Mark McGuire, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, teammate Aaron Judge, and on and on with a very closed stance. The point is that nobody gets away with the wrong hitting fundamentals for long
even someone as talented and strong as Stanton.
The closed stance, where the front foot is closer to home plate than the rear foot, beyond an inch or two, inhibits the correct bat path and swing extension, not to mention possibly creating vision problems. Sure, there is a difference between style and mechanics, but when the setup puts the basics of hitting in jeopardy, problems (I mean strikeouts) result. It would be fine if he were trying to slap balls to the opposite field, but that is not his intent. Because of that too closed position, he has gotten farther from the plate, which gives up too many spots in the strike zone where pitchers can exploit the swing. The result is that he can only hit mistake pitches.
It is not the first time Giancarlo Stanton has swayed from great hitting mechanics. When he came to the big leagues, he hit from an exaggerated flat bat angle. This action also was a detriment to squaring balls up, and he fixed that which has led to more success. My next question is, "Where are the hitting coaches to tell him the above? All they have to do is look up the home run champ from last year, yes Giancarlo Stanton himself, and show him he had an even stance in the past, and his success rate was pretty good.
Of course, maybe Giancarlo will prove me wrong, but as mentioned in the beginning, "one should not mess with the baseball swing fundamentals."
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 28 years.His playing, coaching and parenting storiescreate betterexperiences forathletes andparents.Jack has writtenover a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports.Jack is the author of "The Making of a Hitter" and "Raising an Athlete." His third book "Creating a Season to Remember" is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also findJack Perconte on YouTube withover 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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