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Re: Re: Re: Ichiro and Bonds


Posted by: scott sarginson (ssarginson@earthlink.net) on Wed Sep 29 08:00:59 2004


It seams that Bonds and Ichiro represent two opposite styles. Ichiro is successful and many would say it works for him and so he should do it that way. But... I have to think that maybe Ichiro with his talent would be an even better hitter and more valuable to his team if he hit using rotational mechanics (more doubles, triples, homeruns, walks, higher on base percentage). Lots of players have the same or better on base percentage as Ichiro including Travis Hafner (???) and drive in a lot more runs. You would never pitch around Ichiro and walk him to keep him from getting a single. (Imagine Ichiro hitting in front of Bonds in the Giant's lineup.)
> >
> > I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to see Tony Gwynn on his farewell tour. In his BP, he spent the first two rounds keeping his hands inside the ball and driving every pitch right past the third baseman. His third round, using the same swing, he started hitting a few balls to the gaps. In his last round, he sat on his back leg, let his top hand drive through, and hit 8 of the farthest balls anyone hit in the entire BP. I have seen Ichiro do the same thing. The 160lb guy can hit a baseball 450 feet when he chooses to. For what ever reason, these two men choose to be linear hitters.
> >
>
> bonds is rotational, ichiro is classic linear, that's why their swings are so different...

I think you play to your strength. Ichiro swings differently in games, depending on situation. I have seen him successfully use his "rotational" swing in games in a situation where power was called for. And he may be one of the few hitters capable of employing different mechanics at differing times.

But let's face it, Ichiro is never going to be a power hitter. Not at 160 lbs and after a couple of million linear swings career-to-date (including practice, etc.). He is, on the other hand, the fastest guy in the majors, and is going to break an 85 year old hits record this week. George Sisler was probably a linear hitter, too, for that matter (I've never seen a clip).

My forum is JO FP, where a significant percentrage of the hitters attempt to play the "short game." Bunt, slap, placement (linear) hit to the opposite field. It can be effective, and I think it is a legitimate hitting strategy. But here's the thing - even in SB, from about age 14 up, you've got to be VERY fast to make it work. And a lot of players are trying to be successful w/ these techniques who don't possess the requisite speed. It doesn't work.

Unfortunately, those players aren't going to get faster (relative to their peers), so this strategy will never work. You've got to have near world-class speed to be successful hitting the ball in the infoeld. On the other hand, I would maintain that virtually anyone can learn to use MLB hitting mechanics (rotational swing) to learn to hit line drives to the outfield. Some will be more powerful than others, and hit HRs. Others will hit in the gaps and get doubles. A few - Rose comes to mind - will "tune" their rotational mechanics to hit singles to the outfield.

But the point is, most successful hitters will be successful because they hit line drives to the outfield. While a few have accomplished this w/ linear mechanics (T. Gwynn, for example), the vast majority are of course rotational, and it seems to me these are the best mechanics to teach any youngster who isn't winning sprints at a track meet.

Regards,

Scott


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