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When to change a swing?

Posted by: Sly (silvas-36176@mypacks.net) on Fri Nov 5 19:01:28 2010

I'm curious to find out at what point a slightly unorthodox batter should be forced to change his mechanics.

I have a player who has always been at the top of the batting order -- since starting competitive baseball at 9. He's one of those kids that was a naturally good hitter. From 9 years old until now (13) he has batted between .350 and .400 for the season against stiff competition. He has hit a few home runs over the years but is mainly a contact hitter who hits line drives in the gaps. He's also extremely fast -- which means he beats out a lot of balls that an average speed runner would be called out on. I would describe his batting motion as rotational with a slight stride -- but he hits on top of his front foot with a straight front leg (as opposed to hitting against his front foot, with a very high rear foot/calf lift. He settles back down on the rear foot at completion of the swing.

My question: At what point does the pitching start to become so good that a player like this starts to see his stats drop? Is it Junior High, High School?, College?

The second part of the question is related to the first. Should you try to change a player's swing early on, while they are still hitting very well -- or should you wait till the player notices he is starting to lose ground against better pitchers? Early on, it would seem to be difficult to convince them they should change if they are hitting well -- and later on, it would seem easier when things get tougher for the batter.

Anyway, I would be interested in knowing what you think.



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