Trouble Hitting the High Pitch...

by Billy
(East Setauket, New York)

Albert Pujols hitting the high pitch

Albert Pujols hitting the high pitch

Albert Pujols hitting the high pitch
Albert Pujols hitting the low pitch

Your site explains the technique of hitting down and through the baseball. You explain how to keep front elbow and knob down to the ball. My experience tells me that is the best for any pitch from the waste down. Pretty much the modern day strike zone.


During high-school ball many umps call the high pitch a strike. Instead of the front elbow and knob working down do they just work straight out? Please explain the proper technique for hitting the high pitch.

Swing Smarter Response:
Hey Billy, great question. As you might have read on some of the more recent Swing Smarter submitted articles, I'm adjusting my whole hitting philosophy away from Down & Through to more of a Positional Hitting approach Jaime Cevallos has written about in his book Positional Hitting.

Recently I responded to a question about adjusting the height of an arm pitching machine because a team of young hitters were having trouble hitting taller than average pitchers...

In the article we talked about a different approach to hitting high from low pitches, here's what I said:

"I would advise adjusting the height of the IronMike, or having an adult throw BP (who's arm is NOT hanging of course). And, working on the high pitch is always a good thing. There is a BIG difference in approach between high and low pitches...

To hit a low pitch (at or below knees), the hitter needs to see the ball deeper and allow the back shoulder to dip slightly (like the Pujols pic #2 above).

With a high pitch, the dip is taken out of back shoulder by the front elbow staying down...I think Epstein calls this Weather Vanning (Pujols pic #1).

On bat path...

Think about the path of the barrel being like a Nike Swoosh sign, we have to make a smooth transition from the Slot to Impact positions with a slight upswing to the slight downward plane of the incoming baseball."


You see Billy, the trouble with Down & Through is the inability to be consistent with three different swings (1) inside pitch, 2) pitch down the middle, and 3) outside pitch).

With the Nike Swoosh swing plane and leading with the hips, we have one swing that hits all three pitches, instead of leading with the knob to three different pitch locations as is with Down & Through.

Positional hitting is both power and consistency combined. The two Pujols pics above are perfect examples as to the difference of hitting a high from a low pitch. Hope this helps!

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Dropping the hands and upper cutting
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

Hey Eric,

Dropping the hands and upper cutting is depending too much on swinging the bat with his upper body, and most likely NOT getting any momentum with his hand load. The best way to cure idle hands is to give them something to do...

Try getting him to "pivot" his hands instead of "push" them towards the catcher which is commonly taught. Pivoting the hands means getting the top hand to angle the barrel towards the pitcher, NOT extreme, just a little movement with the top hand passed the bottom translates into a 2-3 inch barrel movement almost over the head.

This will give the hands something to do.

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Two Tee Drill
by: Eric

Joey,
My son has had problems with dropping his hands and upper cutting. I used a variation of the two tee drill to help this. I put the back tee lower than the front tee with a ball on each tee. This would tell him that he was upper cutting instead of swinging flat. Do you have any other suggestions for "curing" an upper cut/dropping of the hands?

Thanks,
Eric

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Two Tee Drill still good??
by: Joey from SwingSmarter.com

Hi Billy,

With the change in approach to hitting and moving away from the Down & Through approach, the 2-tee drill is NO longer valid. I'll be changing the top 5 drills in the next week, so please stay tuned for a whole 'nother set of top power drills.

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High Pitch
by: Billy

Being that you have adjusted your approach to Positional Hitting approach advocated by Jaime Cevallos I am curious if you still think the two hitting tee drill with back tee ball slightly higher than front (to enforce down and through) is still a good drill? You had recommended in your top five drills. I agree with all of the drills but not sure if this one is.

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trouble hitting the high pitch ....
by: david

WHEN YOU HAVE TROUBLE HITTING A HIGH PITCH ITS BECAUSE :

GETTING UNDER THE BALL

LATE SWING ON THE HIGH
PUTING ALOT OF POWER
OR EARLY SWING .

TO GET BETTER TO HIT A HIGH PITCH YOU GOT TO :

WORKING ON HIGH SWINGS

CUT DOWN YOUR SWING

OR JUST BE PATIENT.

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