Before you can even dream of achieving a swing like Giancarlo Stanton or Miguel Cabrera, you have to first understand the fundamentals of hitting. Both of these great hitters were once beginners but with the perfect foundation became the superstars we watch today. The right positioning, stance, proper hand placement, thrust and follow through will have you climbing the ranks in no time.
There is a box on each side of the home plate indicating where the batter is supposed to stand. If you are right-handed you should stand on the left side of home plate if you are left-handed then stand in the right box.
When positioning yourself in the box do not stand too close to home plate because a pitcher can’t throw to the inside and make it difficult to make contact. The same goes for being too far away from home plate with an outside pitch. Therefore you should be able to reach the entire strike zone comfortably with your swing.
If you can comfortably make contact with all parts of the strike zone then you make it even more difficult for the pitcher to get past your bat.
Stance and Hand Placement
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent until you feel strong enough to swing. A wider stance and straight legs make you weaker when loading up for the pitch. Your legs and hips will be generating most of the power before you make contact with the ball. Remember that your head should be even in between your legs with the same amount of space on each side.
Having proper hand-placement is the finishing touch on your stance that gets the bat prepared for the swing.
The front arm hand is on the bottom of the bat and the back arm hand is on the top. For a right-handed batter this means that the left-hand is on top and the right-hand is on the bottom. Make sure to have a firm grip on the lower end of the bat with elbows slightly bent before the loading phase.
The ball is coming from the pitcher’s mound and it’s time to load up all the power you have to make contact with the ball.
As the pitch approaches, lift up the front leg and plant it firmly in the dirt as you open up your hips. While on the balls of your feet the back leg rotates until it’s facing straight at the pitcher. Your upper body should be rotating in one motion with your lower body. Swinging the bat as your hips are opening up.
Making Contact and Following Through.
Here Coach Ray Birmingham demonstrates how to make contact and follow through.
Keeping your eyes on the ball the entire time. Make contact and rotate your hands to the other side of your body. You have to swing through the ball and finish on the other size to optimize power. Or else you will lack the strength needed for distance.
Also, remember to swing at an even level, not an uppercut such as a golf swing. We often see Major League hitters swing upwards to hit a homerun but that is a very advanced technique. First practice swinging straight and then you can move on to cracking the ball over the wall.
Finding Your Swing
These fundamental steps will be your foundation and are the concepts being taught across the country at every level. The key to becoming a good hitter is finding your unique swing. If you watch the major leagues every player was taught the same steps but somehow they all look different.
That is because hitting has to do with comfort, in order to be a good hitter you must be comfortable in your own swing. This may be the toughest part about hitting because it takes countless hours of practice to finally find your rhythm.
Here Duke Baxter, Co-founder of Dominate the Diamond shows us how to find our swing.
You now know what it takes to achieve the perfect stance and how to generate enough power to hit against any pitcher in your league. It is your job to get out to the baseball diamond and swing until you can’t swing anymore. The hitters you idolize dedicated many hours to their craft and in order to join them your journey must be the exact same.
Take this foundation and become the hitter your opponents fear every single time you take the field. View our baseball page for more tips and tactics!