Can you have too much bat speed?

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Question:

My son just went through the worst possible winter of his playing career. He had worked very hard this past off season to develop some serious “pop” in his bat. We measured his bat velocity while doing some heavy duty overload/underload training. His bat speed really increased and I could really see the pop.
The problem is that it is just in batting practice. In games he wasn’t making contact. When he did, it was a rocket. The first thing that I saw was that he was pulling off theball. The next thing was a loop in the swing. After that I saw the early rolling of the hands and then too much weight passing through center onto his front side. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer:

It sounds like your son has improved his bat speed and therefore his power. Now, he expects to hit the ball out of the ball park. That may be the problem – he feels he should be hitting the ball out of the park. He is probably over swinging and his effort level is too high.

He must get back to thinking “hard contact” and “line drives”. An excessive effort level leads to many break downs – head movement, front side pulling off, rolling top hand, etc. Get him back to basics so that his goal is consistent hard contact and line drives. Look for good balance, correct head position throughout the swing, and a short hand path to the ball.

College Recruiting Tips

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If you are a high school baseball player, then, needless to say, you dream of one day playing baseball for a college team. It is the dream of any, and every high school athlete to compete at the college level, and one day, hopefully play for a professional team. Getting into a college team can often mean the difference between shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars on tuition, or getting a free ride on a sports scholarship. College baseball recruiting, therefore, is a big deal that can make or break lives.

Unless you are a star player, you will have to work hard to make the college coaches stand up and take notice. Star players, through their various exploits, happen to get noticed by coaches automatically. But for the rest, it is an uphill battle getting the coach’s attention.

When it comes to college baseball recruiting, it is imperative that you start early. Don’t wait until the tail end of your junior year to contact college coaches; hit them up as early as your sophomore year. You can really be never too early in letting your name known among college scouts.

Your high school coaches are often the worst people to rely on when getting into a college baseball team. They often have little influence on a college coach’s decision, and little motivation to work for you in contacting them. Do yourself a favor and contact coaches yourself.

Make sure that your athletic resume is up to date. Complement it with a set of videos from some of your best games. A resume is just a sheet of paper with some statistics and words on it; a video, on the other hand, is actual proof of your athletic abilities. If you threw a 95 m.p.h. ball in the last game, make sure that you have a video recording of it (get a cheap video camera and hand it to one of your buddies during a game).

At the end of the day, college baseball recruiting is a lot about marketing yourself correctly. How well you do this will determine how successful you are in getting a good scholarship to a top college.

VIA: http://EzineArticles.com/3615909

Baseball Hitting Drills – Eye Hand Coordination

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One of the biggest areas that I receive requests for are baseball hitting drills.  Read below for a couple of great suggestions to help your young players.

Here are a couple of baseball drills to try:
Young players can have fear of the ball and poor hand/eye coordination when facing live pitching.  I have found that these players are not “seeing” the ball hit the bat, but swinging at where they think the ball is headed (or swinging at the same place/level each time regardless of the ball location).Baseball Hitting Drills

Here is my fix:  During live pitching, have the player at the plate hold the baseball bat out over the plate (don’t swing) and simply let the ball hit it.  Throw a few pitches (high and low) so that they need to move the bat up and down to make contact.  Once they get focused on “seeing the ball contact the bat” you can move them on to a half swing.  During the half swing, they should continue to focus on bat/ball contact.  Once they have gained confidence that they can hit the baseball, let them swing away.

I have used this on my struggling young hitters with great success.

Here is a popular hitting drill to teach proper form (rotational hitting/compact swing):
Put a batter in their proper stance then soft toss balls well in front of the batter and have them hit balls with the knob of the bat (DO NOT TAKE A SWING).  This will force them to use proper body positioning, wrist release, and improve eye coordination.

Courtesy of: http://www.baseball-tutorials.com/

Maintaining a clean bat.

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Would you believe it if you were told, “If you take proper measures in caring of your baseball bat care it would should and could repay you by helping you be a better hitter?”

Sort of like being in the military once you are issued your rifle the drill sergeant will tell you flat out, “This is your Rifle treat it like a friend for if you take care of it –it will take care of you.”

A little special attention to your bat will keep that sweet spot smooth and clean so you can continue swinging for the fences. The sweet spot is the fat part of the bat barrel where you want the ball and the bat to meet.

Every bat seems to almost have a life of its own. The relationship of a hitter with his bat is something only realized by the hitter alone. Hitting a baseball solid and square at or in the sweet spot of a bat has a feel which only the hitter alone knows.

The choices of a bat which is “just right” now in our todays modern era of baseball could be a controversy of Aluminum vs Wood.

The pride you show in providing baseball bat protection for your favorite bat will have a tendency to make you a better hitter in that you have a penchant for caring and paying attention to details which matter.

Baseball bats care is nothing beyond plain common sense. The highest performance action for any piece of baseball equipment is to keep it clean and in the case of your bat make sure the barrel of your bat stays smooth and slick.

By golly you now are armed with the real truth of the matter about your baseball bat care. Make every effort at your disposal to ensure your bat barrel is always CLEAN AND SMOOTH. Here are some Do Not Notes:

 

  • Do not store your bat in extreme hot or cold temperature areas, such as in a car trunk or garage.
  • Do not clean or knock the dirt from your spikes or cleats with the barrel of your bat.If at the plate hitting and you feel compelled to knock dirt from your spikes. Do not use the barrel end of the bat flip your bat catch it at the barrel end and then tap the handle end of your bat against the sides of your spikes.
  • Do not allow burrs or nicks to remain on the barrel of your bat. Smooth the barrel down often with something unobtrusive which will not further the damage of the bat surface.Learning about baseball we were taught, in high school baseball, to use an old glass Coca Cola bottle to smooth and polish the barrels of our then wood bats.

     

  • Do not and I mean “Do Not” ever throw your bat onto the ground and into the dirt. It shows your poor sportsmanship and it will nick and booger up the barrel of your bat.Earlier on this page you were told if you took care of your bat someday it may repay the kindness. Here is how the bat repays you for your care:

    A baseball is round and your baseball bat barrel is round. Stay with me on this one.

    If the barrel of the bat has a small nick or burr and you fail to hit the incoming ball squarely, bat and ball making solid contact, and the ball touches at that burr or nick point the ball will tend to pop up into the air. However, if your bat did not have that nick or burr the ball would have a tendency to slip over or under and continue to the rear of the plate flying on the line instead of popping up into the air.

    Now you know if you do diligent baseball bat care then at just the right time your bat takes care of you. Remember what was mentioned about the soldier and his rifle.

How to build incredible bat speed for baseball and softball

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The speed of the bat head through the hitting zone is crucial for making good contact and for hitting the ball as far as possible, two good things for a hitter. There is no question that a slow bat is a bad bat.

To be honest, a quick bat does not ensure a hitter a great average either. We know a good hitter has many more qualities than strength and bat head speed. My point is to remember the other qualities which are important parts of hitting before expecting increased bat head speed to cure your average!

Now that we understand what bat speed can and cannot do, here’s how to create a quicker, stronger bat.


Abdominal Training

The trunk (abdominals and lower back) create a powerful twisting motion during the swing. Rotational torque provides speed and momentum to the arms and eventually the bat head. Like other muscles, it is necessary to develop strength by using resistance. A common mistake with abdominal training is to perform body weight resisted exercises and expect the abdominals to continually gain strength.

In the beginning you will develop a certain amount of strength. However, after a while the exercises become nothing other than calisthenics or maintenance type movements. To develop strength you must add some sort of resistance to the movement-as is the case in all exercises. The good news is that you can use most of the same traditional stomach exercises plus added weight, to get the desired results.

The three areas for you to concentrate on are the lower, upper and oblique abdominals.

Upper Abdominals

Weighted crunches (non-weighted crunches shown) – Lying on your back with legs up in the air, knees bent at 90 degrees, hold a weight of your choice at straightened arms length. Using only your upper abdominals, raise only the upper body, keeping your back flat on the ground. Three sets of 20-40 repetitions.

Lower Abdominals

Hanging leg raises - Hang from an overhead bar, with your feet not touching the ground. Your grip should be about shoulder width. Contracting the lower abdominals, lift the legs together, knees bent at 90 degrees, so the knees are just above waist height. Lower and repeat. Three sets of 10-25 repetitions.

* This a difficult exercise which does not require much weight to increase the difficulty. Use ankle weights for the resistance.

* Do not rock back and forth to make it easier to raise the legs.

* To increase difficulty without adding weights, keep your legs straight while lifting them.

Rotational Abdominals

Standing weighted twists – put yourself into an athletic stance with your feet spread at a comfortable distance and your knees slightly bent. Hold a weight about 6-to-12 inches in front of your body. After a slow warm up, begin to twist at the waist (do not twist or bend at the knees) as rapidly as possible. The key to rapid movement is maintain a low, balanced stance and make sure your shoulder reaches the chin on the twist. Three sets of 20-40 repetitions.


Leg Strength

Never underestimate the value of leg strength for good, powerful hitting. The legs do not appear active. And in terms of movement, they really are not. But it is the strength of the legs that enable the abdominals and trunk in general, to promote bat speed.


As the swing begins, the stride is in place and the body begins to rotate. Without a firm base, the body will not be able to generate any strength from the legs into the trunk. The force is generated from the ground, into the legs, to the trunk and finally the bat.

Without leg strength, the force necessary to start a powerful bat is not produced. To take it a step further, the swing might be flawed due to only upper body generation and nothing to stabilize the legs.

Basic leg strength has been outlined in previous articles. Do not expect to have the best swing or the most powerful bat if you are only going to work on the upper body and ignore your legs.


Forearms

Beginning with the grip and finishing with the forearms (the two are connected), the bat head will take the proper path if there is strength in the hands. Notice how I say hands instead of forearms. This is because the grip strength (fingers, hand) is the most important part of forearm strength for baseball.

Take a look at a swing and follow through. The movement is not about forearm flexors or extensors. There is really no point in the swing where these movements are dominant. However, the hand and hand strength are involved the entire time.

You can have strong forearms, but not necessarily a strong grip. This is why you must work grip-specific exercises into your routine, such as squeezing tennis balls, racquet balls and softballs. This will strengthen the fingers, hand and overall grip. When you add these exercises to the already common wrist curls and reverse wrist curls, you’ll have excellent results.


Total Body

When you are looking for running speed, a powerful swing or mph on your fastball, you don’t just work the specific muscles involved. Take the approach that the entire body is a system and when all the parts work together efficiently, the outcome will be much more positive than singling out certain muscles. Train your whole body if you want optimal results, not to mention reducing the risk for injuring yourself.


Other Tools For Bat Speed

There are a few gadgets and machines advertised to increase bat speed. My advice is to stick with the basics, because there are so many variables that affect bat head speed which cannot be directly trained, such as pitch recognition or reaction time. Factors such as strength and hitting mechanics are variables that can be improved by some legitimate means, or rather, means which have been tried over the years and have worked.

One thing that has been used often, but incorrectly, is the weighted bat. When you use this tool as a way to become stronger, it is important to maintain your game swing. What I mean by this, is that your swing should not change even though the weight of the bat is increased.

Most of the time the weight of the bat is far more than is needed to increase power in a swing. How many times have you seen a hitter work with a weighted bat in a slow, awkward motion that looks nothing like his swing? More often than you should!

One thing that has been discussed in the development of power, is the need for speed. Speed of movement must be present if power is to be increased. Speed can be slightly reduced if a weight is being used, only because power increases when using the correct weight.

Movement is also important when training for power. For the swing to increase in power, the weighted swing has to be similar to the regular swing or there is no transfer of power. The same situation exists when you run with a weighted vest or ankle weights. If you run differently with the weights, then it does not have a positive effect on your normal running style.

My suggestion is to use a bat that is only a few ounces heavier than your regular bat. Try to use the same length as well. This way the swing will be the same, but because of the added weight, you will be increasing power with your normal swing.

Be careful not to use the weighted bat in normal game or batting practice situations. Your reaction time will be the same, but your bat will be slower at game speed. I recommend hitting off of the tee or using soft toss to work on your weighted game.

 via: Bob Alejo

Sports Psychology & Baseball Hitting Tips

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A lot of baseball players, particularly young players, can get pretty anxious

when they get up to the plate. Some kids are nervous because they are afraid of

being hit by a pitch. Other are anxious about performing well with others are

watching them. Some players can feel themselves getting nervous

when they sit in the dugout or when they get into the on deck circle.

You really can’t hit effectively if you are tense or anxious. In order to

swing the bat well and generate a significant amount of centrifugal force,

you need to hold the bat with the right amount of tension. Lots of players

grip the bat too tightly when they are nervous or anxious. I sometimes

encourage baseball players to hold the bat like they would hold a bird.

That is, firmly enough to protect it, but not tight enough to hurt the bird in

any way. This analogy seems to register with a lot of baseball players.

In addition, I remind the hitters who I coach that there is some research

to prove that their vision gets worse if they are tense or anxious. Conversely,

if they are relaxed, their vision can improve. They will pick up the ball sooner

and see it more clearly. This is why baseball players tell you they see the ball

better when they are in the zone. The zone includes a relaxed state for the body

and the mind.

When hitters are tense, their bodies look rigid as they stand in the box and can affect their hitting mehanics.

In order to relax when they face a pitcher, I encourage player to step out of

the box, breathe deeply in through their nose and out their mouth and take three practice

swings before they get back into the batter’s box. These simple techniques help them

to remain loose and calm as they wait for the pitch.

In addition, stepping out of the box can help to disrupt the pitcher’s rhythm a

bit.

via: Jay P. Granat, Ph.D., is a Psychotherapist

Eat Right As An Athlete

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A baseball/softball player’s diet is a very important part of his training program. Poor nutritional habits can prevent a pitcher from reaching his full potential on the mound.

There are three parts to a complete baseball pitcher’s training program: workouts, nutrition, and rest. Each of these components has equal importance. A pitcher cannot train at maximum intensity if he is not properly fueled or properly rested.

Proper nutrition is essential for competing at the highest level and performing at the highest level. Sure you’ve heard stories of great baseball players like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle who paid little attention to their health and wellness while playing. The fact is, had they maintained a proper diet and trained correctly they would have been even better.

In today’s competative atmosphere an athlete needs to maintain a healthy edge which means eating right. Baseball is a combination of balance, agility, and concentration with bursts of physical activity. For power, speed, and good reaction time, what and when one eats can improve or worsen performance. If we add in the length of games, weather conditions, and long season, the player who is best nourished will be the one who finishes strong, and healthy!

The nutrition goals for baseball are designed to optimize performance. Food choices, adequate fluid intake, frequency of meals, and timing of meals to activity can provide the edge in practice, games, and recovery. Many athletes are interested in losing body fat, or adding mass, but every player can benefit from a boost in energy, being optimally hydrated, and having the fuel for mental concentration and physical activity.

Every baseball player should make it a point to do the following daily:

Consume plenty of fluids

Determine fluid loss during practices and games by weighing before exercise begins and again after exercise has finished. This gives a good estimate of how much fluid is lost during physical activity, and lets you know how much fluid you need to replace! Monitor urine output. See your pee. The goal is light in color and a large volume, especially in the first void of the day. Drink enough fluid. The guidelines are as follows: Weight ( pounds) x 0.67 = number of ounces of fluid required daily

Recommended fluid intake

Drink 2 cups of fluid 2 hours before a game or practice.

Drink 6-8 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes during games or practices.

Drink 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during practices or games.

Best fluids for pitchers?

BEFORE: Water or sports drink.

DURING: Water, sports drink.

AFTER: Sports drink, water.

Worst fluids for pitchers?

Juices may cause stomach upset during exercise.

Carbonated beverages can cause bloating, and can cause fullness before fluid needs are met.

Caffeine-containing beverages may have a slight diuretic, or fluid-losing effect.

Alcohol can affect reaction time and is also a diuretic, causing valuable fluid loss. In addition, alcohol after exercise, before the body is optimally refueled will delay the body’s recovery from activity and may decrease performance!

Fueling strategies

Eat something within 1 hour of waking up to jumpstart your body. Good choices are: Bagel with peanut butter, bowl of cereal, eggs and toast, waffles with syrup and fruit, a vegetable omelet.

Try to eat a meal or snack every 3-4 hours to give your body an energy boost. Make it a point to eat something within 15 minutes after the end of a practice or game. Good choices are: Sports drink, granola and cereal bars, trail mix of cereal, pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, pretzels and orange juice, banana, bagel.

Meal-time food choices

The body uses carbohydrate as the primary fuel source for baseball, so each meal and snack should include carbohydrate-containing foods such as: rice, pasta, bread, bagels, cereal, crackers, tortillas, fruits, veggies, sports drinks, corn, potatoes.

Protein and fat-containing foods are not used as much by the body during practices or games, so they don’t have to be used in large quantities. In addition, pre-game or practice meals should be lower in fat, since high fat foods stay in the stomach longer and may cause an upset stomach. Some high-protein foods are: beef, pork, lamb, veal, fish, shellfish, milk, cheese, eggs, poultry, yogurt, nut butters, nuts, dried beans, soy, tofu.

Before games, try to limit the use of the following foods, which are higher in fat and may not sit well in the stomach.

Late-night food choices

Since many baseball games end late, and the stomach is crying out for food, here are some ideas that won’t keep you up all night, but still help you to refuel: grilled chicken sandwich, roast beef sandwich, turkey sub, ham sub, cereal, pancakes and waffles, eggs and toast, fruit smoothies, cheese pizza.

Nutrition should be part of your play book. Eat at regular intervals to keep your body energized all day long. Being well hydrated boosts performance and decreases the risk of injury. Make sure that every eating episode has a mix of foods with an emphasis on grains, fruits and vegetables. Try to wait until exercise is done to eat higher fat food. And remember, eating well translates to a quick mind and a strong, fast, lean and healthy body.

Eat well to play well. Work on it.

 

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Part 2: Follow the National League on Twitter this Season

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Wednesday, we posted some of our favorite Twitter handles surrounding teams in the American League. Here is our follow-up. Read on for handles of teams in the National League!

Happy tweeting!
Team-by-Team Information – National League

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks @Dbacks
Jack Magruder @JackMagruder (Arizona Diamondbacks beat writer for FOXSportsArizona.com)
Arizona Sports 620 @AZSports620

 

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves @Braves
FOX Sports South @FOXSportsSouth (FOX Sports South and SportSouth are the home of the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks.)
Atlanta Braves Talk @bravestalk (Anything Atlanta Braves.)

 

Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs @Cubs
Carrie Muskat @CarrieMuskat (Beat writer for MLB.com/Cubs.com, covering the Chicago Cubs. Author of Banks to Sandberg to Grace: 5 Decades of Love & Frustration with Chicago Cubs.)
Bruce Miles @BruceMiles2112 (Beat writer for the Daily Herald covering the Chicago Cubs.)

 

Cincinnati Reds

Reds @Reds
Cincinnati Reds Buzz @redsbuzztap (The latest news and buzz about the Cincinnati Reds with more sources, constant updates.)
John Fay @johnfayman (Beat reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer with a blog at cincinnati.com/blogs/reds.)

 

Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies @Rockies
Patrick Saunders @psaundersdp (Rockies beat writer The Denver Post.)
Troy Renck @TroyRenck (Rockies beat writer for The Denver Post since ’02, National Writer since ’06.)

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers @Dodgers
Steve Dilbeck @stevedilbeck (Los Angeles Times Dodgers blogger; previously columnist L.A. Daily News.)
Dylan Hernandez @dylanohernandez (Dodgers beat writer for the LA Times.)

 

Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins @Marlins
Manny Navarro @Manny_Navarro (Miami Herald Sports Writer. Covers the Marlins, University of Miami, Dolphins, and Heat – all not necessarily in that order.)
Juan C. Rodriguez @JCRMarlinsbeat (Sun Sentinel’s Miami Marlins beat writer.)
Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers @Brewers
Tom @Haudricourt (Brewers beat writer and general baseball scribe for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and jsonline.com.)
Todd Rosiak @Todd_Rosiak (Milwaukee Brewers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.)

 

New York Mets

New York Mets @Mets
Mike Puma @NYPost_Mets (Real-time news and opinion from Mets beat writer Mike Puma of the New York Post.)
Michael Baron @michaelgbaron (Writer for MetsBlog.com. Tweets about the New York Mets, Major League Baseball, and photography.)
Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies @Phillies
Ryan Lawrence @ryanlawrence21 (Phillies beat writer for the Philadelphia Daily News.)
Bob Ford @bobfordsports (Philadelphia sports columnist, sports writer on Eagles, Phillies, Sixers and Flyers.)
Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates @Pirates
Rob Biertempfel @BiertempfelTrib (Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.)
Alan Robinson @arobinson_Trib (Steelers beat writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.)
San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres @Padres
Dan Hayes @DanHayesCSN (White Sox insider for CSNChicago.com.)
Corey Brock @FollowThePadres (Seventh season covering the Padres for MLB.com.)

 

San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants @SFGiants
John Shea @JohnSheaHey (National baseball writer/columnist, San Francisco Chronicle, 26th year covering Giants, A’s, 31st year covering ball.)
Matt May @TCPMattMay (Beat writer/Columnist covering University of Kentucky athletics for CatsPause.com; Avid San Francisco Giants & Dallas Cowboys fan.)
St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals @Cardinals
Derrick Goold @dgoold (Lead Cardinals beat writer for St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)
Joe Strauss @JoeStrauss (Sports Columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)
Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals @Nationals
Amanda Comak @acomak (Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times.)
Dan Kolko @masnKolko (Washington Nationals beat writer for MASNsports.com.)

Follow Your Favorite Team on Twitter Part 1

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baseball 

In 1977, MLB Hall of Famer Bob Lemon said, “I don’t care how long you’ve been around; you’ll never see it all.” This is one of the many beauties of the game of baseball. There is no telling what we will see this season. In preparation for the upcoming MLB games, we wanted to take this chance to share some of the best follows on Twitter for each of your teams. Following your team’s Twitter account and a few of the beat writers allows you to stay up to the minute on games and players all over the majors. Although Lemon is right and we can’t see it all, we can at least have better insight through the marvel of Twitter.

Check the blog next week for Twitter handles in the National League!

 

Team-by-Team Information – American League

 

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles @Orioles
Dan Connolly @danconnollysun (Baltimore Sun Orioles/national baseball writer.)
Eduardo A. Encina @EddieInTheYard (The Baltimore Sun’s Baltimore Orioles beat writer.)
Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox @whitesox
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales (White Sox’s beat writer for the Chicago Tribune.)
Daryl Van Schouwen @CST_soxvan (White Sox beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times.)

 

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians @Indians
Paul Hoynes @hoynsie (Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for The Plain Dealer.)
Tom Withers @twithersAP (AP Sports Writer covering Cleveland Browns, Indians, Cavaliers, whatever else might be breaking.)

 

Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers @tigers
Tom Gage @Tom_Gage (Longtime baseball beat writer for the Detroit News.)
Chris Lott @Chris_Iott (Detroit Tigers beat writer for http://MLive.com.)

 

Houston Astros

Houston Astros @astros
Brian McTaggart @brianmctaggart (Astros beat writer since 2004 (since 2009 for http://MLB.com.)
Brian T. Smith @ChronAstros (Houston Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle.)
Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals @Royals
Bob Dutton @Royals_Report (Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star.)
Joel Goldberg @goldbergkc (Royals Live host on Fox Sports Kansas City.)
Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels @Angels
Mike DiGiovanna @MikeDiGiovanna (Los Angeles Angels beat writer for Los Angeles Times.)
Eric Denton LAAI @LAANGELSINSIDER (LA Angels coverage from the locker room to the press-box and everywhere in between.)
Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins @Twins
Mike Berardino @MikeBerardino (Minnesota Twins beat writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.)
AJ Mansour @AjKFAN (Lead Writer for KFAN.com & KFAN 100.3FM. Covering Minnesota Vikings, Twins, Wolves, Wild & Golden Gopher Athletics.)

 

New York Yankees

New York Yankees @Yankees
YANKEES 24/7 @yankeenews (All New York Yankees news, 24/7.)
YES Network @YESNetwork (Home of the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees and the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.)
Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics @Athletics
Kevin Mendez @kjmendez3 (Staff Writer at SwinginAs.com and a Journalism Major at the SRJC.)
Alan @cuppingmaster (Oakland A’s/SJ Sharks fan in LA. Writer/mod at Athletics Nation. 90% baseball tweets.)
Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners @Mariners
Ryan Divish @RyanDivish (Seattle Mariners beat writer the Tacoma News Tribune.)
710 ESPN Seattle @710ESPNSeattle (710 ESPN Seattle is the radio home of the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners & Washington State Cougars.)
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays @RaysBaseball
Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays (Marc Topkin has covered the Rays for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times) and tampabay.com since, well, forever.)
Joe Smith @TBTimesRays2 (Joe Smith has covered the Tampa Bay Rays since 2008.)
Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers @Rangers
TR Sullivan @Sullivan_Ranger (Baseball writer who graduated from the University of San Francisco and covers the Texas Rangers for MLB.com.)
Joakim Soria @joakimsoria (Official Twitter of the Texas Rangers.)
Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays-Official @BlueJays
Brendan Kennedy @BKennedyStar (Toronto Star sports reporter, covering baseball and the Blue Jays.)

Oh yea… and don’t forget to follow us as well. @swingawaysports

Drills to Prevent Wrist Rolling in Baseball

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Rolling the wrists upon making contact with the ball comes naturally to many hitters, but it is a bad habit that should be corrected. Wrist rolling can rob the swing of its power, resulting most often in grounders. Jack Mankin of batspeed.com tracked 26 major leaguers who had this flaw in their swing and calculated a batting average of .224 for this group. A follow-up three years later found only four of these players still were in the majors. The earlier you identify this flaw in your swing, the better your chances of correcting it with a few simple drills.

The Rolly-Polly Drill

The Rolly-Polly drill will not only allow you to develop proper wrist motion with your swing, it will show you the best way to hit different pitches according to location–outside, inside or right up the middle. To perform this drill, you will need a fence or an L-screen to protect the pitcher. The pitcher should get behind the screen, which should be placed about 10 feet from the batter and roll the ball right toward the center of the batter’s strike zone. You, the batter, must be on your knees–this will allow you to focus on your hands and arms, not your lower body. Use your bottom hand to point the knob of the bat toward the ball as it begins to roll, then use your top hand to direct the head of the bat to make contact with the ball once it reaches the strike zone.
If your bat hits the ground before it hits the ball, this means you’re leveling out too soon, a flaw which can lead to pop-ups. If you strike the ball but it bounces or rolls along the ground, you’ve struck the top of the ball. Adjust your top hand until you are able to hit the center of the ball and get a line drive that is raised slightly off the ground and is headed straight toward the pitcher. If you can achieve this result consistently, you’re curbing your tendency towards wrist rolling.

Top Hand/Bottom Hand Drill

The top hand/bottom hand drill will help to isolate the action each hand needs to be performing when you swing. As proper hand action leads to proper wrist action, this drill also will be effective in curing any improper wrist motion you may be making in your swing. To perform this drill, you’ll need a light bat, a ball and a tee. Hold the bat with your top hand only, in correct hitting position. Cross your other hand over your chest. Swing the bat down to the ball on the tee, taking care not to roll over your wrist. Then keep your fingers in sight while you flip your wrist just enough to bring the bat barrel down right at point of impact.
Next, take the bat and hold it just with your bottom hand in the correct hitting position. Bring the knob of the bat straight to the ball on the tee, looking right at your thumb knuckle. Complete the motion by rolling the wrist and forearm, continuing the follow-through up and over your shoulder. Note that in both instances you move the bat to the ball without rolling your wrists–wrists are only rolled at, not before, contact is made. Do this slowly and repeatedly until it becomes routine for you.

Land The Plane Drill

It might help you to remember how to use your hands (and wrists) in your swing by thinking of your bat as an airplane. The bottom hand is the one that lands (directs) the plane (bat). The top hand is the one that crashes the plane. Okay, not so good if it’s an actual airplane, but when it’s a bat hitting a ball, you want to “crash” (or crush) it with all your might. This drill will help you to do just that.
Start with your bottom hand at your shoulder with your palm open and facing down. You should be in the correct hitting stance, except for keeping your other hand on your hip. Lift your front heel, then rotate your hips to face where the pitch would be coming, moving your bottom hand from your shoulder in a straight line to the front of your body where it would be when the bat hits the ball. Keep your palm facing down as you “land the plane.” Repeat this part of the drill several times, each time starting with your hand back at your shoulder, in your batting stance position.
Next, move your top hand up to your shoulder, also in your correct batting stance, but this time keep your palm open, facing up and forward. Rotate your hips to where the pitch would be again, moving your top hand to the front of your body where you’d be hitting the ball, just like you did with your bottom hand. With the top hand, though, keep your palm facing up as you “crash the plane.” Repeat this part of the drill several times.
Finish the drill by putting both hands together, and using the bat. Start with your hands and bat at your shoulder, then move the bat to where it would be hitting the ball, making sure your hands are in the same position as they were before. Open your hands when they reach the position at which you’d contact the ball. Your top hand should be open under the bat, palm up. Your bottom hand should also be open over the bat, palm down.
As you complete your swing, your top hand continues under the bat as you make contact with the ball and on through your first extension. You roll your wrists (and the bat) as you come to the second extension, just before you complete your swing.
This drill will allow you to practice proper hand action and teach you not to swing to contact, but to snap at the point of contact. Doing so will increase your bat speed and allow you to make better contact with the ball.

Via: By Maria Scinto, eHow Contributor