David Ortiz has solidified himself as one of the best hitters of all time. In this video we take a look at his swing movements compared to the Greatest hitters ever (Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth).
Whether it was on purpose or not, Ortiz has been able to incorporate very similar swing movements to those of the all time greats.
He swings with BIG movements. I love to see big movements and players who maximize their bat speed. A player with big movements can always shorten up as needed, where as a player who never learns to swing big, can't all of a sudden hit for power.
Movement is not the enemy, being on time with those movements is the key. Movement can give a player a running start, making them even faster to the baseball.
Players with no movement have to suddenly push the bat to the baseball. More often than not, that is not an appropriate strategy against the best pitching on the planet. Players who try to start at zero have minimal quickness or adjustability.
Should you swing like David Ortiz?
If I told you all the fastest cars in the world had the same engine, wouldn't you put one in your race car?
Study Ortiz' engine, make it a part of your swing.
This is a barrel turn. Watch how the barrel and back elbow work together. Ortiz is able to turn the barrel from a leveraged position. He tips the barrel forward, that is where the swing starts.
This means that the first 12 inches of barrel movement is a reversal of the tip. He tips the bat forward, then reverses the tip to swing.
Tip the barrel towards 3rd base, then reverse the tip
Ortiz is able to create early bat speed. This means the barrel is already up to speed before the hands ever come forward. This gives him the adjustability needed to direct his swing wherever the ball takes him. This made him one of the best home run hitters of all time.
Many hitters will push their hands forward to create bat speed. This means you are directly applying force AGAINST the heaviest part of the bat. Ortiz on the other hand, is pulling the barrel backwards and then around, creating momentum and using the weight of the barrel to his advantage.
The barrel turn is something that you will never truly see or believe in until you can perform it yourself.
Whenever you hear someone talk about hitting, we take that information and compare it to our own frame of reference. We say "I don't agree with that."
If you never open your mind to new concepts, you will never learn.
I challenge you to duplicate the swing movements and bat path of David Ortiz. Tip the bat, lift the leg, match the bat path exactly and in that process, you will learn that CAN swing like David Ortiz. He is one of the very best hitters ever and this swing is what got him there.
Ortiz pre Boston
Before Ortiz got to Boston, his swing looked a lot like Miguel Cabrera.
Look at the shape of the arms. This is the triangle.
Both players create the triangle shape with their arms. They rock the triangle up and back which then tips the barrel forward. This loading sequence is seen in the majority of world class hitters.
To swing, they simply rock the triangle. The elbows and bat move together as one piece.
David Ortiz was very good at matching his swing plane to the plane of the pitch.
In this clip, you can clearly see the barrel get behind the path of the baseball. If you watch closely, the barrel gets behind the pitch back where the coach in the dugout is standing.
This concept was introduced by Ted Williams in his book "The Science of Hitting."
Another thing to look for is the plane of the shoulders. On every single ball that Ortiz hit, his shoulders matched the height of the pitch.
Look how the bat is parallel to the plane of the shoulders.
This must happen to consistently square the baseball.
This concept is not just for home run hitters. Want to hit consistant line drives? You better be matching plane.
The Leg Kick
The choice to use a leg kick is unique to every hitter.
When you look at world class hitters, the majority use a leg kick or toe tap move to gather their energy.
All of them pull their elbow back while falling forward. This helps to counterbalance, keeping the weight centered over the back leg while moving forward.
David Ortiz' Swing is reminiscent of the best hitters to ever play the game.
It is no surprise that he produced throughout his career.
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