Four Good “Mishits” Coaches Shouldn’t Worry About
A player and coaches ability to read mishits (a hit or swing that produced a result that wasn’t the intended purpose of the hitter) has to be one of the most important skills to acquire. Without it, good swings are altered all the time for no reason, especially at the youth level.
If you can identify the differences between the “good mishits” vs the “bad mishits”, you can really help evolve a hitter’s swing or make sure it stays good. I will cover “bad miss-hits” in a later premium article next month.
Below is a list of mishits that you or your player might be having. Be sure to understand that this doesn’t mean an adjustment shouldn’t be made. It just lets you know that these types of hits still have opportunities to still be productive. After all, the name of the game is to get hits. No coach has ever not played a player because he “gets too many hits”.
4 Types of Good Mishits
1. Average To Deep Fly Balls
When The Ball Is Driven Anywhere, It Has A Chance To Be Productive.
As we know a fly ball can drive in runs and move runners over. Not to mention most doubles and home runs are statistically considered fly balls from a launch angle standpoint.
Too many fly balls doesn’t mean that there is something fundamentally wrong with the swing. It could simply be a targeting error by the hitter. This means they are eyeing too much of the bottom half and simply need to aim higher. There could also be an over-aggressive attack angle of the barrel.
Depending on how hard you can hit it will determine your launch angle “safe zone” that you should train in. Taking away some of the hitter’s attack angle as well as targeting slightly higher on the ball should bring those fly balls down to an angle they can thrive at. I will say, however, that if you can hit the ball over 90-mph consistently, then don’t be afraid to get out with mostly fly balls that are caught in practice. This should pay high dividends later in games.
2. Hard Top-Spin Grounders
Just Like The High Fly Balls, These Types Of Miss Hits Could Just Be A Targeting Error Or Flat Shoulder Rotation.
You might see this occasionally during the MLB Home Run Derby when they accidentally catch too much of the top half of the baseball. The grounder that they hit will not only have a high exit velocity increasing the chance of a single, but the topspin will help shoot the ball out of the infield faster. This is exactly why a tennis serve has tons of topspin on it. It will force the infielder to perfect in their first step and even that might not be enough depending on how hard it was hit.
This is why having a positive attack angle or upward moving barrel through the zone is so important for hitters, especially undersized players. Not only will this type of barrel path give us the highest chance to drive the ball to the outfield, but the top-half miss-hits will also have a much better chance to sneak through the infielders.
3. On Plane, Early Contact
As The Saying Goes, “Better To Be Early Than Late”
While most hitters goals should be to always drive the ball with the intent to hit doubles or more, we know our timing will not always be perfect. Assuming the hitter is aggressive in their intentions being early is often times the better timing mistake than late.
Now, remember everything has limits. Starting to swing when the ball is still in the pitcher’s hand should be obviously way too early. Early, in this case, means late in the “hitting zone” or the very last part of our release that the barrel can still make contact with the ball. Because of how late in our release this contact will be, we won’t hit the ball as hard as we can. However, we can definitely still do damage. In fact, home runs and double are still a possibility here for most players who have elite power mechanics.
4. The Swing and Miss
Yes, It Is Possible To Take A Great Swing And Miss The Ball
Being a good hitter is hard. Period. If you understand at all what it means to be a .300 hitter then you know what I am talking about. Too many kids that come into Baseball Rebellion are worried about missing the ball because they want a high batting average. So they go into every at-bat with the “afraid to fail” mentality which ultimately leads to more “failing”.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that just trying to touch the ball or timidly putting the ball into play with a weak swing is “failing”. I would rather a player swing and miss taking his hacks and learn to be patient or whatever the reason for the miss was. I know that kid can and will do damage at some point.
What to Take Away from GOOD Mishits
Understand that it does take somewhat of a trained eye or mature by the hitter to understand their miss-hits. The younger a player starts to understand this the better. The reason being, it can really help them stay on track and keep their baseline confidence high.
For example, if I go 0-3 one game with a strikeout, deep sac fly, and harder grounder that the shortstop made a good play on, I can still walk away from the game with confidence going into the next game.
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