Home run hitters make the big bucks. Chicks dig the long ball. Home runs are down in Major League Baseball mainly because of drug testing. During the steroid years you saw guys that were average players at best develop into 30-40+ home run per year players. Most of us fans still enjoy watching players hit home runs. Nothing is more exciting than seeing your team when a game with a walk off home run to win a ballgame. I, along with millions, watched the home run derby the night before the all-star game. I actually watched it longer than the actual game. How does one become a power hitter?
Most big home run hitters are large, musclebound, strong guys with big swings. Not all big power hitters are though. Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees is listed at 6’1″ 195 lbs. He hit 41 home runs last year and already has 26 this year. Robinson Cano of the Yankees is listed at 6′ 200lbs. He hit 28 home runs last year and already has 22 this year. He won the 2011 home run derby. How do these guys create so much power? How does one become a power hitter? There are a lot of factors involved. In my years as a youth coach I’ve seen all kinds of things. You’ll hear from kids and parents that the bigger the bat, the farther the ball goes. Some say you must swing up on the ball. Neither is true. Bat speed is extremely important for one to become a power hitter. Most of us are not strong enough to swing up and actually lift or muscle the ball out of the ballpark. A hitter actually creates lift on the ball by swinging with a downward plane. If the bat hits the top half of the baseball with a downward plane, it creates back spin the makes the ball carry farther.
There are many secrets to becoming a power hitter. You don’t have to be a big strong musclebound guy. Strength does help, but there is hope for the small guys. I am getting ready to work with my son on increasing his power. He hits the ball pretty good for his age and size but added power is just going to make him that more attractive to college recruiters. We are going to start working on some of the exercises and drills we learned from the baseball instructional video Baseball Players: Become A Power Hitter-Hit More Jacks. His goals for this off season are to become a much better power hitter and to reduce his 60 yard dash time. It’s time to get to work. I’ll keep you posted.