Breaking Down Pittsburgh Pirates Swing Mechanics – Part I
By Jim Tufexis
Jordy Mercer – SS
Jordy Mercer has a decent swing for such a tall ball player. First thing you will probably notice about his swing is how he sort of bends over, next you will probably notice that he always chokes up on his bat. First lets talk about why he bends over, Jordy bends over because he is relatively tall and wants to get the barrel of the bat through the hitting zone as quick as possible. By bending over his hands are lower and closer to the zone. This works in toe to why he chokes up on the bat as well, when he chokes up on the bat he reminds himself to shorten his swing and get the barrel to the ball to drive it. He also does a leg kick to help with his hips, it forces him to drive his hips through the swing.
Neil Walker – 2B
For the sake of this article lets look at Neil Walker from the left side of the plate. From this side of the plate Neil Walker looks like he doesn’t even belong in the batters box let alone the baseball field. You can see his two feet are very close together before the pitch is thrown and he jiggles his legs around like he is scared. But as the pitch is being delivered you see his legs come apart and he does a little toe tap with his front leg as his timing mechanism. As he picks up his front leg his hands start to drop into a hitting position, to some players this may be difficult to handle two different movements in different directions. Neil Walker has mastered it and gets his hands into perfect position at the right time. His head is also very quiet throughout the swing letting him stay on the ball longer. I don’t know how he makes this work but he does.
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