Diamond: The gurus behind baseball’s search for the perfect swing

From Jared Diamond at the Wall Street Journal on March 14, 2017:

Doug Latta teaches hitting at a nondescript industrial park in Northridge, Calif., in a facility that consists of just two batting cages. He has no affiliation with a professional team. He never played baseball past college.

This is the man who transformed Justin Turner from a journeyman into an MVP candidate.

Turner met Latta after the 2013 season, when he had nothing left to lose. He had just been cut by the New York Mets, had a poor lifetime on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .684 and was nearing his 30th birthday. He was nobody—one of dozens of interchangeable utility infielders dotting the sport’s landscape.

Latta overhauled Turner’s swing, reversing years of teaching by major-league organizations. The next year, Turner hit .340 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In December, he signed a $64 million contract.

Read the full article here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-gurus-behind-baseballs-search-for-the-perfect-swing-1489496965

Originally published: March 16, 2017. Last Updated: March 16, 2017.