Sarris: The tools of baseball’s fly ball revolution

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on March 16, 2017:

There’s a revolution happening in the batting cage. We’ve noticed that batted-ball data is changing slightly and that hitters are saying different things about the intentions of their swings. But on the ground, where these hitters are training to improve, a few new tools have appeared that are helping those hitters to realize their intentions with better results. Those tools make a link between hitting and pitching that may open our eyes to the possibility of better development practices in both places.

 They don’t look like the bats to which we’ve become accustomed.


Those are weighted bats from Axe. Weighted balls can improve pitch velocity for pitchers, and there’s evidence these bats can improve bat speed for hitters in much the same way. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that Driveline Baseball — already a leader in weighted-ball training — has embraced these new tools and offered them to their hitters.

“I was up there for three days and my exit velo went from 103 to 106 and that was just working with the overload and underload bats,” said an awed Lucas Erceg of the Driveline campus in Kent, Washington. That’s the Brewers prospect who just hit the ball nearly out of the stadium this spring.

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