Hitting up the batting cages at an amusement park is one way to fill a boring summer day, but any serious slugger knows that batting practice is no walk in the park. Below, Philadelphia Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson relays his expert advice to refine your raking ability in the cage.
“[In the batting cage you] just want to drive the ball,” says Thompson, a 13-year MLB vet. “[Your focus should be] to hit line drives over the field.”
Each hitter has his own unique style, stance, and swing, but Thompson pitches 10 tips to focus on when taking BP, which helped his student, Jimmy Rollins, capture the NL MVP Award last season.
• Develop a path to the ball using your front hand as a guide
• Keep your bat on that path as long as possible
• Snap and explode your top hand into the ball
• Bury your front shoulder into the pitch to avoid turning your shoulder out
• Focus on “catching” the ball on the sweet spot of your bat
• Roll your top hand over the ball, which results in a whiff or a weak grounder
• Lean forward too far on your front leg
• Minimize your hitting zone by taking an uppercut swing
• Try to kill or lift any of the batting practice pitches
• Use your body to get lift on the ball; let your hands drive the ball