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Every hitter's been there...  You're up against a good pitcher, you get in a hitter's count, get the knee high fastball that you're looking for, and you foul it straight back.  Just missed it!  I hate it when that happens!  It seems in these situations, I'm seeing the ball well, just getting under the baseball a bit.  Any tips on how to "not" drop the bat head and to turn these just misses into line drives?  I see Pedroia all the time in the on deck circle exaggerating his swings to keep his hands high.

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Don't swing down on the ball. Please.

 

I would say keeping the hands back and staying inside,, the back knee will turns inward make a more dramatic downward motion with the back knee, this will throw more weight transference onto the bent front knee. Then keeping your head down on the ball your hands, due to a deeper dip from the back knee, you will be much closer to the low pitch. With hands still inside and your front elbow still in an L position across the chest you will launch the bat at the low pitch, the bat head will not be at an level angle however, the bat head will not be in a good enough angle to drive the ball on a line or as near to the same plane with the pitch as possible. You should be able to drive the ball on a line drive just off the ground. By keeping your head down and with the waist bent  you will be much closer to the ball in order to make better contact.

Remember, the front knee, if straightened, will occur further out in front of your body, as you continue to stay low, you will get a lower trajectory line drive.. Other times you can get low by dropping the back knee get low as close to the ball as possible and you may be able to hit off a bent front knee as you try to keep your hips level through the swing and not get into a position where your front hip is pointing up and the back hip lower. Hit a low line drive or a hard ground ball, stay low and away from popping up.. Hope this helps you.

                        

From my experience, fouling a ball straight back is the result of being late on your swing. Yes, you just missed it because you were late. Regardless if it is you are "loading" late, "coiling/uncoiling" late, recognizing a good pitch late, or any other reason that someone is telling without looking at video, it is usually because you are late to the ball. Find out what is causing you to be late and work on it.

You mention Pedroia exaggerating his warm up swing to keep his hands high, yet you and others mention keeping the bat head high, not dropping the barrel of the bat, etc.  Well, the barrel of the bat is below the hands during swing path and at contact.  The ball is traveling in a downward plane. You aren't going to drop your hands, level the bat to the ground or have the barrel above your hands when you swing, are you?  Of course not. As you stated, the hands are kept "high", relatively speaking.  Pat mentions his son dropping the barrel and fouling it off over the dugout...guess what? His son is late on the ball. If he is a RH hitter and fouls it off over the 1st base dugout, the ball got too deep on an outside pitch or he swung very late on an inside pitch with an inside out swing and the result was a foul ball.  Work on recognizing the pitch as a "Yes" pitch or "No" pitch earlier.  That decision should get you started early enough to make "square" contact and drive the ball where it is pitched; LF if inside, middle for middle or RF for outside pitches.  One last thing, the barrel of the bat is not level with the ground, it is level to the plane of the pitch. The sooner you can get the plane of your swing to the plane of the pitch the more area you have in making contact, solid contact, with the ball.  Again, watch slow motion video, like the one below, and you can see how the barrel of the bat is below the hands and is traveling at approximately 10-11 degrees upward.  Remember, the pitcher is throwing in a downward angle from high to low and wants you to hit a ground ball.  If you watch the video posted by J Edwards, if Tolawitzki is late with his swing he will hit the bottom half of the ball instead of the middle part of the ball and foul it straight back.  Good luck...

I agree.  Most the time when a "fat" pitch is missed it is because the hitter over swings and the bat gets too far away from your torso because of the extra centripital force.  The hitter is trying to elevate the ball in order to hit a bomb but when the barrel gets outside the ball it is in the taper around the trademark where the bat is thinner so instead of a deep drive, the ball is fouled back.  If a line drive was the desired hit then this would result in being jammed.  The way to train to prevent this "casting" of the barrel is to take the same powerful swing every time and concentrate on keeping the back arm in tight to the torso. 

Here I am last Saturday keeping the arms in close to my body hitting a triple on an inside pitch (notice the catcher's mit location) with a 35" bat.  http://www.checkswing.com/photo/m-richards-hitting-2012-msbl-fall-c...

Watch Chase Utley hit the ball hard while keeping his arms flexed.  http://youtu.be/mLZTOTilC4w

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