David Ortiz is always fun to watch. A career .280 hitter, Ortiz provides plenty of pop. Surprisingly, aside from a few seasons, he doesn’t strike out all that much for a power guy. He does walk a ton, and therefore has a great .OBP. I wanted to post a video of Ortiz’ hitting mechanics to illustrate the amount of extension he gets with his arms. Take a look below and you’ll see what I’m referring to.
1. Watch the knob of Ortiz’ bat as his hands begin to move into the strike zone. What you’ll notice is that there is no slop in the movement. What I mean is that many younger hitters who haven’t mastered hitting mechanics will let the knob drift downward or outward prior to it moving back towards the pitch. Because Ortiz has no slop in his hand path, he’s able to get his hands out in front on his hips so that he can extend his hands through the hitting zone. Hitters who are not this proficient will tend to hook and slice baseballs because they cannot get their hands in the correct position to hit pitches.
2. I want you to watch what happens to his foot after contact is made with the baseball. I’ve run across a few coaches who preach that the front foot needs to stay closed off to the pitches through the swing. Not only do I write about this ridiculous fallacy extensively in the following article, Front Foot Closed and The Destruction of Your Hitting Mechanics, but you can see for yourself that Ortiz opens his foot all the way to the pitcher on contact. Without repeating what my hitting mechanics article does too much, the front foot opening will occur automatically with good hip rotation. You notice that Ortiz uses his hips quite a bit in his swing. Because of this hip rotation, the end result is a foot that spins open. It’s a natural occurrence, don’t mess with it!