Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Donaldson and Trout talk hitting

September 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Hitting

Watch both of these videos.  It’s the closest you will get to pornography for hitting coaches.

The first is Josh Donaldson and the second is Mike Trout.  If you don’t have a lot of time at the moment, go to the 5:25 point of the Josh Donaldson one and watch the rest later.

Now it’s Mike Trout’s turn.  Be sure to pay attention to the 1:00 mark.

Take aways …

  • Is there a better way to start your day than to watch two premier hitters talk hitting?  Don’t thank me, just doing my job.
  • Both hitters contradict each other.  Trout says he needs to “stay on top of the ball” and Donaldson tells 10 year olds to ignore their coaches when they tell them to “stay on top of the ball.”  Who is wrong?  Are they both right?  (Answer: they are both right.)
  • If you are teaching one way to hit (either the Mike Trout way or the Josh Donaldson way), you are wrong and you need to fix yourself.  Each hitter has their unique needs and cues that enable them to get the most out of their ability.  Donaldson’s philosophy works for him.  Trout’s works for him.  Demand/teach only one style and you are only reaching the kids who match that style.  And the others?
  • No topic on this website has generated more negative feedback/emails than when I have written or done videos on “staying on top of the ball.”  For those who say I am WRONG!, is Mike Trout wrong?  I think his stats beg to differ.




One Response to “Donaldson and Trout talk hitting”
  1. Drew Stegon says:


    I could not agree more about ONE method. As a batting coach I have kids that are striders, no stride, toe tap, open stance, closed stance, deep in the box and shallow in the box, close to the plate and medium away. A good batting coach needs to understand body type, physical ability, and natural motion of each player.

    What should be nearly identical is the position of the bat and body as time of contact. If you watch most slow motion videos and stop nearly every MLB player at POC they are all extremely similar. Even after contact players tend to change as some have more extension with their arms (punch through the ball) and others tend to stay a little more compact and rotate more and extend more near the end of the follow through.

    NOTE HERE: There is a big difference from “staying on top of the ball” and “striking down on the ball.” Personally I think that is what Josh was referring to when he said to “tell your coaches no.” I saw this on MLB Central and that was my take away, and I truly believe that he is right that coaches that teach striking downward to the ball are wrong.

    Many coaches out there teach the “Kevin Long” way to swing which is “short distance to the ball is a straight line” that has the batter striking through the ball on a downward motion. In Long’s video with AROD they show that kind of swing, but watch AROD’s swing and he is a far from that as it gets. Griffey, Pujols, Clemente, Aaron, Miggy, Trout, Donaldson, Pappi… and the list could go on and on.. all get the bat into the plane of the ball early and swing parallel to the plane of the ball and not striking through that plane as though they were creating an “X” in the air (one bath bat – one path ball).

    Trout on the other hand is referring to his hands. This video was from the Saturday morning PLAY BALL show which I religiously record. (I know it is for kids to watch but the stuff on there is terrific!) Your hands have to be above the ball to hit properly and he was speaking of placing the T in a high position and working on keeping his hands up.

    Both are doing the very same thing. Their hands are above the ball, the bat is on an upward trajectory and the angle of the bat from level is a negative number (shoulders above hands and hands above end of bat). Trout is a Zepp user and you can see from every video he does he never “strikes downward” on the ball as many might take his “stay on top of the ball” comment to mean.

    Thanks for posting!

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