I recently had a conversation with Boston Red Sox hitting instructor Dave Magadan, who also played in the Major Leagues from 1986 to 2001, and had one of the most interesting careers of any corner infielder in history. His ratio of career WAR (27.1) to home runs (42) is pretty stunning, and Magadan showed that you didn’t have to hit the ball over the fence to be a productive player. What are his philosophies as a hitting coach? Read on for the answers.
1) Referring to younger players, many of us who follow baseball have heard the term from scouts and coaches that the power in a player will eventually come? What do scouts and coaches see that the casual fan might be overlooking or failing to recognize?
DM: They might be seeing a frame on a young player that is showing that he will fill out and get a lot stronger. That he’s showing bat speed, but is lacking in overall strength to drive the ball out of the park.
2) Can a hitter, from all the batting practice, on-deck swings, and hitting off a tee, among other similar range of motions, tire themselves out and find themselves fatigued and a split-second late trying to hit in the later innings? Is the volume of repetitions something that you or the team monitor?
DM: No question that a hitter can swing too much. There are times when we will throttle back a player and tell him to take a day off of batting practice and just chill out. There are guys that will go in and out of slumps in one batting practice session because they hit beyond the point of feeling good and work their way back into not feeling good.
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