Joshua Adam Donaldson aka J.D. aka the bringer
of rain. Yeh, you know him, the Oakland Athletics third baseman, 2014 Major League All Star,
and the third best athlete ever to come out of Auburn University. Yeh, that’s right, we
were teammates at Auburn and since then JD has taught me a lot about hitting. Now recently
we started talking about hitting on the Facebook and he called me a Punch and Judy hitter,
but then he started teaching me. Now, disclaimer, not everyone should swing like Josh Donaldson.
You’ve got to swing like John Madden, now that’s the way to swing. Damn it John! On
a serious note, let’s talk about some of the things Josh taught me about hitting.
First, it’s not all about mechanics JD talks a lot about process and approach
But for all you over analyzing mechanics freaks Let’s break down JD’s swing and see what we
can learn First his load. He uses his load to sync his
body and read the pitch You see that his hands drop at the start so
they can start to work up He also gets a good rear elbow load which
allows for patience As you can see, he shows his name on the back
of his jersey to the pitcher And he stays closed on a big leg lift
and you can see that his back knee is in a good spot so it allows him to load his hips
well Now on his stride, you can see that he gains
a good amount of ground and He also uses his stride to time the pitch
Josh also explained to me as you can see here that hitting is about the timing of the front
side opening and the ab position to the ball and as you can see here, the hands are not
determining the swing and his bat falls behind the shoulder
Now let’s get into the actual swing Josh believes that swing plane is the most
important part of the swing You can create a good swing plane by having
a great body angle and starting with your shoulders angled down and finishing up.
Now the hands aren’t delivering the swing. It’s the back shoulder that delivers his swing.
You can see his back elbow gets down into slot and then he delivers the swing with his
back shoulder. Now let’s talk about the contact point. At
contact JD has his head on the ball. His head is over his back knee. His arms are in a good
position with his right arm in a Power L position and his left arm still bent a little. His
back foot is vertical. As well as his front leg is straight. His hands are also above
the barrel of the bat. Now let’s talk about the follow through. Extension
comes from swing plane and back shoulder turning through the baseball.
Now you shouldn’t think about the follow through because if you did everything right up to
that point it’s just going to happen and be natural.
If you’re on the outside of your front foot, it’s ok. That just means you completed your
hip turn. And as you can see here, Donaldson is totally
turned and he’s showing his back to the other side of the plate.
Let’s talk about some of the ideas that make his swing so great.
In the game all you want to do is see the ball and hit the ball.
Swing plane is most important. Be efficient as possible and that doesn’t
mean taking some movement out but understand how to control the movement and how to use
it. Drills should be only for body position or
swing plane. Now let me tell you why I think JD is so successful.
He’s got a great attitude. He’s always having fun out there. He’s very confident. He’s got
an impeccable mental approach and he’s very competitive. He’s a great team player and
he just wants to get the job done. Now, take a second to leave a comment below and let
me know who would win in a home run derby, Josh Donaldson, or this guy right here?