Barkett’s Baseball Class
In 1996, my first Spring Training, I was fortunate enough to work with the “infield guru” of our time, Perry Hill. Perry, known as “Bone” by his players just left the Pittsburgh Pirates as their infield instructor. Under Hill, the Pirates’ infielders made significant defensive improvement. Part of that was evident by the fact that the team finished the season with the Majors’ best fielding percentage (.988) and fewest errors (73). The Bucs played 101 errorless games, which set a franchise record.I personally learned more from “Bone” than any other coach I have ever had. The Tiger’s organizaiton uses his drills and techniques to instruct our young players and we have seen big improvements in our infielders because of it. It is hard to share all that “Bone” teaches in one article, but I will try and do him justice … Read More »
Make sure, as your high school seasons are in full swing that you are maintaining, if not improving your strength and agility. Jump rope routines can improve your speed and foot work very quickly if done consistently. 5-10 min a day and in 2 weeks you will see immediate improvements!
Core strength, med ball work, bridges, planks. Anyway to maintain the core, do it!!!! Balance beam work is a must for hitters and pitchers. Balance is required!!!! Tire drills? If you can.
Play pepper to train your eyes to follow the ball to the barrel. It is a tad boring for players and they don’t like doing it, but 5 min a day can do nothing but help improve something you are in dire need of to play this game!
See you all soon….
The last week of Spring Training has arrived and the “Dog Days” of Spring Training are upon us all in professional baseball. Players, coaches, trainers, clubhouse guys are all dragging this time of Spring as camp winds down. However, we all have to answer the bell everyday and be at our best both on and off the field. We still all have to maintain our work ethic as the players are trying to earn positions on teams & staff members have to be on point mentally as we have to make correct decisions on where we are going to place players. Their dreams & career are on the line and those decisions are in our hands. This the toughest week of the year emotionally in baseball as we have to tell many young men that their dream has ended … Read More »
The “Meat” of our Online Hitting School – Barrel Control. Now, Barrel Control works hand in hand with Body Control. It is hard to have one without the other. The video below really gets into how the swing works & where it breaks down in hitters of all ages. The craft of hitting is created with the hands of the one holding the bat. The more gifted the hitter becomes in using his hands correctly, the better chance he has to be a consistent. Consistent Body Control & Barrel Control = Better % of Good Contact which = Better % of Hits. And, as a byproduct, better plate discipline. Easier to “Zone In” when your Body & Barrel are under control. Simple concepts that can really get you better quick if you apply!
Leave Comments and Questions Below…..
batorbarrelcontrol from … Read More »
The video is a brief analysis of two young, talented hitters – at different levels. The player on the left is Miami Marlins Inf, Derek Dietrich & on the right is Hagerty High School Senior Gunnar Lambert (FAU Commit). Both guys can really swing the bat at their respective levels and both will be good players for a long time. Notice the similarities in technique, yet the slight difference in a more polished, experienced hitter, as to a high school player. Comments or questions below.
In October of last year, I had the opportunity to fly to the Dominican Republic for a 2 day tryout with then Free Agent Cuban defector, Jose Abreu. The video below is an analysis of one of his game swings during his private showcase. He is an animal of a hitter and is going to have a great career in the Major Leagues! He is off to a good start with the White Sox already: Abreu’s Work Ethic Stands Out.
He was not only a great hitter, but a very humble and gentle giant. Abreu is a guy that you want to root for. I was hoping to see him in a Marlins uniform but it didn’t work out. Please enjoy the analysis of his swing below and let me know … Read More »
In the following video, Edward Waters College, Catching Coach, and Baseball Pros Academy Instructor, Ariel Mercedes gives us some tips on how to receive the baseball. He tells us where to set our hand/glove to best receive certain pitches. Little things make a difference in the game of baseball. No other position in the game is effected by inches as much as the catcher. Enjoy & leave comments, suggestions, concerns below.
Developing Quality Catcher’s can drastically improve the performance of a pitching staff and in turn, a baseball team. Probably the most important position on the field (besides the Pitcher of course), young catchers don’t do enough of the following drills. Coach Corbin from Vanderbilt, shows us some of the drills they use to get their guys better. To be good behind the plate, you must practice these drills! Soft but strong hands. Being able to catch the ball at different angles is important. A plus defensive Catcher can be super attractive to a College Coach and the only way you will get there is by hard work! Enjoy the video.
Playing Catch is a big part of a young player’s day and it needs not to be taken for granted. Former Major Leaguer Richie Lewis talks about how to properly … Read More »
Parents, Players, Coaches – This Video Analysis Below is An Example of How it is Supposed to Be Done. Mike Lowell was at the top of his game during his time with The Boston Red Sox. There are two ways to learn something: To See It and Try To Emulate And/Or TO FEEL How It is SUPPOSED TO FEEL……
Please take the Time TO Watch This – This Goes TO Show How Continued Discipline to Execute a Compact Yet AGGRESSIVE SWING Can Produce Big RESULTS. LESS IS MORE SOMETIMES.
Separation (LOAD), BALANCE, ATTACK, FINISH – IT IS ALL in the Video Below.
Let me know your thoughts below…
Playing Up the Middle…
Major League Infielder, Jed Lowrie gives us some great tips on how to play middle infield. His instruction is simple and to the point. Most of you have heard some of this before, however, it is a good reminder to hear how a Major League Player goes about his business everyday. It is an important for infielders to learn different positions, as you never know where you coach and your team might need you!
Hall of Fame Instruction
A very intimate camp setting provides a stage for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, to give us all some hitting tips. It is great to listen to this and hear about the constants that he talks about. I actually learned something from this one! “Swing the Knob” not the barrel. I like it. Enjoy.
– Coach Barkett
In lesson 2 of our Online Hitting School, I introduce some drills using the a tire. These drills are very simple and can be done on a daily basis to help build the foundation of a hitter. In conjunction with a balance beam, the tire will help build the stabilization muscles in the hips, abs & inner thighs. As well, it will give the hitter the feel of being stable as he works the swing to extension. Legendary Detroit Tiger, Willie Horton (see his video below) showed me these drills and always used to explain how important they were in the development of a young hitter. The “Willie Horton Hitting School” which is a system of 4×4’s and different size tires, has been used for years to teach young hitters in the Detroit Tiger Organization.
The great Willie Horton gives us … Read More »
MLB All-Star Joey Votto shows us how he trains & prepares for the upcoming season. Strength training in baseball has changed considerably over the years. I remember my first year in the minor leagues when sit-ups & crunches were all the core work we did. Now, sports specific trainers have revolutionized the way baseball players properly prepare their bodies. Core strength & explosiveness are two huge key components to becoming a successful player at any level! Notice how simple these exercises are. Make sure you are taking care of your body and implementing exercises similar to these in your program!
Major League Utility Infielder Ryan Roberts gives us some great training on how to properly field a ground ball & throw it across the diamond. This is something that is taken for granted by young baseball players. Throwing errors are made all … Read More »
At camps, and clinics, we talk about the “Delivery” often. Being able to have a good delivery & repeat a good delivery are essential to becoming a good pitcher. Good Deliveries can aid in creating good arm action. Good arm action will lead to a better finish. A better finish will lead to better stuff & execution of pitches. That simple. If anyone is teaching you something different than in the clips below. Or if they are not showing you clips like this, then move on to another pitching coach. Or simply watch the videos below and try your best to emulate what these guys are doing. Notice that they hall have: Good Balance, Good Direction – Staying Tall & Square, in a Power Position & Then, they all have Finish to the glove. Keep working hard.
BPA BULLET POINTS
– Beat the Pitcher to the Spot
– Body Control Essential To a Good Hitter
– Balance Beam Exercises Help Create and Sustain Body Control
– Stride and Hold Drills Develop Hitting Position
– Contact Point On Beams – Help Hitter Feel Correct Hitting Position
Please leave your comments or questions below. To become a Member of Our BPA Online Community, and watch the rest of our Online Hitting School, plus many more trainings, CLICK HERE!!!
Members Only Content..
Thank you Baseball Pros Academy Member.
I hope this teaching helps your coach or players.
Check out these clips of some major league players as they practice..
Let me know what you think…..
Nick Swisher’s “Balance Beam” Position that he was able to maintain throughout his swing is second to none in the clip below. Notice his stride separation, his control of his body, his control of his barrel and finally, his extension through the ball. This video is a clinic in itself for young players to watch how a proven MLB Hitter practices. Listen closely as Nick explains and show us how his swing works best. Notice again his “Balance Beam Position” that he maintains all the way through his swing. Notice what he is doing to generate power. Quiet front side. All the way through swing. Impressive to … Read More »
Check out my old teammate, Tony Batista, in the photo above. Man did have a funky stance. Below is an excellent Video on the different stances used by some of the best hitters in the modern era. Very entertaining and informative. Great information for young hitters, and hitting coaches as well. Enjoy.
Tony Gwynn teaches his Tee Drill. How a Hall of Fame Hitter Trains! Must watch and apply for young hitters!!!
Hall of Fame Outfielder & One of the Best Hitters in the History of the game talks about his Hitting Approach. Love hearing how simple his approach was and easy it is for him to explain to us. This is a must watch for all aspiring hitters!!
A couple of really solid inspirational videos for our players. Two excellent baseball men give us tremendous knowledge and insight to how we should go about our business.
Two of my former players, Luke Montz & Kyle Skipworth are getting their work in with former Marlins Catching Coordinator (and former teammate of mine) Tim Cossins. Timmy has moved over to the Cubs organization as their Field Coordinator. Notice their set ups. Their body position, hand position. Notice how they move, how they control their bodies and eyes. This is great stuff!
Our hitting lesson on Thursday night in Orlando for those of you who missed it. Coach Barkett & Professional Player John Alonso talk about hitting position, hand speed, and approach. Enjoy and please leave your comments or observations below. The more we all talk and interact, the more we can all understand the game and what we teach at BPA. #playerdevelopment
This is one of the coolest hitting diagrams I have ever seen. And, it explains the hitting position/launching position so well. Again, going back to what we spoke of on Thursday night & Saturday’s training. Body positioning & body control is of supreme importance in the makings of a successful hitter. Using balance beams, doing tire drills & training core muscles to stabilize are ways to improve & train proper body position. Muscle memory takes 30 days, doing something everyday to create. How good a hitter could you be if you worked on your “balance beam” position more often?
Jose Abreu, recent Cuban Defector and power hitter will be somewhere in Major League Baseball in 2014. Great pic above..tremendous extension through the ball. Check head position and balance as well.
ESPN Article by Jerry Crasnick
Could Cuban Slugger Soon Cash In?
Nice Stroke to RF
FB IN – Loud HR CF 1:10 min into video
Hanging CB – HR CF – 2011 I Think – His 35th
Hanging Curve – Grand Slam – Big Power
Interesting interview & Rocket HR – elimination in WBC – @ 50 seconds –
HR LF 2012 – Impressive swing on inside pitch
At our recent tryout, I spoke to all of our Baseball Pros Academy players regarding their conditioning. Javair Gillett, the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Detroit Tigers organization, is one of the best at his craft in the game today. The video below is an off-season workout that he takes Justin Verlander through. Notice the the type of exercises that Justin does and how he does them. Notice his work ethic, and his drive & determination to get stronger, he pushes himself. This a great video for a couple reasons. It shows you what exercises an elite type athlete uses to get himself in shape, and it shows you the intensity in which he works. Enjoy.
This is a quick video with some quality hitting instruction from Kevin Long, the Hitting Coach for the New York Yankees. For many of you who have been to Baseball Pros Academy’s Hitting Schools, you can attest that the things Coach Long talks about in this video are very similar if not the same as we do in our Camps. Good to know that Baseball Pros Academy’s Hitters are being taught like the New York Yankees.
How are you swinging the bat lately? Do you find yourself lunging after the ball? Jumping? Staying balanced and under control at the plate is a big key in becoming a good hitter. A lot of hitters like to work on their swings. Many times feeling that their swing is messed up or needs to be fixed in some way. I was guilty of this as a player. Over time, I have realized that balance, body control & timing have more to do with being a good hitter than having a perfect swing. If I had to go back and change the anything about how I approached hitting as a player, I would have concentrated on mastering my balance throughout my swing. I wasted a lot of time trying to fix something that wasn’t broken. Good hitters have good swings. … Read More »
First of all, let me say, that in no way do I condone the use of performance enhancing drugs in the game of baseball at any level. I support the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the efforts to rid the game of these dangerous drugs that have put a permanent stain on the game of baseball forever.
Due to recent events in our game, I was interviewed for a story written in the local paper regarding steroid use in baseball. I have included a couple of quotes from the article in an effort to explain my sentiments from my perspective.
“I don’t harbor any resentment against [the suspended players] at all,” Barkett told the Times-Union before Monday’s home game against the Tennessee Smokies. “I tried [steroids] myself. I did the same thing. When I played in that [steroid] era, everybody … Read More »
There is much talked about and debated about how the baseball swing works. The first, most important step of hitting is getting into a good launching position. After the hitter has reached his launching position on time, the next step of the hitting sequence is crucial. If a hitter is in a good position, the next step is his move to the ball which will dictate his swing path and contact point. The following video is a teaching from a Baseball Pros Academy Hitting School where the proper swing path is taught. Enjoy.
Excellent Major League Instruction. Make sure you take the time to watch this. Ron Wotus, Giants Bench Coach, Al Leiter ESPN Analyst, former Major League Pitcher, Nomar Garciaparra for Big League Short Stop, Kevin Long – New York Yankee’s Hitting Coach and more. Really good stuff!!!
Andy Barkett, Manager Jacksoville Suns
This is one of the most fundamentally sound “move to the ball” that you will find. Notice the stride separation and aggressiveness in approach. Body control as his hands to all the work while the body completes the move through the ball. Text Book.
Andy Barkett, Manager Jacksonville Suns
Below is a swing analysis of Marlins’ RF Giancarlo Stanton from spring training of 2013. Not only is he a physical speciman, his swing mechanics and move to the ball are quite crisp as well. This was a “just missed” flyball to CF. Notice his balance, body control, stride separation and path to the ball. I wish my “just misses” were like his! We aren’t all built like Giancarlo however the move to ball can be emulated. What do you see in this swing from Giancarlo Stanton that stands out to you? Is it possible to teach a young hitter to make a similar move? Let me know your thoughts in comment section below. Enjoy.
Who better to learn some 1st Base tips from, then L.A. Dodgers Manager, Don Mattingly? Enjoy.
The following are slow-mo clips from the 2011 Home Run Derby. Great examples of terms used in our BPA Hitting Schools like “Stride Separation” & “Block and Drive” and a “Line Drive Hitting Head”. Really good stuff.
The other night at BPA Hitting School, we introduced the players to the Flamingo Drill. In the clip it is refereed to the “Beege Flamingo Drill.” Greg Biagini was a manager of mine in 1998-1999 in Oklahoma City. He understood the swing very well and gave me a great understanding about how to execute the move to the ball consistently. Beege passed away of cancer in September of 2003. His son Tanner (who I used to throw in the trash cans at the ballpark when he was my son’s age) is now a volunteer assistant at the University of Richmond.
I had the privilege of speaking at Greg’s Funeral in 2003. He believed in my game and helped me improve. As a player, you don’t forget those people who make … Read More »
Ariel Mercedes is energetic catching instructor who has a lot of passion for teaching the position. His students work hard and improve. Here is an example of him working with his guys on blocking balls. Enjoy.
At our recent BPA Elite Training, players field ground balls and deliver throws with their eyes closed! Body positioning and footwork determine the direction of the infielder’s throw. Enjoy this teaching on “funneling” and “replacing your feet”
Some Interesting Recruting Tips from one of the Top Baseball Programs in the Country…..
Houston Astros (& BPA) Hitting Coach, Joel Chimelis gives our hitters an important lesson on “Staying on the Ball.” Good Stuff.
A couple of quick catching tips from former Major Leaguer Matt Walbeck….
From a batting practice session in 2005 in Oklahoma City, Albert Pujols puts on a display as far as perfect swing mechanics go. Tremendous balance, hands and explosion through the zone. It is not an accident that he is one of the best hitters of all time. Hope this helps you understand how the major league swing works.