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Open Stance

A Baseball forum for coaches, parents and players

by EJray » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:00 am

One of my kids (sophomore) came out of summer ball with an open stance. Not spread out, but open toward 3rd base. He hit great last spring, so far this fall its not working at all. Not sure where it came from. Looking for any input for reasons why he needs to get back to his old stance, other than "Its not working".
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by TimKafer » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:53 pm

Batters that use an open stance, similar to Jay Brunner, are right eye dominant. They open up so they can see the ball with their dominant eye. Have you asked him why he is trying an open stance?
Tim Kafer
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by TimKafer » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:07 pm

This is post form the forum archive. Posted by mojo

A story I would like all to read and give comment on.

Mythical story:

Two coaches meeting at an off-season High School baseball conference had an interesting conversation. One coach mentioned to another that he had a rough time with the hitting on his team at the start. From top to bottom I have never had such a team with ridiculous batting habits; commented a proud coach. This was my best coaching ever. My team from top to bottom hit with a Paul Molitor short, compact swing, and they had the mentality and stance of Ted Williams. They could work the count with the best of them. Proud as can be that my team was one of the best hitting teams in the conference. We had a .295 average, and were right up there near the top of home runs.

They had there problems though, and were a tough nut to crack. Each boy had one or more real specific issues. Here was my lineup starting with my leadoff hitter

A kid named Rod Carew. This kid must have had 4 or 5 different stances at the plate. I never knew what I was going to see up there. He said he changed his stance depending on the type of pitcher. Tough nut to crack for me.

My two hitter was a kid named Ty Cobb. Actually held his hands nearly 6" apart from each other while he batted. He said he had more control of the bat. Won't mention the vulgar arguments we had.

My Three hitter was a kid named Stan Musial. You wouldn't believe his stance. He practically had his back to the pitcher. Looked like he was hiding the bat or something from him. Almost looked like he was playing peek A boo.

Four hitter was a big lumbering kid name Babe Ruth. His stance was ridiculous. Stood straight up at the plate with his feet nearly touching each other. When he swung he would practically lunge at the ball, then nearly fall down. He was my best work. He was third in our conference in home runs.

Fifth hitter was named Carl Yastrzemski. Held his bat extremely high. Nearly straight up. Then took a large crazy swing. Who comes up with this kind of stuff?

Six hitter was named Tony Oliva. Couldn't keep that boy from swinging at everything. I would tell him to work the count, and he would still swing at that first pitch.

Number seven hitter was a boy named Ken Griffey Junior. Long Swing. Looked like he was swinging a golf club or something up there.

Eight hitter was a Japanese boy named Ichiro Suzuki. Not sure what he learned in Japan, but he wouldn't have made it over here with that crazy unorthodox style. Reminds me a lot of my Rod Carew player.

Number nine hitter is a lad named Rickey Henderson. Crouched so low at the plate, and his feet were much too far apart. A player will never be able to hit without a nice balanced stance.
We had quite a few coaches tell us we were great. Many think they possibly all have a shot at the next level. I'm not so sure of that, but I sure made a team out of them last year.
Mickey Mantle once met Ted Williams at the All star game and had a conversation about batting. Ted asked Mickey what he did in this situation vs. that pitcher, and how he handled certain situations. He mentioned many of his tactics and asked Micky his. After this talk, Mickey figured he was going about hitting completely wrong and decided to take Ted's tactics to the plate. Mickey went on a huge 0-21 slump and realized he had to be his own type of hitter. Not all are the same, and shouldn't be.

Most coaches may feel that they could have made all of these players better with todays standard generic hitting tequnique. A few would have realized what they had, and made the most of them. The later would be coaching in the bigs.
Tim Kafer
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by TimKafer » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:40 pm

Here is an old post from FungoesRUS dated 04-09-2002 from the Archived forum

Once you start to study the skills and techniques required for sound baseball you will eventually hear something that conflicts. At our youth coaching clinic last evening we had an American Legion league hitting instructor. One of the things that I hope that somebody can verify or discount is about the position of the hitter's feet at the ready position.

Our instructor preached a "slightly pigeon toed" stance. The rear foot was squarely on the ground with the foot closed so that the toe points slightly more to the pitcher rather than being square to the pitcher and pointing directly towards home plate. The theory was based on being able to catch up with the fastball because the hips would be able to come through the pitch easier. Then at follow through the hitter would pivot on the toe with the heel in the air easier. The lead foot at the ready position was also "slightly" turned in with the heel in the air. Hence the "pigeon toed" stance.

Does anyone agree or disagree with this?

and the reply post from HL
Yes, I agree and I teach the slightly pigeon toed stance. I am most concerned with the rear foot for exactly the reason you give. Many youth hitters rear foot will be quite "open" thus preventing the hips from turning easily. I also teach my hitters that if at the completion of their swing, their rear heel is still on the ground, they are cheating themselves by not employing the strongest muscles in their bodies: their legs.

and the reply
Good Advice!

The Slightly Pigeon Toed stance will help keep the stride foot and as a result lead shoulder closed and the rear foot can pivot easier. The weight should however be distributed on the inside front of the balls of the feet.

Best Regards,

Coach Leffler

This message was edited by CoachLeffler on 4-9-02 @ 10:55 PM

pigeon-toed stance ... ed.jpg.jpg

and reply from THrop

I agree with HL and Coach Lefler. We teach “slightly pigeon toed” too. This activates the “twitch” muscles which are on the INSIDE of the legs. They enable a hitter to twist the hips faster allowing them to wait longer before they commit. The number one hitting flaw I see in younger players is that they land open during their stride and have nothing to twist against.

Be careful not to over do this. If a batter begins with his back foot turned in too far it can cause his hips to open too soon. Turning the front foot in too far without working up to it can also cause sore muscles and tendons. As with anything, moderation is key.


and a reply from Coach Lanni
Pigeon-toed stance enables more hip power in the swing. I teach it also all the up to my 18 year olds. When I find a player that hits well, I teach him this stance to add distance to his hits. I consider it an "advanced" technique. When I have hitters that are struggling, I teach them to spread their legs out ****her than their shoulders and not take a step, while keeping their feet equidistant from the plate. Taking a step delays the swing. In either case, keep the bat in the zone as long as possible.

Coach Lanni
Tim Kafer
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by JCbaseball » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:19 am

Open stances have been around for years. It gives the hitter an *initial* better look at the ball out of the Pitchers hands.

I'm not sold on all hitters being right eye dominant because both righthanded and lefthanded hitters use open stances. It is more like either hitter is "back-eye" dominant meaning that is their better eye at tracking the thrown pitch.
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