LloydChristmas wrote:My main point is that Ryan Howard could become an exponentially more effective hitter if he learned to drive more balls to the opposite field. He has the ability as a lot of his HRs are to left but other than the long ball, a solid, hips-closed, poke to left is a rarity. And this isn't something that has to come at the expense of HRs.
Obviously, I'm not a pioneer coming in here and saying that Ryan Howard should hit the ball where the defense isn't standing and strike out less, but if it's such conventional wisdom, then why isn't he showing a more demonstrated effort to do it?
Actually, very few hitters hit the ball on the ground the other way. And very few power hitters hit line drive the other way. If you want to experiment, take an object like a ping-pong paddle and swing at a ping-pong ball (using a baseball style swing). You'll find that it's really difficult to hit a solid "poke" the other way without completely altering your swing to do so. And for Ryan Howard, completely altering his swing to hit line drives the other way would take away his power, which in large part comes from really rotating his hips through the strike zone.