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March 14, 2008 | By Alex Eisenberg

Matt Kemp's Tremendous Bat Speed...

Dodger's right fielder Matt Kemp is among the premier young players in the game and just oozes talent and potential.

I want to highlight one thing Matt Kemp does exceptionally well. Kemp does what is called letting the ball travel deep into his hitting zone. He waits until the last possible moment to commit to a pitch. The benefits?

1. Making sure you get the pitch you want

Letting the ball travel deep into your zone gives you a split second longer to determine Wthe pitch's spin/break, pitch type, and its trajectory.

2. Bat Speed

Bat speed is more of a product of letting the ball travel deep. Lets say two hitters make contact at the same time; batter A swings a split second earlier while batter B waits just a bit longer. It should be assumed that batter B has the better bat speed because his bat travels the same amount of distance in less time.

Better bat speed = more force applied to the ball = better power.

Below is an example of Matt Kemp letting the ball travel deep into his zone. Kemp hits this pitch for an opposite field home run and the animation displays just how deep Kemp lets the ball travel.

Matt Kemp video analysis

See how Kemp's hands remain close to his body? He doesn't try to get extension by getting his hands out in front. He keeps his hands close to his body and you see Kemp's hips and hands rotate together on a firm front leg.

Also note where Kemp is standing relative to home plate. He stands toward the back end of the batter's box, allowing him to see the pitch for an even longer period of time.

The talent Kemp has is undeniable. If he learns the mental aspects of the game instead of relying solely on talent and improves his plate discipline just a little, he can be a top-10 player in this league.


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