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The Swing of Evan Longoria

April 26, 2009 BY ALEX EISENBERG One Comment

A reader asked me to look at the swing of Evan Longoria a while back. You really can’t find much not to like. He has what you look for in an elite player: a blend of bat speed and quickness, terrific hand-eye coordination, pitch recognition…you name it.

Everything stays closed — his hips and his shoulders specifically — until the very last second before unloading on the ball, something you can see in the clip below. He lets the ball travel deep into his hitting zone and he finishes with force, swinging through the ball and not cutting his swing short. I pause the clip at the frame where he first decides to commit to the pitch. Note how deep the ball has traveled before he commits to swinging. When you wait as late as he does, you get a better idea of the pitch type and location.

evan-longoria
*Credit to MLB Advanced Media

Below you get a clip that exemplifies the kind of wrist strength Longoria possesses. As as he turns his hips and hands together, watch how the back elbow is connected with the hips throughout the swing — as the hips turn, so do the hands. He doesn’t allow the hands to get out in front. Once the hips are fully rotated, the back arm stops turning, staying connected to the hips and his wrists take over. I slow it down during the sequence where this occurs. The wrists whip the bat through the hitting zone before reaching the point of contact. At the exact point of contact, the arms fully extend. That’s what power hitters do — they fully extend at contact rather than before, which is a trait you see in many contact oriented hitters.

evan-longoria-side
*Credit to MLB Advanced Media

Longoria adeptly adjusts to breaking balls in mid-air and has a unique ability to hit balls out of the park even when he gets fooled, takes an awkward swing, or doesn’t get all of the ball at contact. Below we see Longoria adjusting to a breaking ball in mid-air and still managing to hit the ball out of the park.

evan-longoria-adjustment
*Credit to MLB Advanced Media

Longoria’s loading process is a bit long, but it’s a necessary trade-off for the kind of power he’s able to generate. He’s an aggressive hitter, but there are times his aggressiveness will hurt him as he has a tendency to chase pitches out of the zone, which is something that should get better with experience.

So yeah…Longoria is really, really good. Combined with talented young core surrounding him, the Rays should be able to boast one of the game’s best offenses for years to come.

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  • One Comment »

    • Topics about Baseball | Breaking Down the Swing of Evan Longoria… said:

      [...] Alex Eisenberg created an interesting post today on Breaking Down the Swing of Evan Longoria…Here’s a short outlineBelow is clip that exemplifies the kind of wrist strength Evan Longoria possesses. As Longoria turns his hips and hands together, watch how… [...]