Saturday, May 17, 2014

Switch Hitting News Articles


Why are Switch Hitters Rare?
Find out what coaches say about the decline in switch hitters >>


Batting average of a switch hitter

What is the highest batting average of a switch hitter in professional baseball?
Find the answer here >>


Ro Coleman - switch hitter, Vanderbilt


Plenty of switch-hitters still getting the job done
By Doug Miller / MLB.com June 23, 2014
There's a common thought going around baseball that switch-hitting is a bit of a lost art. Granted, there's no Mickey Mantle or Pete Rose or even a Ripper Collins out there in today's game, but there are plenty of players still getting it done from both sides of the plate.
Read more


Why has Right-Handed Power Become so Rare?
by Dave Cameron | FOX Sports, Dec 3, 2014
Right-handed power. It's the buzzword -- or perhaps the buzzphrase -- of the offseason. Every day, we wake up to news of another team throwing big money at a free agent because he has some history of strong offensive performances and he bats from the right side of the plate. Read more


Switch Hitting: Actually Worth It?
by Andrew Bryzgornia | TwikieTown, May 23, 2014
In lieu of Aaron Hicks giving up switch hitting, I look to see if his switch hitting peers show that it's really worth sticking with batting from both sides of the plate.  Read more


ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SWITCH-HITTING SPECIES

by Alex Speier | Baseball ProGUESTus  May 17, 2013
Evolution resulted in handedness rather than widespread ambidexterity because it is efficient. The brain trains one hand or one side of the body to execute a task and execute it well.
Repeating that process for the other hand? In many tasks, that would represent a waste.
“Once you start getting into tasks that can be done discreetly by one hand or the other, it makes sense to focus on the one hand and train your brain to interact with your arm in one specific manner. It just simplifies and increases the efficiency of doing that task,” said Dr. Neil Roach, a biological anthropologist at George Washington University. “If you just think about throwing, you have essentially the same arm controlled by the same brain on both sides. But your ability to throw incredibly quickly and do other things such as swing a bat with the same precision is really affected by your muscle memory.

Pennington is Baylor's lone switch-hitting pupil

By Nathan Humphreys, MLD.com, March 22, 2013
Much like throwing a screwball or eating sunflower seeds without using your hands, switch-hitting is one of the more arcane skills in baseball. A dark art that counts alliterated mystics Frankie Frisch and Mickey Mantle among its masters.
Switch-hitting is an art form in today's game. Only about 8 percent of players currently on Major League Spring Training rosters are switch-hitters.
For those few who do hit from both sides of the plate, there are two key advantages. It minimizes the effectiveness of same-handed pitching matchups and it helps limit the effectiveness of nasty breaking balls. But it only works if everything is in sync. The difficulty of dialing in two different swings is one reason why the D-back's only switch-hitter, shortstop Cliff Pennington, describes switch-hitting as both a blessing and a curse.

Switch hitters becoming rare in H.S. baseball

By Kyle Odegard Special to AFN, April 6, 2013

Maybe it’s inaccurate to say Riley Unroe was born to be a switch-hitter, but the evidence was pretty clear by age 2.
There are videos of the Desert Ridge senior shortstop all those years back in the family basement, swinging his miniature bat both left- and right-handed.
Unroe has carried it on to present day, but is one of the rare East Valley high school baseball players who still hits from each side of the plate. According to Perfect Game, he is the only Division I-college committed senior from Arizona who is a switch-hitter.
The Mountain Pointe duo of Cole Tucker and Jake Alexander are two of the more high-profile juniors who do so, but that list is also small.
Through the first 17 games of the season Alexander was hitting .500 and Tucker was at .415.

Chipper Jones best switch-hitter of his era: 
batting higher than .300 with good power, braves slugger challenges pitchers from both sides of the plate.  

Jones, a natural right-hander, became much more than a left-handed slap hitter, one-step closer to first base. The left side is his power side, with more opposite field pop. He hits a homer every 16 at-bats left-handed, every 22 at-bats right-handed.
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Baseball's 25 Best Switch-Hitters of All Time
by Dan Tylicki, Bleacher ReportMarch 2, 2012 
In baseball, switch-hitters are a rare breed. Being able to bat from both sides of the plate makes it a lot easier for managers to put a player in a lineup, and they don't have to worry about facing left-handed or right-handed pitchers on a given day.

This select group of players makes up some of the best in the game's history, people who are known as all-time greats first and great switch-hitters second. 

MLB Notebook: Beltran in rare switch-hitting air

By Roger Schlueter June 16, 2012
In baseball's entire history through 2011, there have been 58 individual player seasons in which a switch-hitter qualified for the batting title and posted an OPS+ of at least 150. To no one's surprise, Mickey Mantle claims the most significant number of these seasons, with 11.
Lance Berkman owns the second most (six), and Chipper Jones and Eddie Murray are tied for the third most, with five apiece. After those four titans of switch-hitting, a pair of somewhat underrated ballplayers -- Ken Singleton and Reggie Smith -- check in with four and three seasons, respectively. Right behind Smith is Carlos Beltran, who posted his first 150 OPS+ season in 2006, when he had a 150 with 41 homers and 18 steals.

The Golden Age of Switch Hitters

Posted by Charles Mon, 23 Apr 2012

Looking for patterns in the handedness of hitters led to a surprising discovery. Major League Baseball (MLB) hosted a decade of high employment of switch hitters. This decade coincided with a decade-long low period in the employment of right-handed hitters. Since 1948, when our data starts, about 30 percent of full time MLB players hit exclusively left handed. This fluctuates year to year insignificantly.The remaining 70 percent has fluctuated a great deal between switch hitters and right-handed hitters.
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Summer Instruction Series: Switch Hitting

By Lou Pavlovich, Jr, Editor/Collegiate Baseball

Rarely has college baseball seen the likes of Mark Teixeira. The All-American third baseman for Georgia Tech is living proof that work…gut-busting work…will get you where you want in life.
Considered one of the finest switch hitters in college baseball history, he put up staggering numbers in his first two seasons with the Yellow Jackets:
• In 2000, he hit .427 with 18 home runs, 21 doubles, 80 RBI along with a slugging percentage of .772. He collected 103 hits, scored 104 runs, had an on-base percentage of .547 and was extremely disciplined at the plate with 67 walks as he was named National Player of the Year by several outlets. His 67 walks (which included 17 intentional passes) led the Atlantic Coast Conference and was only nine shy of the ACC all-time record.
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Switch Hitter - BR Bullpen
- list of the top switch hitters based on career stats
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