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Where is the hitter not on time?

May 28, 2024

New Podcast with Mike Brumely. 

Mike has been coaching professional baseball for over 35 years.

Most recently, he was the hitting coordinator for the Atlanta Braves.


  • Game Planning
  • Developing a Hitting Philosophy
  • Understanding Pitcher Tendencies
  • Contrarian Views on Hitting Mechanics






We’ve all heard it before

“You’re late” 

“You’re early” 

“You're not on time” 

But what does that mean? 

And more importantly, where? 

Where is the hitter late?

Where are they early?

Which phase of the swing:

  • Gather?
  • Forward move?
  • Launch position? 
  • Contact?  

It’s easy to see if the hitter is late or early, but we must get more specific and talk about when and where. 

And the most important part, how…

How do we get them to be on time more consistently?

Let’s dive in. 


It’s normal to look at the result and forget to rewind the clock to see what happened at the beginning. 

So, if you have a hitter with timing issues, look at what they’re doing before the pitcher has even picked up his front foot. 

Do they look like statues, or do they have some rhythm? 

Every hitter will look slightly different, but this time is their time. 

I think some hitters take this pre-pitch time for granted. 

They need to understand their movement to utilize this free time in the box. 

Above is a great example: 

When a hitter is late, one of the first things I look at is where their front leg and release point are. 

Is it still coming up? 

Or is it on its way back down? 

It must be on its way back down as the pitcher releases the ball. 

You can see above Soler is at the highest point in his load before the pitcher releases the ball. 

This also works for hitters with a small gather; it’s the same concept. 

Check out Freddie Freeman below.

Freddie picks up his front foot and strides toward the pitcher with no big movement. But that front leg still comes down as the pitcher releases the ball. 

Lastly, barrel turn. 

Sometimes, a hitter gets their front foot down on time but is still late. 

They don’t turn their barrel in time. 

At this point in the swing (see picture above), it’s a good way to check if the hitter's front foot is down in time. 

The ball is ā…” of its way to home plate. 

If the hitter gets to this position on time and is still late, it’s probably because they didn't turn their barrel in time.

Okay, all of those are great, but let’s be honest, that’s the easy part. 

The hard part is how.

How do you get hitters to make any of those changes and increase their chances of being on time? 

  • Visuals 
  • Exaggerations 
  • How do you want to fail? 
  • Drills 


I’ve shared several visuals above, but here is a visual to help a hitter see their timing window. 

I saw Michael Earley show this at the ABCA and liked the visual. 


I think some hitters need to exaggerate more than they realize. 

If they’re very early, they might need to think:

“Get jammed” 

“Take a 50% swing”

If they’re late: 

“Pull a home run” 

“Do damage” 

How do you want to fail?

You will fail as a hitter, but how do you want to do it? 

Do you want to fail being: 

  • Scarred 
  • Fearful 
  • Anxious 

Or do you want to fail:

  • Aggressive 
  • Prepared 
  • Present 

One way leads to improvement, the other leads to constant frustration


This drill isn’t sexy, but I’ve seen it work more than any other gimmicky drill. 

In batting practice off the machine:

  • Have the hitter spread their feet out
  • Tell them not to worry about their lower half
  • Instruct them to take a 50% swing. 

Watch what happens. 

They will be on time. 

Now, gradually start implementing their movement back into it. |

Less is more.