Welcome to John Mallee's Major League Batting
John Mallee DVD's Teaching Hitting Drills & Teaching the Professional Swing
The science behind hitting
Hitting a Major league fastball is quite possibly the single most difficult skill to execute in all of sports. In fact it is so difficult, that succeeding just 3 out of 10 times is considered to be excellent.
To put things into perspective, a blink of an eye takes 400 milliseconds. A 95 MPH fastball reaches home plate in 395 milliseconds. The batter must start his swing with the ball still 25ft. from the plate or it will be too late. In the last 15ft., the brain and eye cannot work together fast enough, making the ball invisible to the hitter. The moment of contact when a bat strikes a ball lasts just 1/1,000th of a second. The diameter of the baseball and the bat are both a little less than 3 inches.
Short term results or long term benefits
Each year, parents and amateur players will spend approximately $100.00 to $300.00 on a new bat. The science and advances in technology behind the composition and design of bats have come a long way to enhance to the “sweet spot” and increase the hitter’s performance. Even a hitter with serious flaws in his or her mechanics can be fairly successful with some of these bats.
Unfortunately, this success only reinforces poor mechanics and through repetition burns it in to muscle memory making it more difficult to correct later. As the player advances to higher levels of the game, faster and more effective pitching will expose flawed swing mechanics and the player will most likely have a more difficult time making solid contact. That is why it is so important for players, especially younger players to learn and practice proper mechanics.
It is truly more important to invest in developing a better swing, a skill that you can build upon year after year, than a bat that will be tossed out after one or two seasons of use.
Experience is the difference
The foundation of a successful hitter is built on good swing mechanics. With 18 years as a professional coach (Astros, Brewers, Blue Jays, Expos, and Marlins), I have spent thousands of hours reviewing the swings of Minor and Major League players to help them develop and refine their mechanics. Regardless of their hitting style, I have discovered through slow motion video analysis that all successful hitters follow what I call “the 6 Absolutes”.
I have put together what I feel is the most effective and comprehensive collection of hitting drills and hitting instruction available on DVD. In the Big Leagues, success at the plate can make or break multi-million dollar careers. The hitting drills on my DVD’s are what I use and teach Major league hitters.
Whether you are a parent, player, or coach, my DVD's will provide you with the drills necessary to develop proper hitting mechanics and gain a better understanding of what is really behind the Major League swing.
John Mallee Interview with Julia Morales CSN Houston
John Mallee Major League Batting Clinic Video
John Mallee and Mike Giancarlo Stanton
March 11th, 2011 - Mike Stanton's creative power has no limits Jupiter, Fla. - Light shone through the open door, creating a blinding glare as Mike Stanton took one swing after another in an indoor batting cage. He asked the coach tossing pitches to move over slightly - in the direction of the door. "He wanted the light in his eyes," said John Mallee, the Florida Marlins' batting coach and co-architect of Stanton's potent stroke. Read more...
John Mallee Interview "77 hits in 7 games for the Astros"
John Mallee leaves his mark at Boston inside Green Monster scoreboard
Change in swing has Astros' Altuve chasing career year Jose Altuve has become one of the league's top hitters after altering his swing mechanics during spring training.
"So even if it's a pitch that's a strike, if it's not something he can drive, being able to take it," Mallee said. "We identified where his strengths were within the strike zone, and then we did a lot of drills on working on just attacking that and taking (and not swinging at) everything else that's in the strike zone. Truly, that's what selective aggressive hitting is."
"His left foot would stride to his toe early, and he would be down real early. And when the pitch came, he had to restart," Mallee said. "Now he just stays in motion, and he lets his eyes tell him when to put his foot down. His timing has been better, and when he's off time, he's in more of a powerful position.
"Instead of just getting little chink hits, he's hitting the ball harder when he's off time. Now, he does a nice little knee tuck and he stays in motion, so his swing is constantly in rhythm."
Carter, formerly of A's, contends for major league home run title The Sacramento Bee September 5, 2014
On June 30, Carter was batting .184 and out of the Astros’ lineup for a second consecutive game after striking out four times against the Detroit Tigers on June 28. But in a span of 53 games beginning July 1 and entering Friday, he had hit .286 while leading the majors in home runs (22), slugging percentage (.613) and RBIs (52).
The soft-spoken Carter gave a characteristic answer when asked why his power numbers are flourishing now.
“I think it’s just all the work I’ve done in the cage with hitting coach John Mallee,” he said, “just shortening my swing and being more direct to the ball. … It’s been just little things.” Read more...
Houston's Carter quietly contending for HR title
By KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer Houston (AP) |September 2, 2014
When strangers approach Chris Carter, he's ready for the question. His reply is usually something like: ''No, I don't play for the Houston Texans.''
Carter is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound designated hitter for the Astros. He is tied for third in the majors with 33 homers, moving past his early season struggles to become a prime candidate for one of the most anonymous home run titles in years.
Aside from Jose Altuve, who leads the majors with 193 hits, Carter has put together the best season of any Astro. Most of the team toils in relative obscurity after years of losing, but Carter is little known even by Houston standards.
'It's nice to be recognized as something more than somebody who just strikes out a bunch and might hit a few homers,'' he said. ''It's just nice to have a feeling where people are like: `This guy can actually hit,' now instead of just being a one-dimensional kind of player.''
He credits his improvement to changes made after being benched for three games in late May. He was asked about what changed so often that he would roll his eyes when queried about it again and again as his season took off. The easy answer is that he worked with hitting coach John Mallee to shorten his swing. A more complex explanation is that now every swing he takes means something. ''Before I was just swinging to be swinging just because this is what we're doing and we're in BP,'' he said. ''Just taking swings. There wasn't really a real purpose or focus on it. So now I'm emphasizing more focus on what I'm doing.'' Read more...
Baseball's Misunderstood Teachers
By Alyson Footer | August 29, 2014
Expertise comes in many forms. In Houston, hitting coach John Mallee garners high praise from his players, many of whom have improved offensively from one year to the next while working to carve out a place on a rebuilding Astros club. Mallee has exactly zero years of Major League experience. He played in two Minor League seasons, getting as high as Class A in 1992. He had 327 professional at-bats and hit .208.
He's been coaching since 1996, working his way up through the minors before landing his first big league gig with the Marlins in 2010. Now in his second season as the Astros' hitting coach, Mallee's lack of big league experience doesn't come up in conversation.
In fact, there's an argument to be made that having not played in the big leagues may have helped Mallee in his coaching endeavors.
"A lot of players like myself who weren't very good minor league players, we tried to figure out why we weren't very good and wanted to learn the mechanics and learn the approaches and that type of thing," Mallee says. "We had to study it a lot more. A lot of times those guys naturally knew what worked for them. For us, it didn't naturally work and we had to figure out why and how we're going to teach them."
Having not actually done it himself matters little. Mallee, apparently, just gets it.
"I don't think being a good hitter necessarily correlates to being a good hitting coach," says Astros catcher Jason Castro. "That's not to say that wouldn't be the case. But I know that working with Mallee, he has such a deep understanding of how to hit, from a philosophical and physical standpoint. He gets when I'm trying to explain something to him -- how something feels, what I'm trying to do -- he immediately knows what I'm talking about." Read more...
Altuve credits Mallee for breakthroughs at plate By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com | 7/10/2014 1:19 A.M. ET
ARLINGTON -- If Jose Altuve had his way, he'd be taking Astros hitting coach John Mallee to the All-Star Game with him. "He's one of the best hitting coaches I've ever worked with," he said.
Altuve, who will represent the Astros when he suits up for the American League in next week's All-Star Game, credits Mallee for helping him blossom into one of the best hitters in the game this year. He entered Wednesday leading the American League in batting average (.341) and stolen bases (41) and pacing the Majors in hits (126) and multi-hit games (39).
"Man, I think he's the one who's having a good season for me," Altuve said. "We are working together and early this year we talked about doing some changes about mechanics, and obviously it's helped me a lot. He's a guy that should be in the All-Star Game for me."
Mallee and assistant hitting coach Ralph Dickenson worked with Altuve this year to be more selective at the plate and mechanically try to change his stride so he stays in motion throughout the entire swing.
"We basically got rid of the early stride and stayed in motion, so now when he recognizes pitches, he recognizes it during his stride as opposed to when his foot is on the ground," Mallee said. "His stride timing became better and his overall timing became better, and that's why he's hitting more pitches than he was in the past. He's hitting the ball hard, too, because he's staying in motion."
Altuve is so appreciative of what Mallee has done for him that he gave him the bat he used to get his 500th career hit earlier this year.
"That's something that means a lot to be able to hit 500 in the big leagues," Altuve said. "He's the guy that's been helping me do this. He's a tremendous hitting coach, and I want to keep working with him in all the years coming up. I gave him the bat to tell him, 'I'm glad we're working together.'"
Mallee takes pride in how well Altuve has done.
"We care so much about all of our guys, me and Ralph," he said. "For a player of his caliber, or any of our guys, to give us credit is nice. At the end of the day, they're the ones in the box, they're the ones hitting. We do the best we can to prepare them and give them the information on how the swing works and also the best approach against that day's pitcher."
July 7th, 2014 - Altuve sets new Astros hits record July 7, 2014
Jose Altuve added another accomplishment to his incredible 2014 season. The Astros' second baseman now has the club mark for most hits before the All-Star break.
The previous record was 123 hits by Bob Watson in 1973. With two hits on Monday night, Altuve now has 124 hits, a total which leads all of baseball. Of course, this goes along with Altuve's league-leading .338 batting average and league-leading 39 stolen bases. Altuve was unaware of the record as he surpassed Watson.
"Not too much," Altuve said. "Because we were really focused on winning this game. We played a really good game. And we win. Everybody (got) a hit. And when I got to first base, my coach told me, 'You did something.' And I was like, 'OK, let's win the game. We'll talk about that later.'
"I think the key has been the coaching staff and especially my hitting coach (John Mallee)," Altuve added. "I have to give all the credit to him. He's been working with me day by day and giving me some advice. I really appreciate that."
Altuve will represent the Astros at this year's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. He was selected for the game on Sunday evening.
"Obviously, he's had a great first half to the season," Bo Porter said. "I think that he obviously wanted to get it out of the way. But for it to happen and we're sitting there, we're just so excited for him. He's worked his tail off and to be able to have the success in which he's having, it makes you really just proud for a person. He's a great teammate, great player, and (it's) well deserved."
June 17th, 2014 - Fowler's selective tunnel vision paying off for Astros:Lost amongst Springleton mania and King Keuchel's ascension might be the center fielder. Dexter Fowler can become a free agent after next season, so just how long he'll be around is up in the air. If he keeps playing this way, he'll earn himself quite a haul, possibly too great a haul for the small-market-acting Astros to keep around. But that's a story line to watch more in 2015, not this year. Mallee, an unheralded addition to the Astros who can impart a world of information on anyone in just a few minutes, dove into the types of learning.
February 17th, 2014 - Astros target hitters' unprecedented K ration: KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The two pitching machines cost the Astros roughly $8,000 each this winter, and they don't spit out gold baseballs. The Astros set the major league record for strikeouts last season with 1,535. Playoff clubs are included in that, so even teams that have played deep into October have never fanned so much. The Astros missed on 27 percent of their swings — 2,939 swings that did not connect in all. Those are also MLB records, per STATS Inc. Read more...
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