ICYMI: Dave Hudgens talks to MetsBlog about hitting philosophy

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The goal isn’t to draw walks, Dave Hudgens explained to me about the team’s hitting philosophy. The goal is to have a good strike zone, which will help generate more power.

“We want hitters to look for their strength, especially early in the count, from the first pitch to the fifth pitch, to the sixth pitch, when we’re in hitters counts we want to be aggressive on our pitch,” he said. “I mean, obviously, I’d rather see a double in the gap with two guys on than a walk. But, there’s sometimes during the game, David Wright‘s not going to get his pitch. I would rather him take the walk as opposed to swing at a marginal pitch and hit into a double play.”

The idea, according to Hudgens, is that power will come naturally when focused and swinging at the right pitch in the zone. In other words, while a high OBP and walks are a nice by-product of being a more disciplined hitter, the goal is more power on better pitches.

“Obviously, that’s easier said than done,” Hudgens explained.


To hear more from Hudgens on how he works with hitters, young and old, to have better pitch selection, listen to this MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Verizon:

Listen in separate window | Subscribe with iTunes | RSS

33 comments
flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Yup, he's done a bang up job so far.  Just look at Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.

cver
cver

I'm sure he's a nice guy and most of what he says sounds good on paper, but what doesn't look good on paper is the Mets offensive stats since he's been in charge, so he probably has some other papers that implicate someone high up to keep this job, just as Collins has incriminating photos.

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

"We want hitters to look for their strength" How much strength does Chris Young have? Is he going to look for pitches that made him a .200 hitter? Bailey is right...he can't coach.

BAILEY
BAILEY

HUDGANS THE HITTING COACH IS A LAUGH. HE REALLY DID A GOOD JOB LAST YEAR.

I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF HE WAS EVER IN MAJORS? ALL I KNOW IS HE WHO CAN'T HIT COACHS.


Ron Davis
Ron Davis

About time he decided to work. no more free rides.

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

you can't have a hitting philosophy with out professional hitters. Duda, Davis and Tejada do not apply as professional hitters.

Robert Hess
Robert Hess

Isn't this exactly the opposite of what the Mets were doing in past years:  taking strikes down the middle of the plate, getting behind on counts, and then swinging at third strikes out of the zone?

Edmahn
Edmahn

Get lots of hits and walks. Don't strike out too much. Don't hit into double plays. Have I missed anything? That'll be $500,000. Thank you.

rico
rico

Does Hudgy mention his thoughts on Valley Fever and it's effects on tall lefties?

cj1786
cj1786

Why is this a story?  Why does this need to be explained to people?  This is common sense hitting philosophy. 

ElVPresidente
ElVPresidente

I agree that a lot of good hitters use Hudgens' philosophy. But I believe his mistake is trying to impose it on mediocre players. It turns them into passive basket cases.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

It's old school versus new school of thought. Years ago the attitude was aggressive. The approach that was primarily taught was to go up looking first pitch fastball and trying to drive the ball. With the advent of sabermetrics and pitch count limitations, the attitude of taking pitches to work pitchers pitch counts to get into the bullpens earlier. Hojo taught being aggressive and look to do damage whenever you could in a count. But it all comes down to pitch recognition. Just different philosphies

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

This is navel gazing.  Hitters hit.  Guys who can't hit, won't.  Get some hitters or sell the team.

rico
rico

I like when Keith Hernandez says, " sometimes you have to stop overthinking and go back to SEE THE BALL, HIT THE BALL".

sylow59
sylow59

"The idea, according to Hudgens, is that power will come naturally when focused and swinging at the right pitch in the zone. In other words, while a high OBP and walks are a nice by-product of being a more disciplined hitter, the goal is more power on better pitches."

Same philosophy as the Cards.  Let's see how the rank and file morph this into anti-Met venom (thus proving they are true Met fans).

Keith Allen-Verdi
Keith Allen-Verdi

Worst hitting coach..Name me one player that has exceeded his talent in the last few years,.I can name you many players that have become worst hitters..but he still has a job

Poop-a-doodle-doo!
Poop-a-doodle-doo!

They are giving Ike 100+ at bats in Spring training so that by season's start, he should be in mid-season form. Kudos to the Mets brass for doing this.

zoddie
zoddie

@Ed Renner  Enough strength that he was an all-star a few years ago.  He could look for pitches that will make him a .240 hitter with lot of walks and 20 HRs.

Gland1
Gland1

@Gland  Since we apparently suddenly share a username, I wanted to introduce myself.

rico
rico

Hojo could punish any fastball, but the curve reduced him to jelly.

Poop-a-doodle-doo!
Poop-a-doodle-doo!

@Macacawitz What do you think the chances of Davis, Duda, and Tejada having good hitting seasons this year are?  Hopefully with the reconditioning camp that Duda and Tejada have gone to, and with Davis getting 100+ at-bats in the spring, they will all gel.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

Reyes definitely benefited from Hudgen's approach. Jose gave him a lot of credit for helping him win a batting title with us.

That said, I don't think Hudgens has helped too many others. Duda, in particular, is way to patient at the plate. He looks at way too many drivable pitches, especially with runners on base.

Poop-a-doodle-doo!
Poop-a-doodle-doo!

@Keith Allen-Verdi Ok, start naming players that have become worst hitters, maybe some have stayed the same, but have not gotten worse.

Frank Garza
Frank Garza

@Gland

Or they can release/trade him with a clear conscious.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@kenmetskni  Duda makes me nuts taking first pitch fastballs right down the plate! And then ends up in the hole and having to swing at a breaking ball behind in the count