We do not have a lot of MLB sized athletes on our roster, yet we lead the country in home runs. I remember DVH responding when a commentator asked about the power up and down our lineup, that there were specific exercises that Nate Thompson had developed to enhance strength in all his players. Robert Moore is not a big guy by any means. Did he have significant home run power in high school before he came to Arkansas? He is now one of the top home run producers for us despite his relatively small stature. The Ooompa-Loompa chant from the South Carolina students to which he responded with two home runs is the perfect example. Do you think this cutting edge development of players might be one of the reasons that Moore’s Dad was glad to send his son to the Hogs? He should know about development of athletes being the General Manager for the KC-Royal’s organization. Then there is Kevin Kopps transformation from a journeyman pitcher to the top pitcher in the SEC and maybe the nation. Hobbs has to get a lot of credit for this. DVH has assembled some great assistants and has furnished them with “state of the art” tools and the new Development Center opening in a few weeks is going to take it all to another level. Not a bad time to be an Arkansas Razorback Baseball Fan. JMVHO
Dave was talking about hitting drills that groove the ability to hit the bottom of the ball and back spin the ball that leads to home run. Not strength.
Nate Thompson’s teams have always hit home runs. He had prolific home run hitters at Missouri State.
Blaine Kinsley is the strength coach. He believes in leg strength. He was hired from the Cardinals minor league club in Springfield.
Great questions and observations, Hogmodo. We are not a physically imposing team, at all. Most SEC teams have better looking athletes, but they just don’t play as well as our guys.
We certainly don’t have the look of a power hitting team, but the results are there. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks and many other guys didn’t look like sluggers, but they were. There aren’t many guys that look and play like Mike Trout.
How about Benintendi and Martin? They were small in stature and hit bombs in college.
Benintendi had that great lefty stroke…a mini-version of Ken Griffey, Jr. Griffey had the best swing I have ever seen…graceful and powerful with that natural uppercut.
Clay, where is Casey Martin playing and how is he doing in his quest to get to the majors?
As Ernie Banks once said, “home run power is all in the wrists”. If you get the timing of the “wrists break” exact, you can hit the ball a long way.
Casey has yet to play his first minor league game because of the pandemic. The 2021 minor league season is scheduled to begin Tuesday. He’s currently assigned to the Phillies rookie league team in Florida.
In my younger days I was fairly long off the tee. I attributed this to leg strength. I could outdo all my workout buddies on the leg weights and they killed me on upper body.
Is leg strength important in driving length? I’ve always assumed that it’s important.
Ground force is the new term in golf. It’s also leg strength in nature.
Look at a small guy like Justin Thomas…he weighs maybe 155 pounds with a slender build and very little muscle. He does have great width to his swing. He is similar to, but smaller than, Bubba Watson. They have similar swings…very upright with extremely high hands at the top of the backswing. Each of them have a big swing radius or arc…centrifugal force is at work here. This is where Bubba and Justin get their power…a huge arc. Thomas has to work at it a little harder because Bubba is 6-2 or 6-3 where Thomas is 5-10 or so. Each of them uses their swing width and length to great advantage.
Jack Nicklaus had a similar swing arc to Bubba and Justin, except he had tree trunk legs and was very strong. He could pound a golf ball 325 yards as a young man using a balata ball and the tiny wooden driver. I would have loved to have seen Jack hit the modern driver and ball back in his day. I think he would be longer than Bryson DeChambeau.