Stefen Romero Scouting Report 2 - the Stretch

In picture #2, below, Romero moves from address to load:


If you run the video again ... 2:38 on this reel ... you'll get a sense of the delightful way in which Romero subtly but decisively stretches the left foot away from the right hand.  Isn't that a Twister game or something?  Left foot red, right hand green...

I wish that more baseball players -- ahem there, Mr Saunders ca. 2011 -- realized that they don't have to JERK their front feet up and STOMP them back down into the ground.  Romero's front foot wouldn't juice a grape.  The tension is inside the skin, ligaments against bone in subtle but tense ways.

Romero has nothing like Nick Franklin's LEFT HANDED... somebody slap me >:-[  ... dynamic stretch but this neat little movement is just about the only source of leverage for Romero.  He cocks the bat -- hinges the wrists -- a bit as he applies the stretch.


A very odd thing about Romero:  if you'll look at a number of Romero vids (a fourth video is his homer on this tape) you'll see that he hinges the wrists very, very late.  As late as it is humanly possible to do.... in fact, I didn't realize that you could hinge the wrists as late as this and still get around.  Romero may have the latest wrist hinge I've seen, majors, minors, everything.

This factor goes to his wrists and forearms.  It's weird to be able to manipulate a bat as though it weighed nothing.  

One of the M's talent geniuses -- I mean this guy is a superstar of talent development -- credited Romero with great leveraging and torque.  SSI's view is diametrically opposed.  It says here that he is doing the Godzilla Stomp with virtually no leverage other than that applied below his elbows.  Which brings us to his gliding problem...




Stop and start, stop and start that video and try to catch the actual's almost impossible. Bat speed, guys.
But (and here I go back to golf) just as his lead foot glides back down and is planted he is in a fully loaded position. Most great golfers, from here and on a different plane than baseball, simply turn the shoulders on the way back, but most don't "hinge" the wrists more than they are here. Think Ernie Els.
On the way down, there will be more lag, or hinge. Romero has lag, but man is it hard to catch it. Watch Ricky Fowler to see a guy get lag.
Most guys play their punch shots, or knock downs....Tiger's stinger.....from somewhere about right about where Romero starts his swing.
You "trap" the ball from there and get great contact. There is something in golf called "Smash Factor." It is how much greater ball velocity is than club head speed, and represents how flush you hit the ball. Smash Factors above 1.44 are real good. 100 MLH swing = 144 mph golf ball, for example. Tour guys will get into the 1.48-1.50 area. It is,in a sense, a measure of efficiency.
I'll bet Romero has a great smash factor. He looks like he flushes the ball a lot.
Romero has great extension (his left arm is stretched, but relaxed) and stays in a very powerful position.
Interestingly, yesterday morning I got up early to head to an economic development meeting. Checked to see how many hits Carp had at High Desert (he tatered, btw) and saw that my U of O guy, Jack Marder had 4 more hits. Did a quick vid searchof Marder's swing and thought the one thing that stood out was his relaxed tension at the plate, too.
Planned on doing a thread about him ("You don't know Jack," of course) then got home and saw one on Marinertalk. Great minds.....
Marder will play up because of his versatility....remember McLemore, but it looks like Romero can hit ropes...and may be on a quick path.


New terms to me amigo.  Would like to hear more?  
The ball goes faster than the bat is going because of compression and rebound effect?  Pretty sure that top ML swings are 60-70 MPH, and top BIP velocities are what, 100-110...
No earthly idea what you mean by "trapping."
Love, love, LOVE hearing a low-handicap golfer analyze a baseball player's swing.  In this case, especially enjoyed your comment about the left arm being stretched and relaxed.  You notice at the unhinge stage -- 2nd-to-last photo below -- the left elbow is straight and the club :- ) is unhinging against that stable left arm.  No?
Yeah it is hilarious trying to slow down Romero's bat launch, isn't it?  


You mentioned, somewhere in these threads, the idea of hitting against his left side. Golf demands that, too.
Modern golf teachers commonly talk about "separation," the distance between your hands and your chest. How stretched are you? Stretch in golf creates a bigger arc, which generally creates greater clubhead speed. John Daly, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Freddy Couples are huge arc guys. All were bombers.
In baseball, Pete Rose was a guy who didn't get great stretch....and wasn't a power guy.
Watch some video of him and you'll see.
You've got the idea of Smash Factor right. Mostly it is used with the driver, which has a spring effect. Basically it is a number that indicates how purely you hit the ball.
You trap the ball when you hit it with a descending blow (Some lies, say with your feet below the ball and a short iron in your hands, promote a trapping effect. You usually spin the crud out of the ball with that kind of shot). On a punch shot you try to trap the ball, kind of between the club face and the ground, for a moment. You control the trajectory that way. Some guys, say a short hitting Corey Pavin, play every shot in that manner. They need to control the trajectory, often to maximize roll.
Romero appears incredibly relaxed at the plate. "Ho hum, here comes another pitch to mash," He's stretched but not tense. I don't care what sport you play, that is a desired goal. But it isn't something that you "learn," I think. It just happens. Smoak look all un-relaxed at the plate. Is that because of a season long slump and his pressing? Could be. But it might be his natural tendency.
I'm always my longest with the driver (which isn't that long) when I think "Hit it Hard," not "Hit it Long." One asks me to just compress the ball as best I can, the other says jump on it.
One is relaxed but loud. The other is tense and less loud.
Romero looks relaxed but loud.
He's a front foot hitter, like Aaron. Watch Aaron and look at how relaxed he seems at the plate.
Romero seems to have some of that. Hey, he may completely fail because he can't hit the curve or the inside heat for all I know. But it won't be because of approach.
If I'm his hitting coach, I'm leaving him alone.
"Go get 'em kid. Hit it hard somewhere."
Some guys flourish because you don't change mechanics. Saunders needed a mechanical change.
I don't think Romero does.

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