A New Way to Train Bat to Ball Skills

The most effective hitters on the earth constantly hit the ball on the barrel of the bat. In coaching, Driveline stresses the significance of recurrently hitting the ball laborious in opposition to game-like pitch speeds and shapes. 

Our brand-new Smash Issue Balls have unlocked new methods of coaching bat-to-ball expertise and bat path for our athletes. 

We use these balls with all athletes—MLB, school, highschool, all the best way all the way down to our 9U Academy groups.

What are Smash Issue Balls

They carry out like a hitting plyo ball®  for the pitching machine. 

Smash Issue Balls™ require exact contact and a great bat path to hit them properly. Even a slight mishit will consequence within the ball spinning off the bat.  

Made out of spongy foam, Smash Issue Balls™ weigh three ounces and have been particularly designed for Driveline Baseball. 

They’re precisely the identical diameter as a regulation baseball, are available two colours, white and grey, in a set of 12 (six of every coloration).

Why Do We Use Smash Issue Balls

Replicating sport situations is crucial for efficient coaching. 

For that cause, Driveline has at all times achieved nearly all of the hitting coaching off high-speed pitching machines and combined pitch batting observe. 

Though pitching machines are an amazing software, high-volume, game-speed coaching has some issues, principally rooted within the ache of mishitting (jammed or off the tip of the bat) a baseball at excessive speeds.

Concern of ache can throttle the hitter’s swing velocity and intent. These lower-intent swings turn into totally different from their sport swing, which defeats the entire goal of the coaching. Smash balls get rid of that concern of ache and permit the hitter to take their sport swing each time. The mishits are nonetheless apparent, however they aren’t painful and so they don’t break your bat.

Eliminating the concern of ache permits hitters to hit extra, as their arms aren’t getting sore from the vibrations of mishits. 

One benefit hitters have over pitchers is the flexibility to get extra reps. Pitchers can solely throw 50-200 high-effort throws every week, however hitters can prepare much more. Driveline hitters typically get 1000+ swings per week.  Because of Smash Issue Balls these swings are near-game efforts plus they don’t must miss coaching reps resulting from sore arms and diminished grip power.

Smash Issue Balls™ encourage hitters to push the boundaries and problem themselves extra in observe with greater speeds and nastier breaking pitches, which we all know is a good way to coach. 

Hitters are far more prepared to face excessive velo with Smash Issue Balls™ and do drills that push them out of their consolation zones.

“Smash Issue Balls are the very best new coaching software out there to hitters of all ranges, arms down. The exact contact required to hit these makes them an amazing software for growing bat to ball expertise. It’s like a hitting plyo besides you utilize them off the machine at sport speeds.

“On prime of that, it permits guys to swing with intent off the machine with out the concern/ache of getting jammed or hitting it off the tip of the bat. Our hitters love them and we hit them daily.”


Jason Ochart

Hitting Coordinator, Philadelphia Phillies

We use Smash Issue Balls™ in-gym every day as a result of they: 

  1. Enhance bat to ball expertise or Smash Issue
  2. Fly like a baseball
  3. Clear up bat path points

Enhance Bat To Ball Expertise or Smash Issue 

Pitchers now are optimizing for swing-and-miss stuff on the mound. Daily our pitching trainers are utilizing know-how to design high-whiff pitches and speaking to our athletes about throwing a better share of their nastiest offspeed pitches. 

Throughout the game, we’re seeing report excessive swing-and-miss charges in baseball. So lots of our hitters in-gym have a spotlight of enhancing their bat-to-ball expertise. 

With Smash Issue Balls™ , we’ve began to even the taking part in subject and actually prepare bat-to-ball expertise, because it turns into extra beneficial in in the present day’s sport. And we will prepare it in high-volumes in opposition to pitch shapes guys will really see in video games. 

 Utilizing Smash Issue Balls™  this final offseason, we noticed the very best bat-to-ball enhancements from our hitters we’ve ever seen.

Fly Like a Baseball 

Retain Velocity

So why can’t you seize any previous squishy ball and get the identical coaching results? 

As a result of solely Smash Issue Balls™ really fly like a baseball. They preserve baseball-like speeds and break as much as 100mph. 

We collected pitches with every ball (typical machine ball, baseball, and Smash Issue Ball™) fired from a pitching machine on 3 totally different velocity settings with spin set at 12 o’clock and 2100 RPM:

The machine was calibrated earlier than every setting adjustment to constantly fireplace middle-middle. 

And Smash Issue Balls™ constantly retain game-like speeds, regardless of their squishy building.

When the pitching machine is about on the highest setting (100mph), the opposite pitching machine balls have been topping out round 70 mph whereas Smash Issue Balls™ have been retaining baseball-like velocity. We noticed some Smash Issue Balls™ out of hand going 105mph.


This plot exhibits the distribution of plate velocity for all 3 balls in every velocity situation because it crosses the plate: 

  • Yellow – Different pitching machine balls
  • White – Baseballs
  • Grey – Smash Issue Balls™ 

It’s vital to notice that the speed studying in mph on the backside is the speed of the ball because it crosses dwelling plate, which is often 8 – 10 mph slower than the pitching machine setting.

How do these balls evaluate general? 

Plate velocity(imply & std dev):

  • Baseball: 70.2 (+- 1.11)
  • Smash: 74.7 (+- 1.26)
  • Different balls: 61.95 (+-1.02)

When in comparison with different balls, Smash Issue Balls™ retain (and achieve) velocity from the machine. 

Have Life like Break Profiles

How do Smash Issue Balls evaluate to baseballs throughout flight? 

Smash Issue Balls™ behave much like baseballs, particularly at speeds above 80mph. 

Beneath you’ll find examples of pitch location plots from exams with pitching machines set between 70-100mph.

70 mph

At decrease machine velocities, the Smash Issue Balls™  had an analogous distribution to baseballs pitch places.

Smash Factor vs. Baseball 70 mph

85 mph

Baseballs and Smash Issue Balls nonetheless behaved equally with Smash Issue Balls having some right-hand glove-side run.

100 mph

For the 100mph take a look at, we used the iPitch. Smash Issue Ball’s™ trajectories remained extraordinarily near baseballs. 

You’ll be able to dial up MLB-equivalent pitch shapes all with out hurting your arms!

Smash Factor Balls vs. Baseballs 70, 85, 100 mph
Throughout all settings Smash Issue Balls™ have been in line with baseballs:

Recreation-like velocity with no concern of ache means game-like swings at game-like intent.

Coaching to Enhance Bat Path with Smash Issue Balls™

Mix in Smash Factor Balls
To make the setting more difficult, we like to combine within the Smash Bat™ right here as properly.

Driveline hitters will usually begin with tee and/or entrance toss drill work with hitting plyo balls ® and mini hitting plyo balls ® then prepare these bat-to-ball expertise off the high-speed pitching machine utilizing the Smash Issue Balls™.

For our guys that may actually sq. it up, we do heat up drill work with Smash Issue Balls™ off of the brief machine. 

We need to hold discovering environments that problem our hitters after they’ve achieved their motion prep however earlier than they lock in to compete within the cage.

Smash Factor Drill work

The squishy, light-weight building permits hitters to give attention to transferring the bat quick with none unconscious concern of getting jammed or hitting the ball off the tip of the bat.

How you can Prepare with Smash Issue Balls™ 

Simply as hitting plyo balls® give hitters instantaneous suggestions on contact, Smash Issue Balls™ replicate this suggestions at sport speeds. 

Smash Issue Balls™  are versatile: in-season/low season; indoors/open air; pitching machine/BP/entrance toss/tee. 

Smash Issue Balls™  with a thin bat in opposition to the fastball machine is the one greatest technique to coach bat-to-ball expertise and enhance a hitter’s bat path. This requires completely excellent contact, and hitter’s love the problem of it.

We just like the Offset Rotation Drill for instance of what you possibly can design utilizing these units of instruments. We use our Axe Smash Bat on this drill to work on bat to ball expertise. This drill may be achieved in a cage, on the park, or in your yard!

Gear wanted:
1 Smash Bat

5 units of Smash Issue Balls™

1.) Begin in an offset open place

  • a.) Line drive on this place x 12
  • b.) Keep swing mechanics

2.) Change to common swing

  • a.) Line drive on this place x 12
  • b.) Keep swing mechanics

3.) Finish with offset closed place

  • a.) Line drive on this place x 12
  • b.) Keep swing mechanics

The hitter should preserve good bat path and sequencing all through the three positions and the bat/ball combo emphasizes the error in the event that they don’t make high quality contact. 

How you can Buy 

Now we have been experimenting with these for the previous 12 months. And our first spherical of balls was offered out, in non-public, to 4 MLB, 2 NCAA and 1 NPB groups inside per week. 

Now we have restricted portions out there for pre-order for fall. 

Anticipated supply to your door: September 2022 

Pre-order them right here.

By: Tanner Stokey – Director of Hitting