Hitting Mechanics for Baseball

Written by VersusMon Aug 22 2022
Hitting Mechanics for Baseball

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A lesson in the fundamentals of hitting from one of the greatest players in baseball history, Albert Pujols.

A lesson in the fundamentals of hitting from one of the greatest players in baseball history, Albert Pujols.

Hitting is widely regarded as one of the hardest things to do in baseball. Possibly even in any sport. We’ll leave it to Hall of Fame shortstop (and Versus athlete) Ozzie Smith to explain why:

“Simply because you’re hitting a round object that’s traveling at 95 to 100 miles per hour—and you’re trying to hit it on the square part of a round bat.” 

And it’s not just the speed of the ball and shape of the bat that makes it difficult. Hitters must contend with a dizzying array of breaking pitches. And they’re usually going head-to-head with a pitcher who’s spent countless hours planning exactly how to take them down.

Add to that the pressure of making the right play in clutch situations. And it’s clear why getting instruction from hitters who’ve succeeded in the big leagues is so vital for improvement.

The problem is—most players just don’t have access to mentors of this caliber. That’s where Versus comes in. Versus has partnered with some of the biggest names in baseball, to make high-level training from the best players in the world available to everyone.

Our roster includes MLB legends like Adam Wainwright, Ozzie Smith, Albert Pujols, and Fernando Tatis Jr. So, no matter what area you want to improve—we have the expert guidance in a training session sure to help you level up.

To make our exclusive video sessions available to everyone, we’re been distilling the top points of certain lessons into articles like this. We’re also offering a free trial subscription to see if Versus is for you.

In this article, we’re covering hitting mechanics for baseball, with one of the greatest players of all time—Albert “The Machine” Pujols.

Two Decades of Hitting Success

With 22 years in the MLB and still counting, Albert Pujols’ success as a hitter is something most can only dream about. He’s racked up more accolades than we can count. Just a few notable achievements include:

  • 6 x Silver Slugger Award
  • 3 x National League MVP
  • 2 x National League home run leader
  • 2 x Golden Glove Award

Additionally, Pujols is the only player in baseball history to hit 400+ home runs in his first 10 seasons. In 2020, he passed Alex Rodriguez to take the number two spot on the all-time RBI list. With a record like that, you can see why we’re so excited to have Pujols for a session on hitting mechanics. Below, we’ll explore the tips found in his exclusive Versus video session, starting with how to set a solid foundation at home plate.

Have a Strong Foundation

“The most important thing is to make sure I have a strong foundation,” Pujols says.  He suggests a level stance, with weight distributed evenly between the front and back foot.

Pujols avoids putting too much weight on his back foot, as he finds it makes him jump forward when he takes a swing.

Once he’s got his feet set, Albert brings his hands up. Picks a spot straight ahead in center field to line up with, then squares his shoulders.

Be Consistent with Hand Positioning

Pujols is very consistent with his hand positioning. He always lines his knuckles up, like this.

Albert finds this grip reduces forearm involvement in his swing, keeping the focus on his wrists. This improves power for most hitters.

Pujols acknowledges hand positioning does come down to personal preference. Whatever grip you use—just make sure it’s consistent. 

Focus on Contact Point

Once stance and hands are set, focus on the contact point (where the barrel of the bat meets the ball). Albert stresses the importance of keeping the contact point out front, not behind the plate.

You should always aim to hit the ball from the middle of the plate forward. It can help to visualize this contact point and the ball heading straight out to center or left field.

Any contact point behind the plate is going to result in the ball going the opposite direction. With some swings, that's just what happens. But the key is, always aim to keep the contact point out front.

Stay Inside the Ball

No matter what, Albert always makes sure to stay inside the ball.

This is a cue he uses consistently in hitting practice. You may recall it from a previous session on Improving Your Swing Through Soft Toss

The key to staying inside the ball—is being mindful that no matter whether your hands are up high or low—your shoulders must stay square to the ball. The goal is to avoid this rolling movement that comes from turning the wrist and shoulders.

By maintaining the strong foundation Pujols covered in his first point. Combined with keeping shoulders square to the ball. The hands and shoulders should follow straight through like you want them to.

Staying inside the ball is something no hitter always gets right, even Albert. To improve, try repeating the cue “stay inside the ball,” before each swing. 

Practice Situational Hitting

“If you look at any ball club that has won championships. I’m telling you—they’re working on situational hitting,” Albert explains.

He reminds us that over 162 games, you’re going to come across every situation the game has to offer. And your job as a hitter, “is to try to do whatever you can to get that guy from second base to third. Or from third base to home with less than one out.”

To be prepared, you must incorporate situational hitting into practice. Bunts. Hit and run. Get ‘em over. Get ‘em in. It all needs to be included in hitting practice.

Two-Strike Approach

There are a lot of opinions on two strike hitting. Unsurprisingly, after 22 years—Pujols is crystal clear on how to handle it.

“With two strikes, you need to trust yourself,” he states. To make sure he’s prepared to lay up on a high fastball, he opens up a little more and gets low.

While some might disagree—Pujols does not recommend choking up on the bat. 

“If I’m going to go down hard and strike out, I want to put my A swing,” he explains. “And I can’t put my A swing choking the bat.”

Even with two strikes down, Albert takes a full, aggressive swing through the strike zone.

Whether he hits it out of the park or strikes out, Pujols’ mindset is the same. He takes his A swing and “it is what it is.”

Remember the Most Important Thing

One thing we admire about Albert Pujols is his straight-shooting, no-nonsense approach to training and instruction.

He gets right to the point. Covers everything in detail. And doesn’t include any fluff. 

But don’t be fooled into believing Albert isn’t intentional and strategic when it comes to baseball. It’s quite the opposite.

Albert Pujols’ simple approach is actually his secret weapon.

It’s how he overcomes what he describes as “the number one mistake” young hitters make—thinking too much.

Excessive thinking causes some players to forget the most important thing in hitting: making sure you see the ball, and hit it!

The genius in Albert’s approach to hitting mechanics is in its simplicity. He’s got a small number of essential cues he runs through when he steps up to bat. He attends to these, clears his mind, then focuses on seeing the ball and puts his best swing forward.

Simple. But we think you’ll agree—the results speak for themselves.

If you’d like to see Pujols run through his session on hitting mechanics for baseball in real time—head over to Versus and sign up for one of our Game Plans.

Any of our plans will give you access to the video this article is based on. The Standard and Premium packages come with unlimited video sessions, future course content participation, and interactive content.

To wrap up, here’s a recap of Albert Pujols’ tips for hitting mechanics in baseball.


  • Have a Strong Foundation
  • Be Consistent with Hand Positioning
  • Focus On Contact Point
  • Stay Inside the Ball
  • Practice Situational Hitting
  • Take Your A Swing, Even On Two Strikes
  • Don’t Forget to See the Ball and Hit it 

If you want to go deeper on hitting mechanics and what it takes to have a hitter’s mindset, head over to Versus and check out our Game Plans. Any of our packages will get you access to Albert’s lessons, plus tons of other training sessions, interactive content, and more.

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